Weeklong series of events to promote startup firms

A weeklong series of events devoted to celebrating entrepreneurship and innovation is scheduled from Oct. 1-7 with a “Hello-Goodbye” cruise around Narragansett Bay to launch Rhode Island Startup Week.

The two-hour cruise Sept. 30 from Quonset onboard the fast ferry will include snacks and a cash bar for colleagues and friends to prepare for the upcoming seven-day series. The series will be organized for the second consecutive year by Rhode Island Hub, a nonprofit organization that helps accelerate entrepreneurial ventures with a high potential for growth. The goal of the events is for organizations, startups, investors, corporations, universities and students to collaborate to learn more about innovation in industries, including, blue technology, social impact, food sustainability, retail cannabis and Web3, which is the idea for a new iteration of the Internet that incorporates decentralization and token economics. A schedule of events is available at ristartupweek.com.

“We continue to see an increase in entrepreneurship activity across the state and from our universities,” said Annette Tonti, a Jamestown resident who serves as managing director of Rhode Island Hub.

The week commences with a summit of workshops, interactive networking and guest speakers from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at District Hall, 225 Dyer St., Providence.

“This is an important convening event to connect the entire innovation ecosystem, our entrepreneurs, and the people of Rhode Island,” Tonti said.

Events also include a virtual presentation by “See, Solve, Scale” author Danny Warshay, executive director of Brown University’s Nelson Center, and Hope Hopkins, head of U.S. accelerators from MassChallenge, at 9 a.m. Oct. 3. The week also will include the final event for a Cox Business contest in which six finalist companies will compete to win $50,000 in cash and prizes, a luncheon with Liz Tanner, Rhode Island’s commerce secretary on blockchain technologies, a diversity roundtable to discuss potential changes for the BIPOC community, and “The Calamari Tank.” The crowd favorite, which comprises three startups to give their pitch while a team of ‘wouldbe’ investors put them through their paces, will be hosted virtually from noon to 1 p.m. Oct. 5.

There also will be an in-person panel discussion from 4-6 p.m. Oct. 5 at Innovate Newport, 513 Broadway, to answer a single question: What is the blue economy?

Along with Innovate Newport and Cox Business, organizations hosting events include Cox Business, 401 Tech Bridge, Polaris MEP, Bryant University, Venture Cafe, Howell Legal, Innovate Newport, Innovation Studio, The Mullings Group, Trailblaze Marketing, Founders & Friends and New England Female Founders.