Business & Career Center

PowerUP! Competition

New! In addition to BPL's annual PowerUP! competition, there is now a business plan competition for Kreyol speakers.  Find out how you can participate in PowerUP! KREYOL
Si ou se yon antreprenè ayisyen ou kalifye pou ou patisipe nan Plan Biznis Konpetisyon PowerUP! KREYOL Brooklyn Public Library a.


CALLING ALL ENTREPRENEURS – Be Part of Brooklyn Public Library's Annual PowerUP! Business Plan Competition.
¿Te gustaría estar en PowerUP!, la Competencia de Planes de Negocios para Emprendedores? Haga clic aquí.
PowerUP! logo

 Turn your business idea into a reality with help from the Library and you may win $15,000 in start up capital. Entrepreneurs throughout Brooklyn are eligible to participate in Brooklyn Public Library's PowerUP! Business Plan Competition.  All contestants have access to free resources and services to help them write a business plan.  View our slideshow to see how the PowerUP! competition rewards the ingenuity and determination of ALL participants. Everyone is a Winner!

Participants attend classes at the Library on creating business plans, marketing, financial projections, and doing research with Library resources. They are also connected to business counselors in the community.

Citi Foundation as the sole sponsor of PowerUP!, is committed to making Brooklyn a great place to live and work by supporting local entrepreneurship through the business plan competition. 

2015 PowerUP!  Winners Announced

1st Place Award - $15,000
Shelly Marshall, Island Pops
Hand-crafts and delivers tropical flavored ice cream to customers throughout Brooklyn

2nd Place Award - $5000
Chelsea Brownridge, Dog Parker
Temporary use kennels, placed in high-traffic retail areas, for owners to secure their dogs while doing errands

Sarah Metz, The Fillery 
A bin-and-barrel grocery store, offering items in flexible quantities, using eco-friendly containers

Merit Award - $750
Jessica Edouard-McDonald & Warren McDonald, The Baker's Keeper
A retail store selling high quality baking products and supplies

John & Elissa Garay, BQE Tours
Small group walking tours incorporating encounters with local artists, artisans and entrepreneurs

Ryan Powers & Chris Schneider, Shipwrecked
A theatrical, indoor, miniature golf experience located in Red Hook

Honorable Mention Award - $500
Jody-Ann Allen, Diva Designers A subscription service for young girls to learn to sew

Michaela Grob, Riverdel A gourmet, dairy-free cheese shop in Prospect Heights

Byron McCray, Brush & Sip A creative outlet for adult and child painters of all levels

Hoi Nguyen, Roll Play A fast-casual restaurant offering made-to-order Vietnamese spring rolls

Courtney Sheets, Runaway Laser Studio A laser cutting and engraving service for local designers and small businesses

Liz Tortolani, cityWell Brooklyn An eco-friendly boutique bathouse, in the Gowanus neighborhood, offering spa services and wellness education


Over the past thirteen years the competition has fostered the development of a host of new businesses. You may view the list of past winners and read more about them. Join the competition, and you may be on the list next year!

Who Can Enter?

If you live in Brooklyn and want to start a business in Brooklyn, you are eligible. "PowerUP!" is a competition to help applicants start a business. Additional details, including the competition rules and the application process will be supplied at each orientation session.

What Are the Prizes?

First Place Award - $15,000
Two Second Place Awards - $5,000
Five Merit Awards - $1000

How Can I apply?

You must attend an Orientation Session. Application details will be provided at orientation sessions. Registration for the following dates will open on January 31. Register online by scrolling through the calendar to the date of your choice.

2017 Orientation Dates

Central Library, Dweck Center,
10 Grand Army Plaza

Saturday, February 18
9:00 – 10:30 am

Wednesday, February 22
9:00 – 10:30 am

Monday, February 27
6:00 – 8:00 pm

Please check back for more dates to be scheduled in March and April.








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PowerUP! is brought to you by the Brooklyn Public Library's Business Library Success Council and Citi Foundation.

Citi Foundation is the Lead Sponsor of the PowerUP! Business Plan Competition.