A children’s center, a butcher shop, a design firm and a tech-design agency were the big winners of Queens Economic Development Corp.’s annual StartUP! Business Competition last Thursday. Thanks to support from Resorts World Casino New York City and Srivastava Technology Fund, each entity will receive $10,000 to grow their business.

Thuy Petersen’s House of Playful Soul, left, took top honors in the Community category. The Forest Hills learning and development center provides parents with flexible play, class, party and event options for children between the ages of six months and four years.

She Designs Creative Agency, which is led by Sharae Gibbs of St. Albans, center left, triumphed in the Tech category. The all-female company offers UI and UX online courses, mentorship and coaching to women of color and non-binary people.

Terrart NYC, which is owned by Fresh Meadows residents Charly Uzcátegui and Tim Chu, center right, emerged victorious in the Sustainability category. They devise beautiful, natural floral arrangements inside terrariums for commercial, office and residential spaces. Their collection features recycled containers such as liquor bottles, light bulbs and jars.

Jamaica resident Abou Sow, right, and Prince Abou’s Butchery won in the Food category. The online retailer specializes in local Halal meats sourced from small, family-run farms just a few hours from New York City. Sow slaughters, butchers and delivers meat to customers within a week of ordering to ensure that the products are fresh.

Now in its 15th year, StartUP! is a four-month instruction course and competition, run by the Queens Economic Development Corp., for borough-based startup founders and small business entrepreneurs in the early stages of development. After attending workshops, contestants submit their applications to a panel of judges consisting of entrepreneurship and commerce experts. Finalists enter a final round in which a second panel picks the winners in the four categories.

“I’m inspired by the winners’ entrepreneurial spirit,” stated Genting New York State President Robert DeSalvio. “Their innovation and ingenuity are why startups are the lifeblood of any economy, and on behalf of Resorts World Casino New York City, I want to congratulate the winners on this amazing achievement.”

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