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Brooklyn Public Library’s annual PowerUP! Business Plan Competition is for Brooklyn-based startup entrepreneurs. Participants attend classes, receive coaching from a business advisor and learn how to write a business plan, all for free. Seed capital is awarded to the best plans to start their business. 

To apply to the competition, please read the following information thoroughly. The orientation is required and is now online; it will provide instructions on how to apply.

Are you eligible?

  • You must live in Brooklyn.
  • Your business must be planning to start a business in Brooklyn.
  • All businesses must have ideas or business models in the start-up phase, been in business for less than one year and have earned less than $10,000

For more details see our Rules and Eligibility pdf.

What are the requirements?

  • View an online orientation which outlines the rule and requirements of the competition and explains how to submit an application.
  • Answer a series of questions to make sure you understand the rules and requirements.
  • Submit an online application no later than 11:59 PM on April 18.
  • Attend 3 out of 4 virtual classes, including a mandatory class on financial statements.  
  • Meet with a business advisor throughout the competition.
  • Upload your business plan by September 18.

How to Enter:

  1. Attend an in-person orientation or click here to view the online orientation slideshow.
  2. Create an account in the PowerUP! Review Room online platform using the instruction provided in the orientation.
  3. Submit an application through your PowerUP! Review Room account by April 18.


  • $20,000 – 1st Place
  • $10,000 – 2nd Place
  • $5,000 – 3rd Place
  • $1000 for 5 Merit Awards
  • $1000 Audience Choice an additional prize is awarded at the Awards Ceremony

Questions about PowerUP! business plan competition? Contact [email protected]

If you don’t live in Brooklyn there are similar competitions available for residents of Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island and Queens.

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