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Grow-NY Food & Ag Business Competition Applications Open


Applications are once again open for Grow-NY’s annual food and agricultural business competition.

Now in its sixth year, local, national, and international startups are invited to compete for an up to $1 million investment into their business. 20 finalists will be selected from the list of applicants in August to enter the business development phase.

In November, the finalists will present their business plans at a summit in Ithaca. From there, one startup will receive $1 million; two will be awarded $500,000 each, and four more will each receive $250,000.

Grow NY program director Jenn Smith said, “The Grow-NY region has unparalleled natural, economic, and agricultural resources that we’ve directed to helping food and ag startups grow their businesses, and change our agrifood system in the process. We’re looking for ambitious founders from around the world to join us.”

Funding for Grow-NY comes through Empire State Development from the three regional entities of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative- CNY Rising, Finger Lakes Forward, and Southern Tier Soaring – and is administered by Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement.

The competition seeks to incentivize startups to settle in the Central New York, Finger Lakes, and Southern Tier regions. Since its inception in 2009, Grow-NY claims winning startups have created 289 new jobs in the area in addition to attracting millions of dollars in investments.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight, said, “Grow-NY is a unique initiative that links agribusiness innovators with experts and investors, creating entrepreneurial opportunity in upstate New York. The sixth round of the accelerator will no doubt build on Grow-NY’s incredible success, helping to further grow the next-generation ideas of these industry pioneers and bring significant investment to the region, bolstering the future of this crucial industry in New York State and around the world.”

The deadline to apply is May 15. Eligibility criteria and application information can be found at grow-ny.com.




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