Queens Gazette

Annual StartUP! Competition Helping Entrepreneurs Is Starting

The 2019 StartUP! Business Competition winners with their prize money.

The 2019 StartUP! Business Competition winners with their prize money.

Do you live in Queens? Are you looking to start a business or grow an existing one? Would a $10,000 grant, some free instruction, and one-on-one consultations with experienced advisors help?

The latest StartUP! Business Competition will run from November 2020 to March 2021, thanks to the Queens Economic Development Corporation, Resorts World Casino New York City, Queens Public Library, and the Srivastava Technology Fund.

Now in its 15th year, StartUP! is a four-month program for solo entrepreneurs and teams who are in the early stages of developing or growing their businesses. The instruction is online this year, and participants must attend four free, one-hour workshops on the following topics: Identify and Validate Customer Needs and Problems; Develop and Test Your Business Model; Branding Strategies for Startups; and Financial Statement Basics for Startups. (The sessions will be recorded and shared by request.)

At the same time, participants will have access to a diverse peer-to-peer networking community and technical support from QEDC advisors, who offer free, 30-minute phone consultations.

After attending a fourth session, applicants have until March 1, 2021 to complete and submit an online application to enter StartUP! in any of the following four categories: Technology, Community, Food, and Sustainability. Three finalists from each category will present their plans to a panel of judges. Then the judges will select one $10,000 winner in each category.

Since it began in 2006, StartUP! has awarded a total of $450,000 in grants to 71 winners chosen from a combined pool of 4,300 participants.

QEDC believes that inclusion is an economic imperative and entrepreneurship is open to everyone, regardless of gender, race or birthplace. For more info on these programs and other services, go to www.queensny.org.

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