CITI FOUNDATION AWARDS $25K TO BROOKLYN ENTREPRENEURS AT BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY'S POWER UP! COMPETITION

January 15, 2010

CITI FOUNDATION AWARDS $25K
TO BROOKLYN ENTREPRENEURS AT BROOKLYN PUBLIC LIBRARY’S POWER UP! COMPETITION

Winners of Annual PowerUP! Competition Announced

Brooklyn, NY (January 13, 2010)— On Tuesday, January 12, Brooklyn Public Library's Business Library (BPL) announced the winners of its sixth annual PowerUP! Business Plan Competition. Thanks to the generosity of Citi Foundation, the sole sponsor of PowerUP!, the first place winner received $15,000 and the two runners-up received $5,000. A package of services worth $5,000 will also be awarded to all three top entrepreneurs. An additional $3,750 was also awarded amongst six other merit award and honorable mention winners.

"Small businesses play a key role in driving a community's economy by providing needed products and services, as well as helping to create jobs," said Eileen Auld, New York State , Director of Community Relations at Citi. "Citi Foundation is pleased to work collaboratively with Brooklyn Public Library to help make Brooklyn a better place to live and work by once again supporting local entrepreunership through the Power UP! competition. We wish all of the Power Up! winners and all those who participated in the competition much success in their business endeavors."

The 2009-2010 PowerUP! participants attended BPL classes on creating business plans, marketing, budgetary principles, and using resources available at the Business Library and on its website. Of the pool of applicants, 67 submitted business plans that were reviewed by a panel of judges and the top three winners announced last night include:

GRAND PRIZE WINNER ($15,000):
Inside Out Tours, Stacey Toussaint & Sheila Collins (Prospect Heights)
Inside Out Tours will offer “off the beaten path” cultural walking and bus tours of Brooklyn designed to give visitors an intimate look at the artistic, social and cultural diversity of the borough. The Company’s mission is to bring tourist dollars to local communities, as well as to introduce visitors and residents alike to history and vitality of Brooklyn.

SECOND PLACE WINNERS ($5,000 each):
Vokashi Kitchen Waste Solution, Vandra Thorburn (Clinton Hill)
A simple, natural solution to disposing of kitchen refuse, this firm will give residential households and small catering companies the tools to recycle their food waste. Using innovative technology, the business creates a product that quickly ferments discarded food and distributes it to composting sites where it becomes organic soil. The process is natural and easy and sure to appeal to Brooklyn’s eco-friendly residents.

Organic Bed-Stuy, Evelyn Oliver & Darell Brown (Bed-Stuy)
Organic Bed-Stuy will be an organic grocery store located in Bedford Stuyvesant offering quality food at affordable prices to a neighborhood that lacks enough healthy food choices. Through an agreement with a farm in New Jersey, the store will offer fresh and local produce and will focus on the cultural make up of Bed-Stuy, offering recipes and dietary information. Supported by an advisory board of food consultants committed to making healthy food an option, this venture is sure to become a much needed fixture in the neighborhood.

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MERIT AWARD WINNERS ($750 each):
1. 86 List, Gregory Fanslau and Laura Werts (Park Slope,)
Networking and job posting website for the NYC restaurant business.

2. Pop Up Plus, Camille Newman (Canarsie)
Pop-up stores for plus size women.

3. NCS Enterprises, Inc., Simeon Doytchinov (Marine Park,)
A software company which offers a multi-dimensional reporting application.

HONORABLE MENTIONS ($500 each):
1. Brooklyn-Based Coconut Expressions, Bridget Goldsmith (Flatbush)
Coconut milk-based ice cream products made with all natural ingredients.

2. Mama’s Boys Café and Collectibles, Patrick Guglielmo and Eric J Snyder (Clinton Hill)
A neighborhood café that will offer a place to relax in a comfortable setting filled with vintage antique collectibles that are not only decorative, they are for sale! Currently looking for space on Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill.

3. KinderKALENDARS, Emily Morgan (Boerum Hill)
Manufacturer and distributor of bilingual day-at-a-time wall calendars specifically designed for young children who speak English as a second language.

Applications for the 2010-2011 PowerUP! competition and workshop series will be accepted this spring. Orientations begin in March. For more information, please visit http://brooklynpubliclibrary.org/business/powerup/

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