Entrepreneurs win cash for start-ups at Bklyn Public Library’s annual competition

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Congrats to the local entrepreneurs who won $40,000 earlier this month to fund their start-up ideas at the Brooklyn Public Library’s 15th-annual PowerUP! Business Plan Competition. The funds will help the business-minded Brooklynites make their ideas a reality, according to the library’s president and chief executive officer, who also cheered the winners for their achievements.

“We congratulate all of the PowerUP participants for their vision and hard work and look forward to visiting their shops and using their services in the near future,” said Linda Johnson.

Aspiring inventors presented the pitches for their 77 total projects to a panel of judges consisting of business owners, nonprofit leaders, and academics at the Dec. 10 competition, which was co-sponsored by Dime Community Bank, according to Brooklyn Public Library spokeswoman Fritzi Bodenheimer. The experts ultimately awarded the top prize of $20,000 to Prospect Heights resident Jonathan Hessney to fund his company, OnRout, a platform where reps from shipping companies — such as FedEx and United Postal Service — can bid on jobs.

The judges awarded other prizes to locals who pitched their ideas for a tearoom where locals can mingle, and for a contemporary arcade-bar featuring multiplayer video games, Bodenheimer said.— Julianne McShane

Sunset Park

Big welcome

Roll out the welcome mat for Dr. Camilo Correa — a surgical oncologist and the newest faculty member to join the rapidly expanding surgery team at NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn.

Dr. Correa specializes in cancers of the liver, pancreas, bile duct, and intestines, as well as soft tissue tumors, and is an important addition to the medical center to ensure that Brooklynites receive the best care, according to the hospital’s chief of surgery.

“His deep interest and advanced training in cancer research enhances our efforts to offer more complex care right here in Brooklyn,” said Dr. Prashant Sinha.

A native of Colombia, Dr. Correa graduated from Universidad de Antioquia in Medellin. Fluent in Spanish and English, he came to the United States in 2007 for a clerkship and postdoctoral research fellowship at Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston. This was followed by a clinical research fellowship in hepatopanc­reatobiliary (liver, pancreas, and bile duct) surgery at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York.

“I am proud to be part of a team dedicated to the multidisciplinary treatment of malignancies with access to the vast clinical and research resources of NYU Langone’s Perlmutter Cancer Center,” Correa said.

NYU Langone Hospital–Brooklyn [150 55th St. at Second Avenue in Sunset Park, (718) 630–5777].

— Courtney Donahue


In need of help

A group of empowered Brooklyn women is seeking donations to fund their move to a Bedford-Stuyvesant church, where they hope to continue their do-gooder mission — after concluding work on some much-needed renovations.

Charity non-for-profit Sisters with Purpose recently came into possession of the Holy Ghost Tabernacle Church at 1592 Fulton St. between Albany and Troy avenues, which they hope to outfit as their headquarters, and equip with a roof-top garden and gathering space, state-of-the-art dance studio, computer lab, and free community library, in addition to hosting programs including food pantries, back-to-school fairs, and toy drives.

But the sisters — who have served 20,000 pounds of free food to more than 400 Brooklyn families in need, in addition to helping 1,000 kids through their Pathways for Young Leaders program — will have to lean on their big-hearted neighbors to help foot the church’s $60,000 renovation tab, which will fund work, including repairs to structural damage and asbestos remediation.

The group is also looking for an additional $100,000 for supplies and staffing for programs, which they hope to have up and running by June 2019.

Anyone looking to help can donate at

— Colin Mixson

Updated 11:48 am, January 16, 2019
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