Queens Economic Development Corporation announces four winners of annual StartUP! competition

QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein presents a check to one of the QEDC StartUP! winners, Courtney Stern. (Photo courtesy of QEDC)

The Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC) on Monday, May 9, announced the four winners of the 16th annual Queens StartUP! Business Plan Competition, a five-month challenge and instruction course sponsored by Resorts World New York City. 

Each winner of the QEDC StartUP! competition received $10,000 to jumpstart their new business.

“Since entrepreneurs are the bedrock of the borough’s economy, I congratulate and commend this year’s StartUP! winners and wish them the best of luck in the future,” said Seth Bornstein, QEDC executive director. “And as always, I wholeheartedly thank Resorts World New York City, which has supported QEDC in so many ways since its opening. Finally, if anybody has an idea for a new business, please consider enrolling in the next StartUP! program this fall.”

Adelaide Paul, who was born in Dominica and lives in Cambria Heights, took first place in the “food” category with her Dekkade Foods seasoning brand. This tropical blend of all-natural herbs and spices adds aroma and flavor to marinades, pesto, sauces and meat.

QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein presents a check QEDC StartUP! winner Adelaide Paul. (Photo courtesy of QEDC)

In the “technology” category, Courtney Stern and Broad Channel resident Sondra Young won for Park Watch, a free app that helps motorists find free street parking.

Eli Goldman, of Astoria, received top honors in the “community” category for Tikkun BBQ. Goldman makes and sells delicious smoked meats from host brick-and-mortar venues and donates half of the proceeds to local charities, such as Safe Horizon, Make-A-Wish Foundation and the Astoria Food Pantry.

The champions in the “sustainability” category were Aimee Wu and Nancy B Uddin from XING Studios. The Flushing-based fashion label pays above-market wages to local seamstresses to produce made-to-order clothing from upcycled fabrics.

Over the course of this year’s StartUP! competition, about 200 participants received technical assistance and training on such business topics as operations, marketing and financial statements, while also enjoying access to advice from experts. Then, many of them submitted business plans to selected judges, who determined the winners.

Founded in 1977, QEDC strives to create and retain jobs through programming that assists small businesses, encourages entrepreneurship, and promotes our community with an emphasis on supporting those of low-to-moderate income, women, minorities and immigrants.