IN THE NEWS: 11 Local Companies on Track for Business Transformation & Growth

IN THE NEWS: 11 Local Companies on Track for Business Transformation & Growth



PORTSMOUTH, RI – May 2, 2022 – Eleven companies, ranging from start-ups to established manufacturing leaders, have been chosen to participate in the Scale Up! commercialization program. Scale Up! is a business building initiative powered by Rhode Island nonprofits 401 Tech Bridge and Polaris MEP, supported by the U.S. Economic Development Agency’s SPRINT Challenge.

“It’s never easy to move from prototype to scalable production, even if you’ve previously launched a product. Scale Up! offers the coaching and connections needed to boost chances of success.” Linda Larsen, 401 Tech Bridge Programs and Partnerships Manager.

401 Tech Bridge and Polaris MEP tapped expert commercialization consultant, Peter Russo, to collaborate on Scale Up! and help companies overcome common challenges on the journey to scalable production.

Following an initial application period, the program kicked off with an intensive 8-hour bootcamp for 25 companies, 11 of whom were chosen through a competitive process to work with Russo for the next six months. Each of the finalists is now eligible to receive a $2,000 credit to create a prototype.

The 11 companies who will move towards launch readiness represent a variety of businesses. Consistent with the SPRINT Challenge goals, the finalists are technology driven. Some address health security issues while others are Blue Economy, composites, or textiles innovators.

The Scale Up! Companies Are:

The one-on-one sessions are structured to address the unique needs of each participant to achieve successful commercialization.  This often includes activities such as:

  • Manufacturing and commercialization readiness assessments
  • Creating development, sourcing, manufacturing and commercialization roadmaps
  • Defining priorities and immediate milestones to success
  • Coaching and expert connections to complete deliverables to reach milestones
  • Connecting with other Rhode Island-based product designers and developers
  • Leveraging the services and network of 401 Tech Bridge and Polaris MEP

Larsen noted that while the coaching cohort was limited to 11 finalists, entrepreneurs anywhere have a chance to benefit from Scale Up! through a public webinar series launching in May of 2022. 

The next workshop, “Working with the Northeast Tech Bridge & the NavalX Networkis scheduled for August 9, 2022 from 12:00-1:00pm ET. Please register to learn more.


401 Tech Bridge’s people, partners, and facilities fill the gaps to help innovators get their proven, high-tech products out the door and into customer hands. With our deep networks within industry, government, and academia, we connect people, programming, and equipment to bring innovations to commercialization faster. By leveraging our team and partner expertise in Blue Tech, defense, advanced manufacturing, composites, and textiles, we serve as a key economic growth engine for the region.

Serving startups, entrepreneurs, established companies, educational institutions, and government, 401 Tech Bridge is the solution for anyone seeking to bridge R&D gaps, develop talent pipelines, or connect with potential customers and funding opportunities.


Polaris MEP provides competitive business improvement programs to grow Rhode Island’s manufacturing industry. In FY 2021 the statewide nonprofit organization reported positive economic impacts of: $121.5M total increased or retained sales; $10.4M new client investments; $4.4M cost savings; and 1,628 jobs added or retained in the state of Rhode Island.

An affiliate of the National Institute of Standards and Technology’s Hollings Manufacturing Extension Partnership (NIST MEP), the consultancy is a business unit of URI Research Foundation.


Peter Russo of New Approach, LLC, and a consultant for Polaris MEP, is a lifelong product developer, who has launched clean energy, hardware, sporting goods, and kids’ products, resulting in over $250 million in sales. He built and sold 3 companies, served on acquisition teams for venture firms, and has been an angel investor. He holds 16 patents, all used in commercial production, has a BS, MBA, and is a CPM. He now advises startups in commercial readiness and manufacturers in efficiency and technology adoption.