My Business Plan is a NYPL/Citi Competition Finalist!


It was just announced that my plan for The Lit. Bar is a finalist in the New York Public Library’s New York StartUp! Business Plan Competition. You guys that have been down with the 1stNoëlle Nation for some time know how much I’ve put into this and what’s at stake, but if you’re new here (or need a refresher), check out my post Wish Me Luck in the NYPL’s Business Plan Competition.

What’s next…

On Tuesday, August 9th (also my payroll day, sh*t), I will be presenting my business plan in person to a panel of judges. I get 20-minutes to wow them: 10 to present, 10 to answer questions. They’ve provided me with some general topics to address and several questions specific to things that came up in my plan (i.e. “to what extent have you looked into your liability for when you have children on the premises?”). Easy stuff, but I will have to practice my timing because I’m a very wordy person (if you haven’t noticed, lol).

I will find out if I am a winner in the first week of September.

And because I’m only as strong as my squad. Thank you to…

  • Nicole Sullivan, owner of BookBar in Denver, Colorado. She’s been my primary mentor since day one. She wrote me a glowing letter of recommendation and provided me years of sales data and best practices to show proof of concept. She had zero bookseller experience before opening her kick-ass 1,700 square foot bookstore–which is now a kick-ass 2,300 square foot bookstore and bed & breakfast. #goals
  • Donna Kaufman, who operated the bookseller training in Florida that I’m always raving about. Donna gave my plan a thorough review to ensure my projections were realistic for my market and my operations plan was on point. (There was a lot of red pen involved.)
  • American Bookseller Association, for their ABACUS. ABACUS is my liiife.
  • Senem Acet-Coskun, my small business development advisor at Baruch College who helped me edit my template and advised me on what’s important to my audience.
  • Jeff Magness, who was the person that informed me about this competition’s existence. Jeff submitted his plan last year and didn’t make it to the end… but he still passed the opportunity on to me and shared his experience to aid a fellow budding entrepreneur… and now friend.
  • Hazel Roos, my friend who suffered through the New York-Seattle time difference to help prepare all my financial statements.
  • Paul (aka bae), for his endless support and personal sacrifices while I follow my dreams.

Thank you to all of you who rooted for me, prayed for me, and cried with me, lol. Next stop: 1st place!

The 1st Noëlle


  1. Congratulations, Noelle! There are so many creative entrepreneurs and organizers in the Bronx and I truly believe your mission would fit right in with the artistic renaissance that’s bubbling up in The Boogie Down. As a writer and a mom I’m crossing my fingers and rooting for this store to happen. We do need it!


    • Thank you, Rosemary! I’m sorry I’m so late in replying to your kind note; I don’t know how I missed it.

      There’s a lot of work ahead, but it’s such an exciting time in the Bronx. I feel so lucky to be pursuing my dreams with all this encouragement coming from my community.


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