At the end of every month, we recap the biggest tech and startup happenings in Rhode Island. We have an archive of past roundups here. To get this info weekly (Tuesday afternoons, to be exact), sign up for the Rhode Island Inno Beat newsletter.
Let’s take a look.
- Newport-based PowerDocks has announced that it won the 2018 Progressive Insurance Miami International Boat Show Innovation Award at the show’s annual Innovation Breakfast. The award, from the National Marine Manufacturers Association and Boating Writers International, recognized the company’s Blue Isles Solar Microgrid Dock technology, which helps boats charge on the water.
- The Rhode Island government has stated that all public schools have begun exposing students to some form of computer science, EdScoop reports. It’s the fulfillment of one of the many educational goals of Gov. Gina Raimondo, who said nearly two years ago that she hoped the state would achieve this milestone by December 2017.
- MassChallenge, the “global network of zero-equity startup accelerators,” has announced that it has expanded its program to Rhode Island. In this iteration of MassChallenge, an estimated 20 early-stage startups will be accepted to participate.
- Rhode Island-based “Uber for Drones” startup Droners.io has been acquired by drone technology provider PrecisionHawk. The Raleigh-based company also acquired AirVid of Clarksburg, Ontario, in an effort to establish the “world’s largest network of commercially licensed drone pilots.” Together, the merged companies will create a network comprised of more than 15,000 licensed drone pilots that customers can access and hire, the largest hub of its kind in the world.
- Pawtucket-based toy company Hasbro was named one of Ethisphere Institute’s 135 most ethical companies in the world, Providence Business News reports. It was one of two companies named in the consumer goods category, along with Colgate-Palmolive. This marks the seventh year in a row Hasbro has made the list. That’s not the only news for Hasbro; while it reported a disappointing Q4, the company topped Mattel in annual sales for the first time since 1993.
- Smithfield, Rhode Island-based seafood enterprise resource planning software company Computer Associates has acquired Integrated Management Solutions, Seafood Source reports. IMS is the developer of business management software Food Connex. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
- New Jersey-based law firm McElroy, Deutsch, Mulvaney & Carpenter, LLP has announced its new Providence office, its fourteenth across nine states. Paul Dwyer will serve as its first in-market employee, joining the firm as partner.
- Industrial products manufacturing startup Clarke Industrial Engineering, based in North Kingstown with offices in Miami, Fla., has raised $10 million in a Series B preferred stock offering, the South Florida Business Journal reports. Investors included Boca Raton-based New World Angels, who have now invested five times in Clarke Industrial.
- The Rhode Island Foundation’s Black Philanthropy Bannister Fund has granted more than $130,000 in scholarships and other funds to organizations that bolster the African-Amercian communities within Rhode Island, the Providence Journal reports. The Boys and Girls Club of Providence, the Choir School of Newport County and The Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence in Providence were among the awardees.
- The Vancouver-based indoor plant growth technology company Future Farm Technologies has announced the purchase of a 15,000-square-foot building in Providence. The building is within an M-1 zone, which permits the legal cultivation of cannabis. The company said it means to lease the spot “to a local, licensed cultivator” for growing licensed medical marijuana, ultimately supplying wholesale cannabis to state-sanctioned dispensaries within Rhode Island.
- In an article for Inc., CEO of Barrett Digital, Jeff Barrett, argues that Albuquerque, N.M. and Providence were two fast-growing, under the radar cities that entrepreneurs should consider for their startups.“If you’re in the middle stages of your startup, Providence represents your best opportunity in the country,” Barrett writes. “It’s 45 minutes from Boston, home to Brown University and a vast network of large companies that have recently been lured by Governor Raimondo’s aggressive incentives for relocating large businesses.
Barrett goes on, but the point is clear: Providence and Rhode Island is considered a good place for entrepreneurs and their enterprises.