Providing inspiration for local businesses, one local bank turned the focus on a Brooklyn entrepreneur who successfully took his idea to fruition at a special event held at the branch.
Dime Community Bank at 1545 86th Street in Bensonhurst sponsored the Dime Speaker’s Program networking event on Thurs., Jan. 17. Billed as “From Business Plan to Business Start-Up,” it featured small business entrepreneur Ryan Powers, founder of Red Hook’s Shipwrecked Miniature Golf, who delivered a motivational talk about how to locate, finance and market your own business.
Dime Community Bank attendees included Executive Vice President and Chief Retail Officer Michael Perez, Vice President and Branch Manager Roxanne Benemerito, First Vice President—Regional Director Benedetta LeoGrande and Marketing Officer Andrew Grippo.
Grippo conducted the interview with keynote speaker Powers.
Powers explained that he was able to use the $10,000 prize he won in the Brooklyn Public Library’s PowerUP! competition to help develop his own business. Shipwrecked Miniature Golf at Court and Bay streets, which opened in 2016, is the only indoor miniature golf course in New York City. It has now grown to include escape rooms in its indoor facilities.
“I’m here tonight to talk about how we went from our idea on paper to actually opening up two and a half years ago and not being closed by now,” Powers said.
Powers was introduced to Dime Community Bank through the Brooklyn Public Library’s PowerUP! competition of which Dime is the lead sponsor.
Powers stuck with PowerUP! and now hosts events for it.
“We actually entered the competition twice and we won a runner-up prize both years,” Powers recalled.
“The PowerUP! competition forces you to generate a business plan from scratch,” he added.
What Powers found helpful was having a business plan put down on paper first, then finding ways to come up with all the financials and marketing plans, and then putting all the pieces together.
“The PowerUP! competition really forces you to sit down and make a business plan from start to finish,” he stressed.
According to Grippo, participants can enroll in the competition in the beginning of the year and learn how to access resources in the library to help them develop a business plan. One of the biggest advantages is getting to network with people who are already successful in business.
“The PowerUp! competition is Brooklyn based, and takes place once a year,” Grippo said. “And it’s just getting ready to start up again for 2019. Dime is the lead sponsor for the third year and we’re proud to be partnering with the Brooklyn Public Library,” under whose auspices the competition takes place.
The winners are awarded three levels of prizes. The top prize is $20,000, second prize is $10,000 and the third prize is $5,000.
Entrants can then use that money to open the business they had presented.