You are reading

Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge returns for second season

Oct. 4, 2023 By Bill Parry

Coming off a successful inaugural season in which five Queens start-up companies each received $20,000 in seed funding, Queens Borough President Donovan Richards announced Tuesday that his Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge (QTIC) is returning for a second straight year. The competition seeks to empower borough entrepreneurs with the skills and funding needed to take their businesses to the next level.

Developed and presented in partnership with the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC), the Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge 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 blue-ribbon panel of judges next spring.

The application process is now open for the multi-month competition for Queens-based entrepreneurs in search of funding. Courtesy of the Queens Borough President’s Office

“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,” Richards said. “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.”

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 two-page application between now and March 1. 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 aged 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 go to

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.

Borough President Donovan Richards congratulates one of the winners of the inaugural competition. Courtesy of the Queens Borough President’s Office

“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,” QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein said. “I encourage budding entrepreneurs to register and participate. You’ll definitely learn a lot, in addition to potentially earning important funding.”

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.

Recent News

“New York’s Funniest Stand-Up” with Matt Koff

Dec. 6, 2023 by Jill Carvajal

The “New York’s Funniest Stand-Up” competition recently celebrated its 15th year as part of the annual New York Comedy Festival both founded by Caroline Hirsch of Caroline’s on Broadway. New York’s Funniest and previous winners have gone on to become some of the biggest names in comedy.

CB 7 votes to approve phase two of development plan that would bring NYCFC soccer stadium, affordable housing to Willets Point

Community Board 7 (CB 7) on Dec. 4 voted overwhelmingly to approve phase two of the Willets Point Revitalization Plan that will bring 2,500 units of 100% affordable housing — the city’s biggest affordable housing community since the 1980s — a 650-seat public elementary school, a 250-room hotel and a 25,000 soccer stadium as the new home for the New York City Football Club, on what was known as the Iron Triangle across Tom Seaver Way from Citi Field.

Disbarred Queens lawyer pleads guilty to defrauding clients out of millions in real estate scheme: Feds

A disbarred Murray Hill lawyer on Dec. 1 pleaded guilty to defrauding his clients in Brooklyn federal court.

Hyun W. Lee, 51, also known as “Michael Lee,” of Closter, New Jersey, was accused of stealing millions of dollars from his clients in real estate transactions while operating at his law office at 163-07 Depot Rd. in Murray Hill. He pleaded guilty to wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud his real estate clients and their counterparties of funds held in his attorney escrow account.