Scale Up! RI – Presented by 401 Tech Bridge and Polaris MEP

Scale Up! RI – Presented by 401 Tech Bridge and Polaris MEP

Moving from a prototype to scalable production is difficult and expensive.

401 Tech Bridge and Polaris MEP have created Scale Up! RI to help companies solve the many challenges around engineering, manufacturing, and other commercialization hurdles. 

What Is “Scale Up! RI”?

401 Tech Bridge and Polaris MEP have teamed up with expert commercialization consultant, Peter Russo, to deliver a 6-month long program specifically designed to help companies wrestling with taking their next steps towards commercialization and scalable production. 

The entire program is built around an action-oriented approach. Participants will dig deep into solving the many challenges product developers face getting a product to market. Selected participants will each work with Peter to solve a specific problem that they’re facing, or complete a specific project that they’re working on, over the course of the program. Participants will also be in the running to receive one of ten $2000 credit awards for prototyping.

The program is designed to help entrepreneurs and startups working to move towards launch readiness, as well as established businesses wanting to bring a new product offering to market.

About Peter Russo

Peter Russo of New Approach, LLC, and a consultant for Polaris MEP, will lead these sessions. A lifelong product developer, Peter 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.

Why Apply?

    • Full access to 6 workshops: All applicants regardless of acceptance status will receive access to 6 workshops (1/month), led by Polaris MEP partner, Peter Russo, designed to help participants exit the workshop with actionable next steps to solving their commercialization challenges.
    • ​​​​​8-hour Bootcamp: 30 applicants will be selected to attend an intensive 8-hour product commercialization Bootcamp (spread over 4 days, 2 hours/day), led by Polaris MEP partner, Peter Russo. Participants will dig deep into commercial, technical, and manufacturing readiness assessment and planning, market research and market fit, and manufacturing readiness.
    • Chance At 6 Months of One-On-One Consulting: 10 Bootcamp participants will be selected to receive 6 months of one-on-one consulting with Polaris MEP partner, Peter. The consulting includes:
        • Interview pre-manufacturing readiness assessment
        • Assessment and coaching session
        • Roadmap to commercialization goal
        • Scope for immediate next milestone
        • Coaching through targeted milestones
        • $2,000 credit to one of several prototyping shops for each participant 
    • Networking: Participants will get the chance to connect with other Rhode Island-based product designers and developers, and to the services and network of 401 Tech Bridge and Polaris MEP
    • Visibility: Participants will be highlighted in 401 Tech Bridge content and media, increasing their visibility and presence within the Rhode Island innovation ecosystem.

2022 Program Dates (All Events Will Be on Zoom)


Scale Up! RI is supported by the U.S. Economic Development Agency’s Sprint Challenge, which enables regional innovation economies to rapidly address the economic, health and safety caused by the coronavirus pandemic.