Who We Are

The StartUP! Business Competition is a signature program at Queens Economic Development Corporation. The program is focused on providing entrepreneurship education, one-on-one start-up assistance, mentoring and $10K seed funding to help businesses get off the ground. The program mission is to drive innovation through entrepreneurship in the most diverse borough in the world. We believe that inclusion is an economic imperative and entrepreneurship is open to everyone, regardless of your gender, race or birthplace.

Sign Up to Learn More!

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Why Participate?

Take Four Workshops or One Bootcamp

Taught by top lean startup practitioners. We provide frameworks, tools and templates to help you test your startup idea.

Get One-on-One Support

We offer office hours with highly experienced startup advisors to help you prepare for the competition.

Win 10k Cash Award

We offer seed funding to help you get started or grow.

Receive feedback, mentorship, networking opportunities

Join QEDC’s network of industry experts, investors and fellow entrepreneurs.

Since 2007, we have had:
68 Winners
$420,000 in Grants
4,000 Participants

Competition Categories


A startup company that relies heavily on technology to power its products or services. Technology is one of its key differentiators.


A non-tech focused startup business that delivers a need or responds to a demand of the community through providing a service or a product in fields such as lifestyle/wellness, fashion, and e-commerce.


startup business with its main activity being the creation and/or sale of a food or beverage product as a wholesaler, manufacturer, or retail business. Any retail storefront including restaurant, coffee shop, specialty food store must be located in Queens.


A startup that uses innovative solutions to help build a healthy planet or creates a product/service that makes a positive impact on our environment.

From Our Winners

This grant allows us to put money towards our new space, marketing, and the equipment and materials needed to run the business.

Ashley Cavadas
Art Strong, Winner 2019

Winning the QEDC StartUP! Competition will help me expand into more stores and help fund distribution, sales, and marketing costs related to the expansion.

Afua Felli
Bosuo Food Group, Winner 2019

Who is the StartUP! Competition for?

Inner Drive

You're a self-starter and are determined to put in the work necessary to make things happen.


You're able to learn from startup experiments quickly, revise the idea, and draw insights based on feedback.


You focus on executing the idea rather than the novelty of the idea itself, and you have a proven ability to do it.


You’re a mission-driven entrepreneur and your startup idea can make a positive impact on the world.