Bristol businesses to shine during statewide 'Innovation Crawl'

By Christy Nadalin
Posted 9/21/23

“The innovation crawl came to be because I wanted to show collaborative efforts across the state,” said Mollie Williams, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Innovate Newport. “The Bristol stop will really shine. It’s unique.”

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Bristol businesses to shine during statewide 'Innovation Crawl'


On Friday, Sept. 29 from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., Venture Café and Innovate Newport will present “Innovation Crawl”, the kickoff event for RI Startup Week.

It’s a one day event designed to showcase some of Rhode Island’s most innovative companies and spaces. Each stop will include tours and "Flash Talks”; breakfast and lunch are included. Whether you are an aspiring entrepreneur, a successful executive, or a curious citizen, you will no doubt end your day feeling inspired and a bit in awe of the innovation that is taking place in Rhode Island, and right here in Bristol.

“I am a believer in experiential learning,” said Mollie Williams, Director of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Innovate Newport, which designs and supports events that support entrepreneurs. “It’s the first time anyone has done anything like this.”

The event is part of RI Startup Week, held in the first week of October, which is a celebration of entrepreneurship and a way to connect investors and supporters with entrepreneurs.

“The innovation crawl came to be because I wanted to show collaborative efforts across the state,” Williams said. “The Bristol stop will really shine. It’s unique.”

The event will begin at Innovate Newport with breakfast and “Flash Talks”, before traveling to Bristol for a 90-minute session from 10:00 to 11:30 a.m.
“I am most excited about the Bristol stop,” said Williams. “There’s a lot going on.”

The Bristol stop will be held at the Herreshoff Marine Museum, where the group will be split into four and rotate through four stations. The first will cover the history of innovation at Herreshoff itself.

Jaia Robotics will present its aquatic data collection drones, Flux Marine will offer boat rides to showcase their 100% electric marine motors, and Moore Brothers, a composites company, will be on hand to talk about their collaboration with REGENT, a South Kingstown Company that has built a seaglider, the first form of zero-emission, high-speed, coastal transportation, which combines the high speed of an airplane with the low operating cost of a boat. These all-electric, zero-emission vessels will operate exclusively over water and leverage existing dock infrastructure to carry people and goods up to 180 miles with current battery technology.

“It’s a very hands-on, interactive stop,” said Williams.

After Bristol, the Crawl will continue to Hope & Main in Warren for lunch, then on to Venture Cafe in Providence for more Flash Talks and a coffee break. The day will end with a visit to REGENT (capitalized because it is an acronym: Regional Electric Ground Effect Nautical Transport), which will be expanding its global headquarters in Rhode Island to include up to 600,000 square feet of new manufacturing and test facilities to begin fulfilling $8 billion in commercial orders for its seaglider by mid-decade.

The tour ends in time for participants to join the RI Startup Week Boat Cruise. The Crawl is open to the public; tickets are limited to 45 participants and start at $30, and limited availability remains by following this link.

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