The 2022 StartUP! Competition is now open!
Finalists will be selected in late March
Final pitch and winners will be announced in April
What is the program?
The StartUP! Competition is a 4-month program for Queens-based startup founders and small business entrepreneurs who are at the early stages of developing their businesses. The program is run by Queens Economic Development Corporation. We believe that inclusion is an economic imperative and entrepreneurship is open to everyone, regardless of your gender, race or birthplace. This program is funded by a grant from Resorts World Casino New York City and supported by the Queens Public Library and Srivastava Technology Fund.
Program dates: Participants can enter the program anytime between September 1, 2021 and March 1st, 2022. The applications are due March 1, 2022 23:59:59 EST
What does the program offer?
Our 4-month program is completely free. Participants are provided with high level entrepreneurial classes, a diverse peer-to-peer community, support from QEDC advisors & mentors and four $10,000 grants. During the 4 months, participants can leverage the program resources and network to start and grow their startup businesses. Qualified teams will be able to enter the competition and have an opportunity to win a $10,000 cash prize.
How does it work?
▸ Attend/watch 4 workshops. This year, we have 6 live and 10 recorded workshops. You can pick any 4 out of 16 workshops to watch. Live workshop schedule will be posted here. Recorded workshops are listed on our Community resource page. You need to join the StartUP community in order to watch it. The schedule is posted here. If you miss them, no worries: they will be available online here
▸ Join our private online community and get connected with other entrepreneurs.
▸ Complete a 2-page online application and submit by March 1st, 2022 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.
▸ 12 finalists (individuals/teams) will be selected to present to a panel of judges – 3 finalists from each category
▸ 4 winners will each receive $10,000 cash prize – 1 from each category
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.
Who is the StartUP! Competition 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.
Frequently Asked Questions
1) Contestants must be Queens-based entrepreneurs who are 18 years of age or older and U.S. citizens or legal residents of 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 100K in annual sales) OR have tested the startup idea and are able to provide proofs of user testing or customer feedback.