potato plantations grow in the field. vegetable rows. farming, agriculture. Landscape with agricultural land. crops

The application for the Grow-NY competition, a contest where innovative food industry startups can secure a slice of $3 million in funding, is quickly approaching.

About the competition

Businesses dedicated to driving innovation in the food, beverage, and agriculture space are invited to enter into the Grow-NY competition, a contest backed by partners including Empire State Development and Cornell University. 

Up to 20 finalists will be chosen based on the following criteria: 

  • Viability of commercialization and business model 
  • Customer value 
  • Food and agriculture innovation 
  • Regional job creation potential
  • Team quality and completeness

All finalists will receive expert mentorships, pitch training, and an expense-paid business development trip. Seven winners will receive part of $3 million in funding, to be paid out incrementally: 

  • One grand prize of $1 Million 
  • Two prizes of $500,000 
  • Four prizes of $250,000


To enter, you must be an established business in the food and agriculture space that New York State’s criteria for being “in the formative stage, which is at least two of the following: 

  • Less than seven years from the date of formal organization
  • Has its first product or service in testing or pilot production
  • Pre-revenue or early revenue
  • Has a leadership team and investors working toward commercialization and profitability

And in the context of this competition, companies in the food and agriculture space are “companies at every point in the agri-food value chain that are working to serve a growing population, while striving to employ sustainable, environmentally conscious, and/or healthy methods.”

Find the comprehensive list of eligibility requirements here

How to apply

Applications are due July 15, 2019, at 5 PM EST. Head to this page to get started.

Have more questions? Visit the site’s FAQ page here.

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