QBP RICHARDS ANNOUNCES RETURN OF THE QUEENS TECH + INNOVATION CHALLENGE
Annual initiative will deliver $100K in funding across five winning start-ups
(October 3, 2023 at 10:40am)
QUEENS, NY – Coming off a successful inaugural season in which five winning local start-up companies each received $20,000 in seed funding, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. today announced that his Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge (QTIC) is returning for a second straight year, with the goal of further empowering local entrepreneurs with the skills and funding needed to grow their businesses.
Developed and presented in partnership with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), the QTIC is a multi-month competition for Queens-based entrepreneurs in search of funding. The initiative includes entrepreneurial classes, one-on-one mentorship opportunities and networking events to help applicants develop their pitches, which will be heard by a panel of judges next spring.
“I’ve never been more confident in Queens’ future as a true incubator of innovation and a global leader in tech. With the return of the QTIC, we’re taking a second giant leap toward realizing that immense potential by further investing some of the most ingenious minds in our borough,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “If you have a bright idea for a new business that you want to grow here in Queens, I strongly encourage you to apply and utilize the tools at hand — and funding waiting to be won — to help you do just that.”
“Entrepreneurs provide new services and products, create jobs and pay taxes. And in Queens, they’re the bedrock of the economy. Thus, we’re excited to expand and improve the time-honored QTIC program this year,” said Queens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director SETH BORNSTEIN. “I encourage budding entrepreneurs to register and participate. You’ll definitely learn a lot, in addition to potentially earning important funding.”
The QTIC, sponsored by Resorts World NYC, will again be divided into five categories: Consumer Tech, Enterprise Tech, Sustainability, Community and Food-Based.
To participate in the QTIC, interested individuals must first complete an intake form and a 2-page application between today, October 3, and March 1, 2024. Along with the application, entrepreneurs must submit a video pitch of up to three minutes long, as well as a three-year financial projection. The intake form and application are not required to be completed simultaneously.
Interested individuals must be Queens-based entrepreneurs age 18 and older and will be required to attend a minimum of four online workshops hosted by QEDC, among other criteria, in order to apply. For the full list of eligibility requirements and instructions, click here.
After applying, entrepreneurs will be able to connect with QEDC advisors for one-on-one mentoring sessions and attend a variety of QTIC networking events in the coming months. In Spring 2024, 15 finalists will be selected — three from each category — to participate in Pitch Day, with each finalist pitching their start-up to a panel of judges.
Five winners will be declared — one per category — and each victorious start-up will be awarded with $20,000 in funding.
Last year’s QTIC winners included a local Malaysian gourmet pantry company, a bookshop that highlights authors of color, a waste management operations entity, an analytical software entity and a youth engagement platform. For more information, click here.
The return of the QTIC for a second season represents yet another investment by Borough President Richards in breaking down barriers to entry for Queens residents, especially residents of color, who are interested in the technology and innovation spaces.
In addition to last year’s inaugural QTIC, the Borough President hosted the Queens Tech Fair: Breaking Barriers to Entry in January 2023, specifically geared toward creating a pipeline between communities of color and the tech field.
In furtherance of that mission, Borough President Richards traveled to Lagos, Nigeria — seen as the Silicon Valley of Africa — on a July 2023 fact-finding mission, meeting with local government officials and tech entrepreneurs regarding ways to replicate their successes here in The World’s Borough.
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