GROW-NY’S $3 MILLION START-UP COMPETITION OPEN FOR APPLICATIONS

New York State and Cornell University are inviting submissions for their third global food and agriculture start-up competition. The top prize is a million dollars out of this year’s $3 million total.

Now in its third year, the Grow-NY initiative – which connects innovators and investors in the food, beverage and agriculture businesses – has attracted more than 460 applications from 32 US states and 37 other countries over the past two years. In all, 14 prior winners have shared $6 million in start-up funding as well as valuable mentorship and networking benefits.

“The Grow-NY competition brings together the best entrepreneurial minds in the world to boost job growth and make our New York State agricultural industry even stronger,” says Lieutenant Governor of New York, Kathy Hochul. “While we build back better for a more sustainable post-pandemic future, round three of the competition will bring investment and opportunity to our farmers and rural communities.”

The programme has generated dozens of new jobs in the New York State region. Previous winners have engaged with supply chain partners to create indirect opportunities in agriculture, distribution, food processing, manufacturing and beyond.

According to Empire State Development – which is again funding the competition – the most innovative companies have attracted significant investment, including $11 million in follow-on funding from Series A rounds and National Science Foundation grants.

Applications must be submitted by July 15. In September, up to 20 finalists will be assigned mentors and enter the business development phase. They will then present their business plans during this year’s Grow-NY Summit, which will be held 16-17 November. This year the event will be an in-person and virtual hybrid, broadcast live from Syracuse, N.Y. Eligibility and judging criteria can found here.

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