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The DxRI Launch Program* is a 6 week program designed to jump start your creative business! Through our 5 Core Business Workshops and 3 Group Coaching Sessions, you’ll get the basics on everything you need to know to create a foundation for your business to grow, from Visioning, Pricing, Marketing, to the Legal Side. Whether you’re just getting started, or still dreaming one-day-business-baby – this program is for you!

* Formally known as Providence Pre-Catalyst, which ran in 2023.

5 Business Workshops + Homework throughout | 3 Group Coaching Sessions | 1 Final Celebration!

Who is this program for?

This program is specifically designed for:

  • Creative individuals or designers who are working on, or have an idea for, an innovative product or service they want to sell.
  • Innovators who see a problem or gap in the market they know they can solve through design.
  • Individuals who want to start their own creative or design business for personal growth and fulfillment.
  • See eligibility requirements below


The April 2024 DxRI Launch Program is grant funded through the City of Providence. Participants must be able to prove that they meet these criteria for eligibility:

  • Participating businesses must be a commercial enterprises. Student-owned businesses or nonprofits are not eligible. Part-time students may participate.
  • Participants must live in the City of Providence (must be able to submit proof of residence).
  • If a participant already has a business, it must be located in the City of Providence.
  • Participants must be low-to-moderate income, defined as total household income that equals or is below the household-size based income limits for Providence (see below).
  • Full-attendance is required of participants from April 8, 2024 to May 20, 2024.  
2024 Class Schedule+


Date & Time Class Location
Mon, April 8th | 6-9 PM Workshop #1 ‒ Visioning Your Business In-person
Mon, April 15th | 6-9 PM Workshop #2 ‒ Product Design & Development In-person
Sat, April 20th | Time TBD Coaching Session #1
Mon, April 29th | 6-8 PM Workshop #3 ‒ Pricing your Product / Service Virtual
Mon, May 6th | 6-9 PM Workshop #4 ‒ Marketing 101 In-person/Virtual
Sat, May 11th | Time TBD Coaching Session #2
Mon, May 13th | 6-9 PM Workshop #5 The Legal Side + Business Basics Virtual
Sat, May 18th | Time TBD Coaching Session #3
Mon, May 20th | Time TBD Wrap Up & Celebration! In-person


Dwayne Keys works at Compass Working Capital, a non-profit organization dedicated to ending asset poverty with a focus on Black and Latina women-led households specializing in HUD’s Family Self-Sufficiency (FSS) program. Dwayne joined Compass as a financial coach working one-on-one with Compass clients, worked as a Financial Coaching Manager supervising a team of financial coaches, and is currently the Director of Programs, Multifamily in which he oversees Compass’s partnerships and growth of FSS with multifamily owners. Prior to joining Compass in 2017, he spent 13 years working in for-profit banking and financial services, holding roles in customer relationship management, service, and sales. Dwayne is also the Managing Director of D Key Solution, a consulting firm he launched in 2015 that provides services in meeting facilitation, community engagement, and change management with low-to-moderate income Black and Brown communities in areas such as zoning, urban planning, preservation, community development, neighborhood revitalization, small businesses, and overall economic inclusion. Dwayne attended Johnson & Wales University where he earned his A.S. in Retailing, B.S. in Marketing and M.B.A. in International Trade. He is an Accredited Financial Counselor® (AFC®), certified in Financial Social Work and is pursuing his designation as a Certified Associate in Program Management (CAPM). For over 20 years Dwayne has advocated on behalf of historically excluded communities for economic justice and full inclusion in economic prosperity, with a focus on eliminating poverty, preventing displacement, and supporting anti-racism initiatives.

Matt Cavallaro is an industrial designer (RISD ID 2010) with extensive experience bootstrapping a business and building something from little to nothing. He’s started and continue to run two of my his businesses, and he’s been a teacher at RISD since 2012, focusing on machining, mold-making and casting, designing for production, and design methodology. Matt benefited from the pilot year of Design Catalyst, and he’d love to pay that forward.

Jonathan Glatt welcomes history and tradition in everything he creates. These particular bastions have fueled his interests throughout his life and career—formerly as a jeweler, and expert in light metal fabrication. He brings this compendium of knowledge to O&G Studio, an American manufacturer he co-founded in 2009 that’s devoted to the design and creation of fine furniture and interior products. Glatt credits a devoted interest in antiques and a professional stint at Sotheby’s for tipping him towards the revered pedagogy of historical furniture, specifically Windsor chairs, which became the founding heirloom furniture piece offered by O&G Studio. A self-taught furniture designer and maker, Glatt assumed sole ownership in 2019 and embarked on the re-engineering of O&G’s design studio and factory workshops, headquartered in a classic textile mill in the coastal town of Warren, Rhode Island. Under his creative direction, O&G now offers a full collection of interior offerings to accompany the Windsor line, including case goods, accent tables, hardware, lighting, mirrors and upholstery. In addition to his role at O&G Studio, Glatt teaches in the Furniture Department at the Rhode Island School of Design, his alma mater. He resides in an 18th century home near the O&G factory with his wife, Photographer Angel Tucker, two sons, and their two brindle dachshunds, Winslow and Turner.

Mel Rainsberger has over eighteen years of experience in design, new technologies, and interactive media. Her client list includes AARP, WPI, the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD), CVS, Microsoft, Amazon, and the RI Secretary of State. She’s an expert in researching and communicating industry trends and comparable technology experiences; applying and driving design standards across all channels.

By day Mel is the lead UX designer for an insurance startup and develops everything from user flows to testing new product mockups to maintaining our social media presence.

C. Alexander Chiulli represents varied businesses, non-profit organizations, emerging companies, educational institutions, management and consulting organizations, and individuals. Often serving as outside general counsel, Alex regularly assists clients on formation, corporate, contract, governance, employment, regulatory, policy, governmental, real estate, insurance, transactional, and general liability matters. Alex additionally devotes a significant portion of his practice to advising clients on intellectual property, entrepreneurship, Internet, privacy and information, non-profit, and First Amendment law. An experienced litigator, Alex regularly appears before state and federal courts and agencies in Rhode Island and Massachusetts on wide-ranging civil, appellate, and administrative matters, as well as before the United States Patent and Trademark Office’s Trademark Trial and Appeal Board. Before law school, Alex worked for Fortune 500 and start-up businesses in the areas business development, project management, and market research. 


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