The new year is just around the corner. As it comes closer, we at Rhode Island Inno want to take some time to look ahead as we say farewell to 2017.

To do just that, we’ve rounded up some notable startups from the Ocean State that are worth keeping an eye on. While this is by no means a comprehensive list, we wanted to include startups that had either raised a considerable amount of money or are working on astounding tech or have their sights on an up-and-coming concept.

We’ve outlined these seven enterprises alphabetically below.


translator-turned-storyteller between what the health data says and what it actually means for employers, payers and providers, BetaXAnalytics has had a big year. It participated in the MassChallenge Bridge to RI, TECHquality and Health 2.0, with its CEO, Shannon Shallcross, speaking at TEDxProvidence. The momentum will continue through 2018: BXA is partnering with the University of Rhode Island School of Pharmacy in the spring. Together, they’ll provide students the opportunity to do rotations through BXA.

BetaXAnalytics: A Rosetta Stone for Your Health Care Data Needs?

Crave Food Systems

Crave Food Systems program, WhatsGood Marketplace, is a “virtual farmers market” app that connects casual consumers and institutions alike with local “purveyors,” and allows those same sellers to distribute their goods online. CFS has raised $1.9 million from angel investors since its inception, and was named on one of the seven companies in Rhode Island to raise more than $100,000 in funding this year.

This Startup Wants to Fix a ‘Broken’ Food System

Diversity Talks

A Providence-based startup focused on giving K-12 school districts and other educational institutions “student-led professional development” mired in concepts of equity, diversity and inclusion, Diversity Talks announced this year that it is expanding to Kansas City, Mo. Additionally, it has begun working to develop an online platform and mobile app for both students and educators, with a full launch predicted for 2019.


An app-connected, prepaid debit card that looks to teach kids about money, Finnest is a startup created by two Brown University graduates, Clemens Grave and Richard McDonald. The company is about to close their first round of seed funding and has secured a banking partnership. Additionally, it is a part of the Financial Empowerment Roundtable led by State Treasurer Magaziner. This year, Finnest joined the 2018 Digital Federal Credit Union FinTech Innovation Lab cohort in Boston, and is working with local schools to introduce fintech into the classroom.

PRIME Grads Develop Educational Money App, Card for Kids

Optera Diagnostics

Optera Diagnostics, which uses a special, patented platform to “distinguish strongly between healthy and cancerous tissue,” won the Audience Choice award and a prize of $3,000 at Cox Communication’s #Get StartedRI pitch contest in 2017. That’s not all: the company participated in the Rhode Island Business Plan Elevator Pitch competition, where it was a runner-up.

T-Var EdTech

T-Var EdTech‘s Read Read product looks to help streamline reading education for both the blind and the sighted. It’s had a robust showing at programs across the state this year, winning both the R.I. Biz Plan Competition’s Student Track, and the Cox Communications’ #GetStartedRI competition this year, among others.

In 2017, SquadLocker had a huge year. The Series B funding round for athletic apparel design and ordering company raised $7 million in capital for the company, which is headquartered in Warwick and founded in 2011. Causeway Media Partners was the lead investor, among others. Additionally, SL was named on one of the seven companies in Rhode Island to raise more than $100,000 in funding this year.