The Phoenix Network:
 
 
About  |  Advertise
Adult  |  Blogs  |  In Pictures
 

The upside of hope in Rhode Island

Nine individuals who are bullish and optimistic amid the state's current tough times
By IAN DONNIS  |  January 29, 2009

allan-tear
Photo by Richard McCaffrey

Allan Tear
Age:
38
Where he's from: Pittsburgh via West Virginia, Chicago, and Ohio
Moved to RI: 2002
Level of hope and optimism for the state's future, on a scale of 1 to 10: 8, tempered by how the state hasn't adequately dealt with some of its challenges.
Reasons to be cheerful: RI's strategic advantages in small size and location in the NY-Boston corridor; technology advantages citizens in moving past traditional institutions to make change.
The possibility of being able to make an impact was one of the things that most attracted Allan Tear (pronounced "Teer") when his wife and he moved to Rhode Island from Atlanta seven years ago. So it's not surprising that Tear and two fellow geeks, Jack Templin and Owen Johnson, hope to cultivate a new wave of local entrepreneurs through Beta Spring (betaspring.com), an annual 12-week boot camp set to debut in Providence this summer.

The private effort aims to attract roughly 40 to 50 recruits (60 percent of them from outside Rhode Island) for a team-based competition involving seed money, entrepreneurial mentoring, and the opportunity to connect with investors at the end of the process. Such initiatives are vital, Tear believes, since attracting and developing more talent could help Rhode Island to thrive.

The East Sider, who runs Aptus Collaborative, a technology and strategy group, sees raising the quality of public K-12 education as the single most important thing for the state's future. He believes the state needs to be more nimble in courting opportunity and to do better in capitalizing on its immigrant communities.

Despite some frustration about the lack of more progress, Tear and his wife haven't had any second thoughts about moving here. After an elaborate search — complete with a spreadsheet, 35 criteria, visits to eight semi-finalist and four finalist cities, the couple chose Providence, in part because of the proximity of family, but also because of its culture, strong sense of place, and the potential here to make a difference. Despite the challenges, says Tear, "I wake up every day glad to be here."

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |   next >
Related:
  • An angry electorate? Eh, whatever
    Whither the rage? Rhode Island's Great Recession — greater, even, than the national model — was supposed to conjure a once-in-a-generation anti-incumbent fever. But so far, it's looking more like a modest headache.
  • Indentured servitude and other keys to the Rhode Island recovery
    Despite the continual awarding of tax breaks to various upper-income types, we Rhode Islanders are told our business climate is still near bottom. So I make these seven modest suggestions for addressing the problem.
  • Rhode Island's ticking time bomb
    This is a story about the pension crisis that's tearing apart Providence and Central Falls and just might lay waste to the whole goddamn state.
  • More more >
  Topics: News Features , AL East Division , American League (Baseball) , Andy Cutler ,  More more >
| More
Featured Articles in News Features:
ARTICLES BY IAN DONNIS
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   RHODY'S LOCAL FOOD MOVEMENT FINDS ITS GROOVE  |  February 23, 2009
    Five years ago, when Farm Fresh Rhode Island (FFRI) launched its mission of promoting Ocean State-produced food, co-founder Noah Fulmer discovered a curious disconnection in the local food chain.
  •   TICKET TO RIDE  |  February 11, 2009
    In April 1999, two weeks after I started on the job at the Providence Phoenix , the FBI raided City Hall, formally unveiling the federal investigation that would land Vincent A. "Buddy" Cianci Jr., Rhode Island's rascal king, behind bars.
  •   ADVOCATES RENEW PUSH FOR PUBLICLY-FINANCED RI ELECTIONS  |  February 04, 2009
    During a news conference Tuesday afternoon in the State House rotunda, proponents of significantly expanding publicly financed elections in Rhode Island — a concept they call "Fair Elections" — cited a litany of reasons for why it would be good for the Ocean State and its citizens.
  •   THE UPSIDE OF HOPE IN RHODE ISLAND  |  January 29, 2009
    Everywhere one turns these days, there's seemingly more bad news about Rhode Island: the unemployment rate, one of the highest in the nation, tops 10 percent — and the state's running out of unemployment assistance.
  •   BROGAN TAKES ON TEENS, SOCIAL NETWORKING IN TEASER  |  January 28, 2009
    Former Providence Journal reporter Jan Brogan is out with her fourth mystery, Teaser .

 See all articles by: IAN DONNIS



  |  Sign In  |  Register
 
thePhoenix.com:
Phoenix Media/Communications Group:
TODAY'S FEATURED ADVERTISERS
Copyright © 2014 The Phoenix Media/Communications Group