Grow-NY 2023: Food and AgTech Startups Invited to Compete for $1 Million and Mentorship in Upstate New York
Empire State Development announces there is one month left to apply for the 2023 Grow-NY competition. Now in its fifth year, the competition invites global…
Empire State Development announces there is one month left to apply for the 2023 Grow-NY competition. Now in its fifth year, the competition invites global food and agriculture startups to submit applications for a chance to win up to $1 million in prize money.
“I can’t wait to see what the next crop of selected, forward-thinking entrepreneurs will bring to the table”
Described as a unique initiative that connects innovators and investors in the food, beverage, and agriculture sectors, Grow-NY is focused on expanding economic growth and development in Upstate New York’s agricultural regions.
The Grow-NY region spans a 22-county area including Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier.
Through its competition, Grow-NY attracts high-growth food and agriculture startups from around the world, who will compete for a total of $3M in prize money. Following the application period, up to 20 are selected as finalists, where they will be assigned mentors and enter a business development phase. All finalists will receive bespoke entrepreneurial support, along with regional introductions, and additional training to hone their live pitches.
The selected finalists will present their business plans during the Grow-NY Summit, taking place November 14 and November 15, 2023 in Binghamton, New York.
Judges will award prizes based on the following criteria:
- Viability of Commercialization and Business Model – The potential to generate revenue and maintain a cost structure that allows for a competitive and sustainable business
- Team – Demonstration of a level of cohesion, completeness, diversity, and readiness within the team of founders, employees, and advisors
- Customer Value – The degree to which the entrant is providing something for which customers are willing to pay, and addressing a substantial market
- Food and Agriculture Innovation – The extent to which the entrant is pushing what’s considered state-of-the-art in the food and agriculture industries
- Growth – Ability to generate significant growth, as measured and assessed by employment and revenue growth and the potential for returns and liquidity for equity holders
- Regional Job Creation – the potential for creating high-quality jobs in the Grow-NY region
To participate, winners are required to commit to operating in at least one of the 22 Grow-NY counties for at least 12 months, and must agree to a “pay-it-forward” provision in the form of an equity agreement.
“The fifth round of the Grow-NY agribusiness accelerator will help to build on the incredible success of earlier competition winners whose entrepreneurial ideas are fueling economic growth Upstate, “ said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight. “These innovative companies have attracted significant investment throughout the Grow-NY region and around the world, and I can’t wait to see what the next crop of selected, forward-thinking entrepreneurs will bring to the table.”
According to the organization, Grow-NY’s fifth round follows highly successful competitions from previous years, which attracted over 1,000 applications and resulted in 28 winners sharing $12 million in prize money. In 2022, finalists included artisanal plant-based milk brand Edenesque, Unnico vegan yogurts, spirulina growers We Are The New Farmers, and protein innovators Forte Protein.
“The Grow-NY food and agriculture competition helps to boost our upstate economy and spread the word that New York State is a great place to make some of the best, freshest, most innovative products in the world,” State said Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball. “I thank Governor Hochul for her continued support of this initiative and encourage businesses big and small to apply for round five and show us the agricultural products of the future.”
Applications must be submitted by 5 p.m. ET on Thursday, June 15.milk protein plant-based investors investment startups