$50,000 In Prizes

Please join us for one of Rhode Island’s best networking events of the year for small businesses, startups, and entrepreneurs.

Cox Business is bringing Get Started Rhode Island (#GetStartedRI) back to Providence, RI on Thursday, October 4, 2018.

This event will feature top local entrepreneurs pitching their business idea to a distinguished panel of experts for a chance to win $50,000 in prizes!

The Pitch Competition

Whether it’s a brand new start-up or an entrepreneur looking to grow their current business with a new idea, join us to learn from each of our finalists, and a star-studded panel of experts.

In our pitch competition, one amazing local entrepreneur will walk away with a prize package valued at up to $50,000!

Note:  The deadline for pitch submissions has closed. Finalists will be announced soon.


Register to Attend and Watch The Competition

Local business leaders, owners, and founders who are not competing won’t want to miss the incredible networking and learning opportunities that Get Started RI offers.

Seating is limited, register today.

Register to Attend


Event Details

The Event Includes:

  • A pitch competition with expert feedback from an amazing panel of distinguished judges
  • An incredible selection of FREE hors d’ouevres, FREE drinks, and a raffle prize you won’t want to miss
  • One of the best business networking opportunities of the year

WHEN: Thursday, October 4th, 2018 from 5:30 – 8:30 pm

LOCATION: WaterFire Arts Center 475 Valley St, Providence, RI

Meet Our 2018 Finalists

Meet Our 2018 Moderator

kenKen Kraft, Senior Vice President of Marketing & Sales Operations, Cox Business

Ken is the head of Cox Communications’ $2 billion business division that provides video, voice and data telecommunications services to businesses.   He is responsible for the overall marketing strategy, as well as tactical execution of marketing plans to drive revenue growth and customer retention and oversees SMB Marketing, Enterprise Marketing, Marketing Operations, Pricing, Sales Operations and Creative Services for Cox Business.  This includes customer segmentation, brand strategy/positioning, product marketing and support, pricing, digital marketing, social media, customer education and events/sponsorships.

He leads a nationwide team tasked with the creation and implementation of marketing strategies and campaigns to further accelerate top-line revenue growth and customer retention within Cox Business. His leadership in the industry was recognized this year with a TAMI Award for Leadership in Business Services across the MSO community.

Meet Our 2018 Judges

Shannon Shallcross, Co-founder and CEO, BetaXAnalytics

Shannon Shallcross is a data-enthusiast who believes that data interpretation holds the key to solving healthcare’s toughest challenges. She has served as an executive in the insurance and health industries over the past decade and has advised a broad range of Fortune 500 clients. As the co-founder and CEO of BetaXAnalytics, her company uses the power of data science “for good” to improve the cost, transparency and quality of healthcare.

BetaXAnalytics has been named one of “7 Startups to Watch” in 2018 by RI Inno and they are the recipient of the “50 on Fire” innovation award. The company has built a custom data analytics platform as well as tools to measure healthcare waste, medication adherence, as well as health risk measures among a variety of disease states. Most notably, they built a tool that uses natural language processing to scan through millions of doctors notes and faxes to identify incorrect patient coding. This technology produced a $1.3 million discovery in corrected HCC risk scores to increase CMS reimbursements for a New York-based health plan.

A TEDx speaker, Shallcross has been recognized as a 40 Under Forty award winner by Providence Business News for career and community accomplishments.


Karl Wadensten, President/CEO, VIBCO Vibrators

Karl Wadensten is the President/CEO of VIBCO Vibrators, an industrial manufacturing company with offices in Rhode Island and Canada, and licensors in the United Kingdom and Australia, serving over 360,000 customers worldwide.

Under Mr. Wadensten’s leadership, VIBCO has won numerous awards, including Providence Business News “Best Places to Work in Rhode Island,” Best Companies, the Progressive Manufacturing PM100 Award, and a Providence Business News Business Excellence Award.

Mr. Wadensten is a member of the National Speakers Bureau, a lecturer on culture change and Lean Operations as well as serving on the Lean Steering Committee for Rhode Island’s Economic Development Council. Governor Gina Raimondo visited VIBCO in April of 2015 at which time she signed the Executive Order to Implement Lean in Rhode Island Government.


Matt Tortora, Co-founder and CEO, Crave Food Systems

After serving 10 years in the U.S. Navy, Matt made the decision to pursue his deep-rooted passion for food and become a chef. In 2014, he left the kitchen to found a food technology and marketing company called Crave Food Systems, after facing many challenges while trying to source locally through his typical supply chain.

Matt’s leadership experience and innovative talents have helped him build the team and the technology necessary to pioneer eCommerce applications which currently enable thousands of wholesale and retail buyers to connect with thousands of farmers, fishermen, artisans, and markets.


Chris Bergenheim, Web Editor, Providence Business News

Chris Bergenheim is the Providence Business News web editor. He is responsible for writing and editing daily news, website upkeep and alterations, and two of PBN’s daily e-newsletters. Bergenheim produced PBN’s first podcast and was involved in the paper’s most recent site redesign. Bergenheim is a Northeastern University alumnus, where he studied English literature.



Our 2017 Winner


Get Started Rhode Island winner Alex Tavares, and Cox Business Leaders Ross Nelson; VP, Cox Business Sales and Ken Kraft; SVP, Cox Business Marketing
Meet Our 2018 Sponsors