BRISTOL - The StartUP Bristol Task Force chose three grant awardees for the business incentive program aimed at drawing businesses in to the city.
The decisions made by the task force were based on business plans and live presentations made by five companies at Biker’s Edge last week.
Movia Robotics, which develops products to help autistic children in their homes and at school, won the first-place grant of $50,000.
The second-place grant of $30,000 was awarded to Farmington River Holdings, which develops hands-free, local, team radio communication technology.
Northeast Food Truck Festival of New England, which plans to open a co-op for vendors, won the third- place grant of $20,000.
Justin Malley, executive director of the Bristol Development Authority, said all the companies that presented have been notified about “where they fell in the competition.”
“The companies do need to be established in Bristol before receiving the grant,” Malley said. “There is no sense that any company is on the fence of becoming established here. They have every intention of relocating; they just obviously need time to do so. We can assist them to find a space and organize tours of different spaces available. At this point, Movia is already located in Bristol.”
Adam von Gootkin, Movia’s CEO, said that about two months ago the company relocated to the Walter Ingraham house on Federal Hill. Previously, they were located in the reSET building in Hartford, which is a “business incubator for startups.”
“I was a Bristol resident for about nine years and felt Movia would be a good fit for the Bristol community,” Von Gootkin said. “We have wanted to move the company here and it felt like the time to do so with Movia ready to go to market and launch. We are excited to be here in Bristol. It’s a great community. The startup culture that is happening here makes it possible to change the world and create jobs and investments.”
Matt Soulier, managing partner of Northeast Food Truck Festivals of New England, said the company will be looking for a permanent location for the co-op over the next few weeks.
“The grant money will be going to form a co-op for vendors and other local businesses affiliated with us can sell products inside the retail location,” Soulier said. “The money will go to get the place up and running and ideally we are looking at locations in the downtown area of Bristol.”
Although no specific location has been chosen yet, Soulier said he is anxious to begin looking at possible options and added that the company will still be participating in festivals around New England.
“We think the program that Bristol has is a fantastic opportunity, not only for ourselves, but local businesses. We are excited for all of the grant winners; it’s a stepping stone to grow.”
Lorenzo Burgio can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.