Months-long initiative to deliver $20K in funding for winning start-ups


QUEENS, NY – Four months after pledging in his State of the Borough address to make Queens a leading hub of innovation and technology, Borough President Donovan Richards Jr., today announced the launch of his inaugural Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge (QTIC), with the goal of empowering local entrepreneurs with the skills and funding needed to grow their start-ups.

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.

“As we rebuild our economy in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Queens must be a true incubator of innovation and a leader of the growing tech movement. With the Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge, we’re empowering some of the brightest minds in the borough to ensure just that,” said Borough President RICHARDS. “From entrepreneurial classes and mentoring events to funding, the QTIC will be a game-changer for those looking to turn their dreams into a reality. Thank you to QEDC and all our partners for helping make this competition possible.”

“At QEDC, we strongly believe that entrepreneurs are the bedrock of the borough’s economy. Thus, we’re very excited to expand this time-honored QTIC program and reach more people this year,” said Queens Economic Development Corporation Executive Director SETH BORNSTEIN. “I encourage all budding entrepreneurs to sign up and participate. You’ll learn a lot and you might get some extremely helpful funding. I’d also like to thank Borough President Donovan Richards Jr., Flushing Bank, Resorts World NYC, Google, Meta, NYC Tech, and Microsoft for their generous support.”

The QTIC will be divided into five categories: Urban Tech, Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, Aviation and Hospitality Technology, 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 4, and March 1, 2023. 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 on how to apply, 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 2023, 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. One winner will be declared in each category and awarded with $20,000 in funding.

Entities providing financial support for the QTIC include Flushing Bank, Resorts World NYC, Google, Meta and NYC Tech, with Microsoft providing additional in-kind support.

“We are proud to have been a part of the growth and development of Queens for over 90 years. The QTIC initiative is an exciting program that will establish Queens as a center of innovation and technology and create unique opportunities for the underserved in our community by providing mentoring, coaching, and ultimately high-paying jobs,” said Flushing Bank President and CEO JOHN R. BURAN. “We are proud to partner with the Queens Borough President’s office and the other sponsors on this exciting new program.”

“We are proud to support this new initiative that will bring out the innovative vision and entrepreneurial spirit of the next generation of business leaders in Queens. This challenge will help to break down barriers and provide entrepreneurs with access to mentors, networking opportunities and a chance to sharpen their next big idea,” said Resorts World NYC Vice President of Community Development MICHELLE STODDART. “Borough President Richards is leading on an issue dear to us all—providing young men and women in Queens with a chance to realize their dream.”

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