Rhode Island’s Business Innovators: Who’s Who and What’s New

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Rhode Island, with its rich history, vibrant culture, and diverse economy, has long been a breeding ground for innovation and entrepreneurship. From cutting-edge technology startups to artisanal craft breweries, the Ocean State is home to a wide array of businesses that are pushing the boundaries of innovation and driving economic growth. In this article, we will shine a spotlight on some of Rhode Island’s business innovators, highlighting their contributions to the state’s business landscape and exploring what’s new in their respective industries.

Tech Titans

Virgin Pulse

Virgin Pulse, headquartered in Providence, is a global leader in employee well-being solutions. Founded in 2004, the company provides comprehensive digital platforms and personalized coaching services to help organizations improve employee health, productivity, and engagement. With offices around the world and a client base of over 3,000 organizations, Virgin Pulse is at the forefront of the corporate wellness industry, leveraging technology to drive positive health outcomes for millions of employees worldwide.

Upserve

Upserve, formerly known as Swipely, is a Providence-based company that offers a cloud-based restaurant management platform designed to help restaurants increase revenue, streamline operations, and enhance the guest experience. Founded in 2009, Upserve provides restaurants with tools for point-of-sale, payments, analytics, and marketing, empowering them to make data-driven decisions and drive business growth. With thousands of restaurants using its platform, Upserve is revolutionizing the way restaurants operate in an increasingly competitive industry.

MojoTech

MojoTech, a software development and design agency headquartered in Providence, specializes in building custom web and mobile applications for startups and enterprises. Since its founding in 2008, MojoTech has earned a reputation for delivering high-quality software solutions that drive business results and delight users. With a team of experienced engineers, designers, and product managers, MojoTech helps clients bring their ideas to life and stay ahead of the curve in an ever-changing digital landscape.

Crafty Creators

Narragansett Beer

Narragansett Beer, founded in 1890, is one of America’s oldest and most beloved beer brands. After a brief hiatus, the brand was revived in 2005 by a group of local entrepreneurs who sought to bring back the iconic beer and celebrate Rhode Island’s brewing heritage. Since then, Narragansett Beer has experienced a resurgence in popularity, thanks in part to its commitment to quality, authenticity, and community engagement. With a diverse lineup of beers and a loyal following of fans, Narragansett Beer continues to be a staple of Rhode Island’s craft beer scene.

Sons of Liberty Spirits Company

Sons of Liberty Spirits Company, located in South Kingstown, is a craft distillery known for its innovative approach to whiskey making. Founded in 2011, Sons of Liberty is best known for its award-winning American single malt whiskey, which is made from 100% malted barley and aged in charred oak barrels. In addition to whiskey, Sons of Liberty also produces a range of other spirits, including vodka, gin, and seasonal releases. With a focus on quality, creativity, and craftsmanship, Sons of Liberty is redefining what it means to be a modern American distillery.

Hope & Main

Hope & Main, located in Warren, is Rhode Island’s first food business incubator, providing aspiring entrepreneurs with the resources, support, and facilities they need to start and grow food-related businesses. Founded in 2014, Hope & Main offers commercial kitchen space, storage facilities, and business development services to help food startups launch and scale their ventures. With a diverse community of food entrepreneurs and a commitment to sustainability and local sourcing, Hope & Main is fostering a culture of innovation and collaboration in Rhode Island’s food industry.

Socially Conscious Startups

EpiVax

EpiVax, headquartered in Providence, is a biotechnology company that specializes in computational immunology and vaccine design. Founded in 1998, EpiVax has developed proprietary algorithms and software tools that enable researchers to predict and optimize immune responses to vaccines and therapeutics. With a focus on infectious diseases, autoimmune disorders, and cancer, EpiVax is leading the way in the development of novel immunotherapies that have the potential to improve human health and save lives.

Progreso Latino

Progreso Latino, based in Central Falls, is a nonprofit organization that provides education, workforce development, and social services to the Latino community in Rhode Island. Founded in 1977, Progreso Latino offers programs and resources in areas such as adult education, job training, immigration assistance, and health promotion. With a commitment to equity, empowerment, and social justice, Progreso Latino is helping to create opportunities for Rhode Island’s Latino population to thrive and succeed.

What’s New in Rhode Island’s Business Landscape

Green Energy Initiatives

Rhode Island is making strides in renewable energy and sustainability, with initiatives aimed at reducing carbon emissions, promoting energy efficiency, and transitioning to clean energy sources. The state’s Renewable Energy Standard, which requires utilities to obtain a certain percentage of their electricity from renewable sources, has helped spur investment in wind, solar, and hydroelectric power. Additionally, Rhode Island’s Green Economy Bond, passed in 2016, provides funding for projects that support environmental conservation, clean energy, and climate resilience.

Innovation Districts

Rhode Island is investing in innovation districts and technology clusters to support entrepreneurship, research, and economic development. The Providence Innovation District, anchored by the Wexford Innovation Complex, is a hub for technology, life sciences, and advanced manufacturing companies, as well as research institutions and academic centers. The district is driving innovation and collaboration in key industries, attracting talent and investment, and positioning Rhode Island as a leader in the knowledge economy.

Health and Wellness Initiatives

Rhode Island is prioritizing health and wellness initiatives to improve public health outcomes and reduce healthcare costs. The state’s Health Equity Zones, funded by the Rhode Island Department of Health, aim to address health disparities and promote community-based solutions to improve health and well-being. Additionally, Rhode Island’s Healthy Aging Strategic Plan, launched in 2016, focuses on supporting older adults to live independently, stay active, and access quality healthcare services.

Conclusion

Rhode Island’s business innovators are shaping the state’s economic landscape and driving positive change in their respective industries. From tech startups and craft breweries to social enterprises and nonprofit organizations, these innovators are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible and making a meaningful impact on Rhode Island’s economy and society. With a supportive business environment, a culture of innovation, and a commitment to sustainability and social responsibility, Rhode Island is poised for continued success and growth in the years to come.

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