Competition Offers $30K in Cash to Queens Startups

By Ewa Kern-Jedrychowska on August 28, 2012 1:47pm 

Winners of the 2011 Food-Based Business category, Kenneth Chen and Ann Yu, owners of  Itizy Gourmet Ice Cream Truck
Winners of the 2011 Food-Based Business category, Kenneth Chen and Ann Yu, owners of Itizy Gourmet Ice Cream Truck
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The Queens Economic Development Corp.

LONG ISLAND CITY — May the best Queens startup business win.

The Queens Economic Development Corp. launched its annual StartUp! Business Competition — putting $30,000 cash on the line to help three budding companies get a head start.

Competitors will attend a series of free workshops held between October and January at the Queens Central Branch Library (seminars will also be available online) and will be judged on the strength of their business plan.

During the sessions, experts will give the participants — who must live in Queens and have businesses based in the borough — tips about different aspects of running a business, from writing a business plan and marketing to operations and technology.

This year for the first time Queens College students can also participate in the training sessions and receive the same business counseling as the other contestants.

The student winner of the competition, which is sponsored by the The Citi Foundation, will be awarded $5,000.

“The Citi Foundation supports several competitions throughout New York City to encourage innovation among entrepreneurs and create jobs in communities where they are needed most,” said Rei Perez, Citi Community Officer for Queens in a statement.

The program is very competitive with 293 people signing up last year, according to Rob MacKay, from the Queens Economic Development Corporation. Then, the participants, organized in 42 teams, submitted business plans to the judges.

The three winners last year included the owners of an all-natural ice cream truck, Itizy Gourmet, a startup providing accent reduction services, Better Speech Now, and a company manufacturing a label kit designed to organize purses with labels that eliminate the need to dig through a filled purse, Addicks Enterprises with its Seez-It labels.

Business plans are due March 1, 2013.

For more information about the competition, go to the competition website.

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