An opportunity to win a $20,000 prize on your own timeline.
What is the program?
The program is designed to help busy entrepreneurs launch or grow their startup. Its flexible schedule allows participants to join at any time between October 2022 to February 2023.
Presented by the Queens Borough President Donovan Richards and Queens Economic Development Corporation, the multi-week program offers high-level entrepreneurial classes, one-on-one office hours with QEDC mentors & advisors, networking events with startup founders, and cash prizes (five $20K awards).
Program dates: Participants can enter the program in the fall. The applications are due March 1, 2023 23:59:59 EST
This year we offer 8 LIVE workshops from October, 2022 to January, 2023 – All virtual. The classes are not cohort-based, which means that participants can join at any time to select and take LIVE workshops or watch the recordings. Workshop speakers are a combination of industry leaders, domain experts and startup founders. Check out a list of workshops here.
MENTORS AND ADVISORS
Participants in the program will be able to make one-on-one consultations with QEDC advisors and mentors. Our advisors and mentors come from a variety of industries and have at least 10 years experience in their field. You can check out their expertise and availability here.
We will be hosting different types of events from October 2022 to May 2023, including in-person founders networking events, AMA (Ask Me Anything) sessions, Founder’s Pitch Day, Finalists and Winners Announcement, and our Award Ceremony.
The program selects one winner from each category, with FIVE winners in total. The winners will EACH be awarded $20,000 with no strings attached.
Urbantech: Smart City and LoT
A startup that uses technology to solve problems for cities and to improve the urban quality of life. Smart solutions can affect multiple aspects of our lives, ranging from transportation, safety, social connectedness, environment and urban institutions such as hospitals, schools, libraries, etc. LoT is broadly defined as an internet-connected sensor that can collect and share data. It enables Smart City initiatives worldwide.
Big Data and AI
A startup that relies heavily on data analytics or/and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to power its product or service. The category covers many different types of startups: including but not limited to consumer software, enterprise software, Blockchain, Future of Work, Fintech, Healthcare, Robotics, Machine Learning.
Aviation and Hospitality Technology
The aviation and hospitality industry is an important sector in Queens that employs over 100,000 people. Startups that solve problems for consumers or businesses in those areas would further strengthen these sectors.
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.
A 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.
How to Apply?
- Fill out the in-take form
- Take a minimum of 4 workshops (Live or recorded) from October 2022 to February 2023. Live workshop schedule will be posted on the Event page. If you miss them, no worries: they will be posted on our Video Library. You can find all other recorded workshops there too.
- Complete a 2-page online application and submit by March 1st, 2023 to enter the competition. As part of the application, you will be required to submit a 1-3 minute video pitch as well as a 3-year financial projection. You can download a projections template for technology and consumer startups.
Who is the Queens Tech & Innovation Challenge for?
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.
What Our Former Participants Are Saying:
Frequently Asked Questions
1) 1) Contestants must be Queens-based entrepreneurs who are 18 years of age or older and U.S. citizens or legal residents in the United States. (Queens-based is defined as an individual applicant or one of the group applicants (no more than 5 people) who is a Queens resident).
2) Contestants must EITHER demonstrate sales (less than 150K in annual sales) OR have tested the startup idea and are able to provide proofs of user testing or customer feedback.
All qualified applications will be sent to our 1st panel of judges for review. The judges will give scores and feedback for each application. Based on the scores, we will announce three finalists from each category. The 15 finalists will present to our 2nd panel of judges who will select a winner from each category.
5 winners will each receive a $20,000 prize.