Eligibility Requirements

  • Contestants must be Queens-based entrepreneurs, 18 years of age or older and U.S. citizen or legal residents of the United States.
    • Queens-based is defined as individual applicant or one of the group applicants (no more than 5 people) who belongs to any of the following categories:
      • A Queens resident (Residency must be proved by a New York State driver’s license or New York City ID Card that includes your address) 
      •  A student or a recent graduate (2020, 2021, 2022) of one of the following institutions:
        • Queens College
        • York College
        • Queensborough Community College
        • LaGuardia Community College
        • Vaughn College of Aviation
        • Plaza Business Institute
        • Cornell Tech
      • a client in good standing of the Entrepreneur Space Incubator

      • Graduates of QEDC’s 2022 EAC Cohort
  • 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 eligible applicants and/or the primary and/or secondary team member are required to attend a minimum of 4 online workshops held from October 2022 to February 2023 (If you can’t make all 4 live sessions, no worries; they will be recorded and shared by request). Attending 1 in-person meet-up event qualifies as one of the four workshops.
  • Please make sure you read the Disbursement of Funds page before starting an application. All winners need to submit the required documents in order to receive funds.

Other Rules

  • Real estate businesses (due to their size, nature of business, and capital requirements) along with franchises, affiliate marketing, multi-level marketing, and not-for-profit businesses are NOT eligible to participate in this competition.
  • Businesses do not need to be registered at the time of entry.
  • Competition entrants may enter only once a year, either as an individual or as part of a team. The team must appoint one individual as the team leader.
  • People who have won a previous StartUP! Business Competition are not eligible to enter again.
  • By registering on YouNoodle and joining the “2023 Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge,” individuals accept that they understand the stated rules for all of the team members.
  • Businesses that are not currently paying taxes, are not tax-compliant or not operating with appropriate licenses and permits will forfeit their prize funding if selected as winners.



The Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) holds the right to disqualify any individual or team entrants as we deem appropriate. All conflicts of interest, questions, or unknowns should be disclosed as soon as possible to QEDC staff in order to avoid disqualification. Any information withheld from QEDC staff that is susceptible to being disqualified will result in automatic expulsion of the competition. All final decisions will made at the discretion of the executive director.

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