Business & Career Library

PowerUP! Competition: General Information

All Brooklyn Public Library locations will be closed on Thursday, November 27th for Thanksgiving.


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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. 

2013 PowerUP! Winners Announced

1st Place Award - $15,000
Selima Harleston Lust & Tami Lust, Iwilla Remedy
Natural skin care products

2nd Place Award - $5000
Sonja Neill Turner, Brooklyn Sandbox
Childcare and early learning center

Erin Proud, Brooklyn Pattern Company
Sewing patterns for kids clothes

Merit Award - $750
Alia Connor & Igor Bernstein, Pic With Us
Web-based software to create group-sourced slideshows

Lauren Melodia, Milk Not Jails
Dairy product distribution with social justice mission

Erin O’Connor, Hammock Pack
Online gift subscription service for artisanal wares

Honorable Mention Award - $500
Danyel Jones & Robert Heller, Hard Assets Riding Gear
Fashionable, reinforced biking wear for working women

Paige Lipari, Stomach and Spine
A bookstore/café offering Sicilian fare and cookbooks

Jennifer Maurer & Ana Holly, Home Away
A doggy daycare and boarding facility

Yara Ghossein, Letter Collective
One-of-a-kind greeting cards with personalized messages


Over the past eleven 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. "Power UP!" 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 - $15,000
Two Second Place prizes - $5,000
Three Merit Awards - $750
Honorable Mention - $500

How Can I apply?

You must  attend an information session.  Orientations begin the last week of February 2015.  Dates and locations will be announced in January. Details about applying will be provided at orientation sessions.


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