Agtech start-ups have until 15 June to compete for $3m food and agriculture global start-up competition.
Irish agtech start-ups are in with a chance alongside other international cohorts to win up to $1m as part of the $3m Grow-NY food and agriculture competition.
Grow-NY, a unique initiative that connects innovators and investors in the food, beverage, and agriculture sectors locally and around the globe, has resulted in economic growth and entrepreneurial opportunity in upstate New York.
“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”
The Grow-NY region, a 22-county area spanning Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier, has already seen the addition of more than 200 new jobs and millions of dollars in follow-on investment as a result of the competition.
Business development in the field
Grow-NY attracts high-growth food and agriculture start-ups to compete for $3m in total prize money each year and supports 20 finalists through a business development phase that connects them with the region’s resources.
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.
One finalist will receive a top prize of $1 million; two others will be awarded $500,000 prizes; and four more will be given $250,000 prizes. Winners will also receive publicity support to announce their achievements across the Grow-NY region and in their home regions. Funding for the program comes through Empire State Development from the Upstate Revitalization Initiative’s three regional entities, CNY Rising, Finger Lakes Forward, and Southern Tier Soaring, and is administered by Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement.
“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.”
The start-up competition begins its fifth year with impressive momentum, having garnered applications and interest from over a thousand businesses in 41 unique states and 46 countries outside of the United States over the last four years. In all, 79 start-ups have participated as finalists, with 28 winners sharing $12 million in start up funding as well as the invaluable mentorship and networking benefits that the program delivers to finalists.
“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,” said State 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, 15 June. In August, up to 20 finalists will be assigned mentors and enter the business development phase. All finalists will receive bespoke entrepreneurial support and valuable regional introductions, additional training to hone their live pitches, and an expenses-paid, three-day business development trip to the region for up to two team members.
To learn more about the Grow-NY competition, visit www.grow-ny.com.