Every three years, the Rhode Island Foundation gives out several $300,000 grants to" innovation fellows" who need a jolt of cash to test their bold ideas. The unique opportunity, available only to Rhode Island residents, is a three-year fellowship that runs on the expectation that not all good ideas will succeed. The Associated Press' Erika Niedowski checked in on the inaugural class of fellows, who are wrapping up their fellowships this week:

"Soren Ryherd’s Retail Project set out to revitalize Main Streets in Rhode Island with new small businesses. His plan was to create online stores first, then open brick-and-mortar locations.

The pace has been slower than he envisioned. He thought he would have dozens of online stores by now (he has three, with a fourth in the works) and at least one storefront (none have opened yet).

But he says he is encouraged by the healthy growth his brands, including high-end pet products and indoor gardening supplies, have experienced in the last year.

He plans to keep the work going."

Ryherd's is just one of six fascinating projects from the inaugural class of fellows. Others include Allan Tear's Rallyri startup incubator, Amy Bernhardt's digital textile design hub, and Dr. Lynn's Taylor's project to make Rhode Island the first state to erase Hepatitis C. Check out the links below to learn more about each project.

Read more at the Boston Globe and The Rhode Island Foundation

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