In Grow-NY competition, startups can win up to $1M

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Food and agricultural companies, take note. The Grow-NY business competition is now accepting applications. With a $3 million pot, companies can win up to $1 million.

The application window closes June 15 at 5 p.m., according to Empire State Development.  The competition supports 20 finalists through a business development phase that connects them with the region’s resources.

While the Grow-NY region comprises Finger Lakes, Central New York and the southern tier, Long Island companies are eligible, according to a spokeswoman.

All finalists will be assigned mentors and enter the business development phase. They will receive entrepreneurial support and 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.

The competition aims to connect innovators and investors in the food, beverage, and agriculture sectors both locally and around the globe.

“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,” Hope Knight,  ESD president and CEO said in a statement. “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 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 Agriculture Commissioner Richard Ball said in a statement.

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Winners must 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.

To learn more, and to apply, click here.

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