Queens Borough President Donovan Richards boldly stated in his speech Status of the District earlier this year that “the next Apple or Twitter will be born here in Queens,” and the former City Manager is putting his money where his mouth is. .
In October, Richards announced the launch of the Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge (QTIC), a five-month competition program for aspiring, Queens-based entrepreneurs to receive $20,000 in funding and take classes entrepreneurs to help develop their businesses. In partnership with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), Richards compares this opportunity to “Shark Tank,” ABC’s business television show, but for local startups in Queens.
“As we rebuild our economy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Queens must be a true driver of innovation and a leader in the growth of technology,” the Borough President said in a statement. “With the Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge, we’re empowering some of the brightest minds in the borough to ensure that.”
I turn up, Queensland entrepreneurs must be at least 18 years old and need to submit a two-page application between now and March 1, 2023, along with a video that three-minute and “a three-year financial model.” In addition, all prospective applicants must attend at least four QEDC online courses.
After applying, investors are welcome to attend QTIC networking events and meet for one-on-one presentations with QEDC advisors.
“At QEDC, we strongly believe that entrepreneurs are the foundation of the county’s economy,” QEDC director Seth Bornstein said in a statement. “I encourage all new business owners to sign up and join. You will learn a lot and you might even get some great help.”
The competition, according to a press release, is divided into five areas: urban technology, big data and artificial intelligence, aviation and hospitality technology, community, and food. In spring 2023, three finalists from each category will be selected to participate in Pitch Day and appear before a panel of judges to present their resumes. .
After all awards, one business from each category will be awarded $20,000 in funding due to financial support for the competition from Flushing Bank, Resorts World NYC, Google, Meta, and Tech:NYC, as follows also with additional support from Microsoft.
“The QTIC initiative is an exciting program that will establish Queensland as a center of innovation and technology and create unique opportunities for those underserved in our community by providing of mentoring, education, and ultimately high-paying jobs,” Flushing Bank President and CEO John R. Buran released in a statement. “We are proud to partner with the Queens Borough President’s office and other sponsors in this exciting new program.”
In addition to QTIC, Richards called the Queens Tech Fair an “effort to eliminate inequality in our growing technology industry,” noting that while 29% and 24% of New Yorkers are Latina and Black, respectively, these numbers fall to 12. % and 11%, respectively, in “tech workers.” Richards also said that women are “half the city” but only 35% of tech jobs.
“This challenge will help break down barriers and give entrepreneurs access to mentors, networking opportunities and a chance to power their next big idea,” the Vice President of Development Community Michelle Stoddart of Resorts World NYC released a statement. “President Richards is leading a cause that is dear to all of us – giving the young men and women of Queensland a chance to fulfill their dreams.”