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More than 50 growth companies shared optimism and inspiration to hundreds of business professionals at The Garage. The first ever “mash-up” of ideas and innovation held at the Rhode Island Convention Center highlighted sectors of the Rhode Island economy that are growing and the people that are driving that growth.
With a combination of start-ups, emerging companies and established business both participating and attending, the event served to highlight the vibrant economic activity taking place in Rhode Island.
Thank you to all that participated, attended and supported this private-sector led economic development event.
We will work to keep this important conversation going. Watch in the weeks ahead as we share some of the positive stories, collaborations and new ideas to come out of The Garage.
If you have a positive story to share from the day's events, or a growth story you think is important to tell, please email it to Bethany Costello at email@example.com
Have you been to www.thegarageri.com?
The new site, designed and powered by the ADK Group, provides real time information on all things happening at The Garage, a private sector led event that will take over the Rhode Island Convention Center on May 14th. From a schedule of events, to a list of participants, and stories of companies who will be highlighted during the event… the site is designed not only to provide visitors with a snapshot of what is happening but serve as a platform for sharing the knowledge, expertise and growth that exists in the Rhode Island business community.
What can you find at www.thegarageri.com?
Schedule of Events
A full listing of what is happening; where it is happening and how participants can register
Information about the key industry sectors to be highlighted at this event including – Health and Wellness; Lifescience and Medtech; and Consumer Products
Meet some of the growth companies who will share their stories on May 14.
See a full list of participating companies – this includes panelists, presenters, sponsors and attendees. Is your company on that list?
Secure your place!
Breaking news about presenters, topics and guests!
Recognition of local companies that have made an investment in the event.
Tell us your growth story!
Drawing its name from the start-up ingenuity in Silicon Valley that led to the creation of companies like Apple, Google and others, The Garage will be the place where the private sector will create a mash-up of all good things happening in the local business community. Revenue generating companies will share their success stories and best practices in an effort to inspire, cross-pollinate and grow key economic sectors. Bank of America serves as the event’s Presenting Sponsor.
Be sure to follow the conversation on social media channels as well. Like The Garage on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/ThegarageRI Follow The Garage on Twitter - @thegarage13
Over 400 business executives joined Jorge Moran, Santander US Country Head and Sovereign Bank President & CEO and Laurie White, President, Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce, for an interactive breakfast on the Providence area economic outlook –which by all accounts was positive and optimistic.
Providence Mayor Angel Taveras summarized his administration’s focuses over the past two years, laying the foundation for today’s promising economic story in the Capital City. A reorganization of Providence’s tax structure, education system and provisions in public employee contracts has placed Providence on a path of sustainable fiscal health. Plans for investments in infrastructure, public safety and a public school graduation campaign are on the horizon in 2013. Statistics show that consumer confidence is on the rise (as demonstrated through Providence’s recent municipal bond sale), unemployment is decreasing, exports are up, tourism is robust and the investment opportunities provided through the 195 redevelopment are drawing national attention from meds and eds researchers and developers. The Mayor announced that the specifics of his Action Plan will be revealed next week.
Local economic leaders joined Mayor Taveras in offering their views on Providence’s growing economic prospects. The panelists included: Dr. David Dooley - President, University of Rhode Island; Dr. Michael Ehrlich and Timothy Ehrlich - Founders, Ocean State Angels; Colin Kane - Chairman, 195 Redevelopment District Commission; and Dr. Denice Spero - Co-Director, Icubed (Institute for Immunology & Informatics).
Sovereign Bank Executive Vice President Mike Lee led the audience in a real-time business climate survey with the following results:
1. Which best describes your position in your company?
Total responders: 267
2. Thinking about the US overall, over the next 12 months how do you think the economy will be in comparison to today?
Total responders: 282
3. Thinking only about Rhode Island, over the next 12 months how do you think the economy will be in comparison to today?
Total responders: 274
4. Thinking only about your business, over the next 12 months how do you think your business will be in comparison to today?
A. Much better shape 19%
Total responders: 275
5. What do you think are the top challenges facing this state? Please select up to three.
Total responders: 720
6. Thinking about your business, what are the most challenging issues you expect to face in the next two years? Please select up to three.
Total responders: 738
7. Which of the following best describes your hiring plans for the next 12 months?
Total responders: 262
8. If you plan to hire, what are the most important factors behind this decision. Please select up to three.
Total responders: 567
9. Which of the following best describes your business spending plans in 2013?
Total responders: 254
10. Does your company have a policy which provides benefits to same sex couples?
Total responders: 251
11. Do you support the creation of a health sciences facility in Providence’s Knowledge District?
Total responders: 266
12. As Rhode Island’s Health Exchange moves closer to reality, do you anticipate it will change your company’s purchasing habits?
Total responders: 253
13. Does the idea of residential living in Providence’s Superman building appeal to you?
Total responders: 262
14. Do you think that 2013 will be a comeback year for the Boston Red Sox?
The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce is calling on Rhode Island growth companies to tell their story at The Garage.
Drawing its name from the start-up ingenuity in Silicon Valley that led to the creation of companies like Apple, Google and others, The Garage will be the place where the private sector will create a mash-up of all good things happening in the local business community.
Revenue generating companies will share their success stories and best practices in an effort to inspire, cross-pollinate and grow key economic sectors. This first event, which will take place on Tuesday, May 14 at the Rhode Island Convention Center, will focus on the key industries of consumer products, health care, food, nutrition, and wellness.
“The event is all about storytelling,” said Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. “We want to showcase companies here in Rhode Island where innovation is a central strategy, where management is committed to expansion and where financing aligns with a business plan.”
The half day event will begin with the Economic Outlook Luncheon, and will be followed by five panel discussions, the Rhode Island Business Plan Competition and then culminating with a networking reception.
For more information visit www.thegarageri.com
Is your company one of Rhode Island’s healthiest places to work? A healthy business starts with healthy employees—their health can greatly impact your company’s performance. Over time, healthier employees typically use fewer healthcare services, take less sick time, are more productive, and have improved morale.
If your company takes positive steps to improve employee health and well-being with an employee wellness program, you might have what it takes to be one of Rhode Island’s healthiest companies at the 19th Annual Worksite Health Awards.
For details and to apply, visit BCBSRI.com/WorksiteHealth. There are separate categories for small businesses (less than 50 employees) and large businesses. Submit your application by March 8. Winning workplaces will be honored at an awards breakfast and profiled in a special section of Rhode Island Monthly magazine.
Don’t miss this event:
19th Annual Worksite Health Awards
Wednesday, May 29
7:45 a.m. to 9:15 a.m.
Crowne Plaza Hotel, Warwick
Co-sponsored by the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island, the Worksite Health Awards have been honoring healthy Rhode Island businesses since 1995. Should you have any questions, please contact Sue Stenhouse at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 401-621-6120.
Tonight, I would like to put forth a new idea -- a big idea -- that the Senate can get behind, get excited about, and get others excited about. We have talked for more than a year now about the development of a joint nursing education building in the Knowledge District hosted by the University of Rhode Island and Rhode Island College. Well, I challenge all of us to think even bigger and more inclusively.
Let’s get behind the creation of an all-encompassing Health Sciences Facility. In addition to the medical education component, think about a public/private partnership that unites growth companies, universities, colleges, hospitals, researchers, students, investors and others. Picture a sprawling campus. A place that fosters easy collaboration between and among scientists from a wide range of disciplines solving some of the most pressing medical challenges of our day.
The Health Sciences Facility could give focus to a particular area of expertise for Rhode Island--- brain science, the last frontier in modern medicine. Rhode Island is home to world-class talent across a gamut of institutions. Brown University and its affiliated hospitals in the Lifespan and Care New England systems as well as the Providence VA Medical Center are deeply immersed in research and clinical care centered on brain injuries and disorders. Each partner brings specific expertise to the forefront, including specialties in adult and pediatric psychiatry, neurology, neurosurgery, diagnostic radiology, neurotechnology and neuroregeneration. The University of Rhode Island’s College of Pharmacy brings similar nationally-recognized talent in drug therapy to complement the intellectual capacity.
Here’s the vision: Let’s brand Rhode Island as a leader in neuroscience and attract attention locally, regionally and nationally. The Chamber is convinced that realizing this vision would create an academic environment that would be extremely attractive to new healthcare-related companies and start-ups. Brown’s particular strength in developing devices and interfaces with the brain should be a compelling draw for medical device companies. The Center of Excellence, most importantly, would improve clinical care and outcomes for patients suffering from debilitating neurological diseases and conditions.
Linking science, engineering and medicine around this opportunity would be an exciting economic development venture for Rhode Island. On a national scale, medical professionals are increasingly concerned and focused on addressing age-specific disorders in response to our aging population in the United States. Rhode Island currently ranks 4th in the nation, per capita, in terms of the percentage of elderly in our population. As a result, it is critically important for us to focus our attention on the discovery and development of new therapies aimed at slowing the progression of key neurodegenerative diseases that affect older adults, including Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease and Huntington’s disease among others.
Brain science and brain health in Rhode Island. A national leader and a Center of Excellence in neuroscience research and clinical care. Let’s seize the opportunity, let’s invest in the opportunity.
The Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce is excited to be joining with Betaspring, Brown University and the University of Rhode Island to invest in, and support the state’s latest entrepreneurial platform -- the Founders League.
Building upon programming initially launched by the Rhode Island Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship, the Founders League will offer community, space and programming where entrepreneurs at all stages of development can find inspiration and support. The Chamber has invested $100,000 in the new venture.
“We are excited to work with this consortium to drive forward the next generation of entrepreneurship programming in Rhode Island,” says Board Chairman Jon Duffy. “This initiative is a bull’s eye in the Chamber’s strategic plan, which is centered around fueling entrepreneurial and small business growth and developing the state’s Knowledge Economy. The overwhelming support from the Board and general membership for this effort only serves to echo the mindset that startups, students and entrepreneurs are a critical part of the Rhode Island economy.”
Over the next 12-weeks, the partners will convene groups of entrepreneurs, mentors and community partners to solicit input on how the platform can be deployed to support the sustained growth of a strong entrepreneurial ecosystem in Rhode Island.
Betaspring will provide leadership for the platform and a physical nexus for the activity at their 95 Chestnut Street headquarters. Beginning this fall, Betaspring will roll-out a mix of entrepreneur-centric activities, such as community co-working, educational programming and networking events, as well as oversee a planning process to establish the platform’s long-term operating plan. The process to establish an operating plan will be led by a steering committee of representatives from the partner organizations and leaders from the entrepreneur community.
Click below to read media coverage of this exciting announcement.
Federal Reserve Bank of Boston President and CEO Eric Rosengren delivered a generally optimistic economic outlook for 2013 during the GPCC Policy Forum held Tuesday, January 15th at the Providence Marriott Downtown. Rosengren told that crowd of more than 100 that early 2013 is being bolstered by a stronger housing market and robust consumer spending. He expects this trend to continue, even predicting that growth will hit 3 percent in the second half of the year.
Click here to read media coverage of the event and follow the Twitter feed.
The Policy Forum was sponsored by Coastway Bank.
Rhode Island isn’t immune to the spreading nationwide flu epidemic. In fact, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, we are one of the 47 states to have a “widespread” outbreak of the contagious disease.
A recent survey conducted by Walgreens suggests that nearly 100 million workdays are lost due to the flu -- that equals approximately $7 billion per year in sick days and lost productivity. With this year’s strain effecting so many, those estimates are expected to go even higher.
And as with any emergency situation, having a contingency plan is essential.
What can you do to protect your business and employees?
Click on these links for more information about the flu outbreak and your business.
Rhode Island Department of Health - http://www.health.ri.gov/flu/about/whentoseekmedicalcare/
Center for Disease Control and Prevention - http://www.cdc.gov/flu/
Additional government information - http://www.flu.gov/#
Business planning information - http://www.flu.gov/planning-preparedness/business/#
GPCC's FREE prescription drug discount program, the RIRx Card, offers savings on numerous medications to the uninsured, under-insured and compliments the benefits offered the insured.
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Visit www.RIRX.com to download your FREE prescription drug discount card.
Rhode Island is making progress in growing its Knowledge Economy. In fact, according to the “2012 Benchmarking the Rhode Island Knowledge Economy Index,” the state has improved in 11 of 19 indicators for which data is available since the inaugural report was released in 2011.
Identified areas of strength in the state in which Rhode Island ranks within the top 20 states nationally include: Research & Development performance by academic, not for profit (including medical) institutions; venture capital; and income and education attainment of the population. In addition, although not within the top 20 states nationally, Rhode Island experienced a trend of improvement since the release of the Index in 2011 in areas such as high speed internet access, state appropriations for higher education, patents issued to colleges and universities and science and engineering degrees awarded. Areas where the state could use improvement include net domestic migration; entrepreneurial climate; SBIR/STTR investments and Industry Research and Development.
Created last year through collaboration between the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce and the RI Science and Technology Advisory last week’s release marks the first update of the Index.
“This is good economic news,” said Laurie White, president of the Greater Providence Chamber of Commerce. “Having this understanding of the opportunities and challenges surrounding knowledge development in Rhode Island is paramount to organizing our public policies and strategic investments in areas that will have the widest and most profound benefit to our businesses and residents.”
Developed around 23 key indicators, the Index compares Rhode Island to the other New England states, 27 EPSCoR states, which are those that have been designated by the National Science Foundation as part of the Experimental Program to Stimulate Competitive Research and the United States as a whole. The indicators are organized into four categories representing key components of a knowledge-based economy: RI’s Knowledge Economy; The Knowledge Business Pipeline; Research and Development and The Workforce for the Knowledge Economy.
“Using the data in this year’s index report will guide our decisions to ensure Rhode Island continues as a major hub of innovation,” stated Governor Lincoln D. Chafee. “I have already taken steps to increase state funding for higher education, the first such increase in an administration’s proposed higher education budget in several years, and will look for other ways to make smart investments that build on our existing assets and enhance our infrastructure for the benefit of all Rhode Islanders.”
Conducted by Camoin Associates and Innovation Policy Works, the 2012 Index builds off the most recent data available. However, the majorities of datasets are based from 2008 to 2011, and may not reflect advancements made in the last 12 months.
Click here to read the Executive Summary.
Click here to read the 2012 Benchmarking the Rhode Island Knowledge Economy Index.
Rhode Island is small, yet its resources are abundant and due to its size --easily accessible. From farms to main street boutiques, reap the harvest of Rhode Island's local and independently owned businesses.
Purchasing local goods injects much needed revenue into every community statewide, with Rhode Islanders benefiting from returns on these local investments. According to the 10% Shift initiative, even redirecting 10% of typical spending can provide a valuable boost to local economies. Building community support translates into economic viability statewide where Rhode Island as a whole benefits from the profits generated by locally owned businesses.
Buy Local RI’s mission is to build a strong economy and vibrant community by promoting locally owned independent businesses, strengthening our state’s merchant and commercial associations, and providing a unified public resource where businesses and individuals can find and connect to local products and services.
Farm Fresh RI, connects Rhode Islanders to fresh and locally grown agricultural products at farmers markets and restaurants across the state.
Edible Rhody profiles the growing community of local establishments serving the bounty from Rhode Island farms and fisheries.
Many Rhode Island communities offer regular farmers’ markets and local buying initiatives to motivate local commerce. The impact of these initiatives multiplies throughout the state, from the local producers, to the local vendors, and finally to Main Streets within every community.