SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) announced today that there will be a virtual briefing on Sept. 16 at 9:30 a.m. EST to reveal the finalists of the 2020 Grow-NY business competition, a food innovation and agriculture technology business challenge that attracts high-growth startups to the emerging food, beverage and agriculture innovation cluster located throughout Central New York, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier. The virtual briefing, hosted on Grow-NY.com, will feature the names of the top 20 finalists—selected out of the 264 applicants from around the world.
Applicants, members of the community and the media are invited to attend the virtual session by logging on to Grow-NY.com the morning of Wednesday, Sept. 16 to watch the video feed live. Registration is also available in advance to save the event to calendars.
Jenn Smith, program director for Grow-NY and Brian Bauer, competition director for CREA, will cohost the virtual briefing event. Smith will share insights into this year’s applicants and Bauer will review the competition’s judging criteria. Commissioner Richard Ball will also provide brief remarks on what this competition means for New York State and the importance of continuing to fuel and support the startup community, as well as food and ag innovations, especially as we navigate the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The finalists named during the event will soon be paired with a dedicated mentor and will move on to compete in this fall’s pitch competition, which will now be held virtually. Finalists will be scored based on viability of commercialization of business model, customer value, food and agriculture innovation, regional job creation and team quality/readiness. One finalist will ultimately be selected to take home the $1 million grand prize; two others will be recognized with $500,000 prizes and four with $250,000 prizes.
Empire State Development is funding the competition through its Upstate Revitalization Initiative connected with the three regions—Finger Lakes Forward, CNY Rising and Southern Tier Soaring—and Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement is administering the competition. Winners will be required to create a positive impact in the Grow-NY region, grow job opportunities, connect with local industry partners and contribute to a thriving Upstate economy.
About Empire State Development
Empire State Development (ESD) promotes a vigorous and growing state economy, encourages business investment and job creation, and supports diverse, prosperous local economies across New York State through the efficient use of loans, grants, tax credits, real estate development, marketing and other forms of assistance. To learn more about ESD, visit esd.ny.gov.
About the Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement
The Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) supports economic impact in Upstate New York through entrepreneurship and innovation. We help people advance ideas that will create jobs in all fields in our region, to enrich the area’s economic diversity. To learn more, visit crea.cornell.edu.
–Empire State Development
Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement
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