Photo Courtesy of QEDC
Kristin Westbrook’s Astoria-based Calm City mobile meditation van.
By Michael V. Cusenza
Queens was the big winner Thursday as The World’s Borough proudly placed the next three barons of business on a virtual pedestal after they emerged victorious following the Queens Economic Development Corporation’s 14th annual StartUP! Business Plan Competition.
According to QEDC, Emily Wazlak and Shine Registry prevailed in the “Technology” category. Her Flushing-based business connects women for networking and the interchange of ideas and information. Shine’s website hosts profiles of agencies and their founders with wedding registry-style lists of items, actions, and contact information.
Dianna Rose’s Jars of Delight, which creates and distributes zero-waste meal kits, took top honors in the “Sustainability” category. Her Jamaica entity provides socially conscious catering services throughout the NYC metropolitan area. After COVID-19 emerged, she pivoted temporarily to feeding frontline workers with compostable boxes at local hospitals.
And the “Community” award went to Kristin Westbrook and Calm City, a mobile meditation van.
Her Astoria-based team operates an RV with soft seating and minimalist interior design in which clients meditate in 10-minute sessions. It circulates in the five boroughs as per a public schedule.
According to QEDC, StartUP! is a five-month instruction course and competition. During this recent cycle, more than 250 participants received technical assistance and training on such topics as operations, marketing, and financial statements, while also enjoying access to Queens Library’s resources. After attending workshops, a total of 50 teams submitted anonymous business plans to a panel of judges consisting of local commerce experts.
Each entrepreneur and her team received $10,000 from Resorts World Casino New York City, to invest in the companies, QEDC officials noted.