Five Queens startups win $20,000 each in 2024 Tech + Innovation Challenge

The winners celebrate at Resorts World New York City on May 8. Michelle Stoddart from Resorts World, Deputy Borough President Ebony Young, QEDC Executive Director Seth Bornstein, and David Tanis from Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates are also in group.
Photo courtesy of QEDC

A diverse range of businesses, including a yoga studio, an olive oil distributor, a female health care provider, a sustainable mushroom farmer, and an AI-powered physical therapy service, have been named winners of the 2024 Queens Tech + Innovation Challenge (QTIC). Each winner will receive a $20,000 grant to support their business operations.

The QTIC, now in its second year, is facilitated by a partnership between the office of Borough President Donovan Richards Jr. and the Queens Economic Development Corporation (QEDC). This innovative program offers a combination of instructional courses and competitive funding aimed at helping local entrepreneurs secure the resources and knowledge needed to either start or expand their businesses.

The competition attracted 132 applications and ran over five months, including one-on-one consultations, networking events, and workshops covering topics like operations, marketing, and financial management. Contestants were required to submit detailed business plans, which were then evaluated by a panel of judges, assigning one winner for each of the five categories: Consumer Tech, Enterprise Tech, Sustainability, Community, and Food.

This year’s winners are:

Community: I Am Yogi Studios (Felicia Robertson) blends yoga techniques, education, culture, and empowerment.
Consumer Tech: Neuemoon Health (Michelle Ng) helps women treat endometriosis, fibroids, and other menstruation-related health issues.
Enterprise Tech: TheraMotive (Lola Omishore) designs, builds, and delivers AI-powered physical therapy.
Food & Beverage: Huwa (Bilal Othman) produces and distributes sustainably harvested olive oil from Palestine.
Sustainability: Afterlife Ag Inc. (Winson Wong + Sierra Alea) upcycles food waste to grow fresh and sustainable mushrooms. The company strives to reduce landfill waste while also feeding populations. It currently works with more than 35 customers in NYC and supplies 15 types of mushrooms.

QTIC continues the legacy of the Queens StartUP! Business Plan Competition, which was hosted annually by QEDC from 2006 to 2023 before being enhanced and rebranded in collaboration with the Borough President’s Office. This year’s sponsors include Resorts World New York City, AT&T, Patrick B. Jenkins & Associates, Tech NY, and JetBlue Ventures, all supporting the ongoing development and diversification of Queens’ economic landscape.