GENEVA, N.Y. — Geneva, New York, a city with a population of less than 13,000 people, has become a hotbed of food and beverage innovation with a pioneering program entitled Geneva Made. The initiative brings together the public, academic and private sectors to support industry startups and growing food and beverage brands.
Currently, close to 100 food and beverage organizations are based in Geneva, and the Geneva Made initiative is aggressively recruiting other companies across the country to move to the city.
As a result of being part of this thriving ecosystem, three Geneva Made companies have been finalists over the last three years in the prestigious Grow-NY Food and Agriculture competition, which this year drew 330 startups from 32 countries.
In 2019, RealEats Meals, a premium prepared meal delivery service, claimed the coveted first-place prize of $1 million. The Geneva-based company recently raised $16.3 million in a Series A funding round. In 2020, Leep Foods, a grower of premium organic mushrooms, won $250,000. In 2021, Nutreat, a creator of low glycemic, healthy sweet snacks, was one of 20 finalists.
“We believe in Geneva. It has been an instrumental location as we continue our fast growth trajectory,“ says Dan Wise, RealEats Founder and CEO. “We couldn’t have found a better home to grow from than Geneva and are beyond proud to be part of such a progressive business community.”
Driven by the City of Geneva and the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech, Geneva Made’s goal is to establish Geneva as New York State’s home of food and beverage innovation.
Catharine Young, Executive Director of the Center of Excellence and a former New York State Senator, sees Geneva Made as a place where experienced food and beverage innovators can solve their biggest challenges. “We are here to make dreams come true for food and beverage brands. As you collaborate with us in Geneva, we welcome you to stay and grow here.”
Sage Gerling, Geneva City Manager Sage Gerling agrees with Young’s perspective. “We can’t think of a better place for food and beverage businesses to grow than right here in Geneva. By collaborating with other leaders representing the dynamic ecosystem, we can collectively demonstrate and elevate everything this area has to offer.”
Geneva Made was built upon already strong relationships between the City and academia including Cornell University, Hobart and William Smith Colleges, and Finger Lakes Community College. Together, the organizations bring research, innovation, entrepreneurial skills, workforce development, infrastructure advancement, and funding opportunities to the food and beverage industry.
Learn more about Geneva Made at www.genevamadeny.com.