Award Categories

All entrants must designate one track for their business within the following defined categories for a chance to win $10,000:

  1. Innovative Business Award – A business creating something new, something better, serving an underserved or new market, creation of a new delivery system or distribution channel, has increased integration, or provides a resolution to a problem.
  2. Food-based Business Award – A business with its main activity being the creation and/or sale of a food product as a wholesaler, manufacturer, or retail business.
  3. Community-based Business Award – A business located or mainly active in a Queens neighborhood and delivers a need or responds to a demand of the community. The need or demand being met must create a positive social or environmental impact.


  • Working models or prototypes will not be accepted but can be presented to the judges in the presentation round.
  • The business plan will not be returned after the competition has ended.
  • Any funds used throughout the competition or prior to the competition ending will not be reimbursed. Any money won cannot be used for reimbursement of previous business expenses incurred before March 1st, 2019.


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.