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Geneva Company Named Finalist in Grow-NY Competition


A Geneva-based company is one of 20 startups from across the globe chosen to compete in the state’s fifth annual international Grow-NY competition.

GR8PE by Stil-Bene transforms grape pomace, the skins and seeds left over after pressing grapes, into a powdered dietary supplement designed to improve digestive health.

Clean Label Solution LLC in Ithaca is another finalist. They use proprietary technology that improves protein and fat digestibility and reduces CO2 emissions and energy consumption in the production of soy-based animal feeds for livestock.

Grow-NY is a food and agriculture business competition focused on enhancing the emerging food, beverage, and agriculture innovation cluster in upstate New York. The competition is funded through New York state’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative and administered by CREA. Winning companies will be required to make a positive economic impact in the Grow-NY region, which comprises 22 counties located in Central NY, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier regions.

In total, 323 startups applied from 49 countries, including Canada, the UK, and Italy. Domestic teams also showed strong interest, with 32 states represented in the applicant pool, including 81 entries from New York. Forty-two percent of applicants included a female founder, and 61 percent included a founder from an underrepresented minority group.

To learn more about all of the finalists, and mentors, and to register for the Summit, click here

A panel of 30 judges, reflecting a depth and breadth of regional expertise, knowledge of the region’s agriculture and food production communities, and entrepreneurial experience, reviewed all the applications to determine the top 20 finalists that will pitch their business plans at the Grow-NY Food and Ag Summit in Binghamton in November. Grow-N Y will award a total of $3 million in prize money to seven winners. This includes a $1 million top prize, two $500,000 awards, and four $250,000 prizes.

“We saw the Grow-NY effect in action with this year’s applications. The successes of our portfolio of winning companies attracted participation from startups innovating throughout the agrifood supply chain across the globe, addressing main street economic health, the climate crisis, and how we feed our growing population,” said Jenn Smith, Program Director, Grow-NY. “We are thrilled to welcome the 20 startups selected to participate in this year’s accelerator.”

The accelerator culminates with a live pitch at the Grow-NY Food and Ag Summit, scheduled for November 14 and 15, at the Holiday Inn Downtown in Binghamton. The Summit will be held in two formats simultaneously, in-person and virtually, with finalists pitching their business ideas live in front of an audience and answering questions from a judging panel. The event also includes a food and agriculture symposium and ecosystem expo. This year’s winners will be revealed in a live awards presentation at the conclusion of the Summit.

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