If running your own business is your goal, let SIBL help! It's not too late to enter the 2012 New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition with three remaining orientations scheduled for December. In this posting, though, I glance back to September's lively Awards Ceremony closing the 2011 New York StartUP! Business Plan Competition. The evening epitomized the synergies that SIBL creates as it connects its users to organizations, experts, information sources — and each other.
First, the 2011 StartUP! numbers. The 9-month competition drew 900 people to orientation sessions. Of the 500+ aspiring entrepreneurs who entered, over 300 attended the 4 required technical workshops. Forty-eight entrants submitted full business plans.
The panel of judges selected 10 finalists. Half of the ventures were web-based. This being NYC, three were fashion firms designing apparel and accessories, and one enterprise was food-related. The winner was a traditional bricks and mortar operation, the eco-friendly Peartree Pre-school in Harlem whose founder, Denise Adusei, is shown on the right accepting her $15,000 first prize from Citi's Eileen Auld.
Meet the other top winners in this short video.
The 2011 awards ceremony exemplified SIBL's connections across the local small business community. For the reception we chose to showcase caterers who are walking adverts for SIBL's business advisory partners. Bogota Latin Bistro won the 2003 Brooklyn PowerUP! Competition, which like StartUP! is funded by the Citi Foundation. Bogota's owners, George Constantinou Fernandes and Farid Ali Lancheros are also alums of not one but two other SIBL partners, the Workshop in Business Opportunities (WIBO) and FastTracNYC, programs in which SIBL librarians teach market research resources.
The second reception caterer, Superwings, was recommended by Pravina Raghavan, the SBA New York District Director, who keynoted the Awards ceremony and served as a 2011 StartUP! judge. Superwing's owner, Colette Burnett, won a Bobby Flay Throwdown for spicy chicken wings.
Love U Bake's cupcake extravaganzaDessert was provided by Love U Bake, a merit awardee in a business plan competition sponsored by a local bank. The firm's owner, Annette Olmo, is a client of the Bronx Women's Business Resource Center whose director, Marcia Cameron, also a StartUP! judge, hosts good programs on timely issues like social media marketing.
Of course, SIBL doesn't just forge stong B2B connections. It also serves as a great information resource. Check these resources for model plans for a wide range of business types.
Two sites from the Small Business Administration (SBA)
And one from SCORE, whose New York Chapter has an office at SIBL
This final site is offered as a free resource from PaloAlto Software, a private firm whose products include business plan software.