May 1, 2018 By Tara Law
Three Queens entrepreneurs have each won a $10,000 prize awarded by the Queens Economic Development Corporation and Queens Library for their unique business plans.
The competition was the culmination of the 12th annual StartUP! program, where 350 budding entrepreneurs received training and technical assistance on business operations, marketing and finances.
Forty-two applicants submitted business plans for the top prize with a winner named in three categories: Community, Food and Innovation. The prize money, which will be used to kick-start their businesses, was funded by Resorts World Casino.
Rebecca Deutsch, a Kew Gardens Hills resident whose business is called Impact Fashion, won in the competition’s “Community” category. Deutsch’s business plan involves designing dresses for Orthodox Jewish women. Her strategy is to donate 10 percent of her profits to charities that serve the religious community.
Movitzsa Simmons, a Long Island City resident and the founder of Smooth Pops, won in the “Food” category. Smooth Pops makes all-natural ice popsicles blended with fruit pulp. Simmons started her business because she was unable to find natural popsicles to give her toddler.
Victor Hunt, a Jamaica resident, won the “Innovation” category along with his partners Aaron and Ethan Resnick. The trio founded Paragon Real Estate Technologies, which allows building managers to requests bids from contractors online.