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More than $30K awarded to Brooklyn-based startups in Business Plan Competition

December 10, 2014 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
From left: Brooklyn Public Library President & CEO Linda Johnson and Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams join Brooklyn-based entrepreneur Vander Carter as he celebrates winning the Brooklyn Public Library's PowerUP! Business Plan competition. Photo by Gregg Richards, courtesy of BPL
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Brooklyn Public Library (BPL) on Tuesday night celebrated the finalists and winners of the 11th Annual PowerUP! Business Plan Competition, an event designed to enhance the borough’s economic development by incubating small businesses and supporting Brooklyn’s creative community. The PowerUP! Business Plan competition has helped launch more than 50 Brooklyn-based startups in the past 10 years.

The competition was designed by the Business Library’s Success Council to promote the number of free and accessible services, information and resources at BPL, while supporting innovative business growth. This year, 519 teams with more than 650 individuals participated and submitted a combined total of 91 business plans, competing for the first place cash prize of $15,000.

The 2014 winners are Vander Carter for JestGreen (1st Place Award; $15,000), Mina Marsow for Prospect Gymnastics (2nd Place Award; $5,000) and Shaun Jaffier for Droplet (2nd Place Award, $5,000).

News for those who live, work and play in Brooklyn and beyond

JestGreen is a new street food vendor featuring locally sourced greenery and juices. The company’s mission is to provide salad as a convenience food that is healthy for both the body and the planet.

Prospect Gymnastics offers developmental gymnastics classes, indoor play, birthday parties and events for children aged 18 months to 4 years. The brand new 750-square foot indoor space on Church Avenue fills a void in the Flatbush area and already has 50 students enrolled.

Droplet is a mobile application that is part audio recorder, part photo gallery, part social network that combined represents a new communication medium. Users have the opportunity to create, collect and share short-form sound embedded images.     

A diverse group of contestants comprised this year’s PowerUP! Competition. Participants represent every zip code in Brooklyn, 26% are immigrants or were born in a different country and more than two thirds are women. All participants — 50% of whom are using BPL for the first time — attended classes at the library focused on creating effective business, marketing plans and financial projections and met with business advisors for free. 


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