One of the terrariums created by TerrartNYC, a landscaping company dedicated to the manufacture of free-standing terrariums. Photo courtesy of Brooklyn Public Library
18th edition of the Brooklyn Public Library Power on! The business plan competition awarded $ 40,000 to budding entrepreneurs in a virtual pitch competition and awards ceremony on Wednesday night hosted by Joe Connolly, commercial presenter for WCBS NewsRadio 880.
Dime Community Bank presented the grand prize of $ 20,000 to Charly Uzcatequi, Timothy Chu and Henger Ydrogo for TerrartNYC, a landscaping company dedicated to the manufacture of freestanding terrariums in New York.
A jury of business owners, leaders of nonprofit organizations and academics selected TerrartNYC from more than 350 entries, most of whom had no previous business experience.
“PowerUP! celebrates Brooklyn’s long heritage of creative and determined entrepreneurship, ”said Linda E. Johnson, President and CEO of the Brooklyn Public Library. “Our business and career librarians and partners at Dime Bank are ensuring that the next generation of local business owners have the skills and funding they need to pursue their dreams and strengthen their communities. “
A second prize of $ 10,000 was awarded to Jeffrey Jacque, the founder of CeeBak, a new safety device that helps prevent bicycle, board and scooter accidents. A third prize of $ 5,000 was awarded to Lali Honey Wine founded by Samra Ghermay, Naz Habtezgh, Selam Negatu and Aden Fisseha.
Five participants were recognized with awards of excellence and $ 1,000 in seed capital. The merit winners presented their ideas to the audience live on Zoom who voted for their favorite. The winner was Danielle Chéry for DMC Original Art. Chéry received an additional $ 1,000 for winning the crowd favorite.
The other merit winners were: Temika Walker for B4 UR SKN, a vegan herbal skincare brand; Alice Forbes Spear and Jenny Kim-Jacobson for Open Care Acupuncture, which provides low-cost acupuncture and herbal medicine services to all New Yorkers via a sliding scale; Lerone Savage for Soon Forward, an e-commerce shipping platform for local exporters transporting goods to the Caribbean; and Daniel Sheehan and Matthew Sloan for AutoCEQR, a software platform that automates the generation of standard analysis, data and maps required by the New York City Environmental Quality Review for consulting firms in environmental planning and lawyers specializing in land use.
“Dime is once again proud and honored to be the main sponsor of the Brooklyn Public Library PowerUP! On the program this year. As the main sponsor, we love to participate in the program and watch new entrepreneurs here in Brooklyn looking to make them big. This program highlights the spirit of Brooklyn and our great state. And, as a keystone of the community and a financial partner of businesses of all sizes here in Brooklyn for over 100 years, we are excited to see this next wave of entrepreneurs take off and create such success as others can follow, ”said Kevin O’Connor. , CEO of Dime Community Bank.
Power on! started in 2003, to help businesses after September 11. Since then, the PowerUP! donated $ 440,000 to nearly 200 borough entrepreneurs. Many successful Brooklyn businesses have been started with the help of PowerUP! including Bogota Latin Bistro, Island Pops, Green in Brooklyn, Brooklyn Tea, Tinsel Experiential Design, DogSpot, and Greenlight Bookstore.
All attendees have taken courses in topics such as marketing, corporate finance, and the use of library resources. They also received one-on-one business plan help from successful entrepreneurs and business experts.
BPL’s Business & Career Center is supported by Dime Community Bank, PowerUP’s main funder! Business Plan Competition, Dr Beverly S. Jacobs, Ridgewood Savings Bank, Con Edison, Reference Solutions, Elizabeth Crowell & Robert Wilson and Signature Bank.