12th Annual StartUP! Business Plan Competition

Would you like to earn a grant of $10,000 in funding for your business? Of course you would! In this competition, you will attend classes and then submit a business plan to be judged by a panel of judges in order to win money for your business.

Startup businesses compete in one of three tracks: community, innovation, or food-based. That means that there are three grants of $10,000 each available to winning, Queens-based startups!

In order to compete, you need to complete the following steps:

  1. Read and abide by all rules. They can be found in the link to the right.
  2. Sign up for our mailing list here.
  3. Attend an orientation session listed below (optional)
  4. Attend one of each of the four required classes listed below. Please note that each class is offered four times, but each instance of the same class is the same.
  5. Submit a business plan before March 1st, 2018 here.

Orientation Sessions

Come learn about the program!


All About Business Planning and Research
October 7 @ 10:30 am
November 8 @ 6:30 pm
December 9 @ 10:30 am
January 10 @ 6:30 pm
Creative Sales and Marketing Strategies
October 30 @ 6:30 pm
November 27 @ 6:30 pm
December 20 @ 6:00 pm
January 24 @ 6:30 pm
Business Operations and Management
October 21 @ 10:30 am
November 15 @ 6:30 pm
December 16 @ 10:30 am
January 17 @ 6:30 pm
Developing Financial Statements
October 16 @ 6:30 pm
November 13 @ 6:30 pm
December 2 @ 10:30 am
January 31 @ 6:30 pm

The following class is optional, but recommended. It cannot be used to replace one of the other four required classes.

Legal Considerations For Start-Up Businesses

November 2 @ 6:00 pm January 4 @ 6:00 pm

All classes are held at:

Flushing Library IRC (41-17 Main Street, Flushing, NY 11355)


Dean Blackman: All About Business Planning and Research, Business Operation and Management

From 2005 to 2017, Dean worked for The Church Pension Fund in New York City, where he was a member of the Private Equity Team, which did Venture Capital investments.  He founded and managed his own company DWB Ventures, where he invested in technology ventures. Dean built an entrepreneurial practice in money management at Morgan Stanley and Wachovia Bank (now Wells Fargo) for small business owners.  He has an MBA in Finance and Investments from the Yale School of Management.  He graduated from Columbia University with a BS in Electrical Engineering and spent a decade as a software engineer and consultant, where he worked for a diverse group of companies included a "mom and pop" and startups.  

Seth BornsteinCreative Sales and Marketing

Seth Bornstein is the Executive Director of the QEDC and is responsible for the direction and development of the entire organization. With the staff and the board he endeavors to create programs that will help further the mission of the QEDC. He works closely with government, community and business leaders to design and implement economic development initiatives that will best serve the community.

As the Executive Director Seth is responsible to shaping the marketing program for the organization. The QEDC has many different programs including business services, the Entrepreneur  Space Incubator and the MiQ Pop UP store.  Outreach and marketing are essential in order to inform the community of these programs.  He works with staff and consultants on the QEDC's branding, advertising and social networking programs.  He teaches the monthly 'New Ideas to New Ventures' class and writes the popular monthly 'Letter from the Director' eblast.

Seth has been with the QEDC for the better part of 38 years and is a self proclaimed expert on all things Queens. 

Bill Singh: Developing Financial Statements

Mr. Bill Singh serves as a Director of Financial Planning & Analysis for Genting Americas – a Malaysia based gaming/lodging/leisure multinational company – and oversees the budgeting, planning and analysis and reporting functions. Prior to this, Mr. Singh spent five years in a similar role in northern Nevada for one of the largest gaming/lodging resorts in the area. Mr. Singh holds a Bachelor's of Science in Business Administration from University of Nevada and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) Charterholder.

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