New York Governor Cuomo Announces 20 Finalists Selected for Round Two of the $3 Million Grow-NY Global Food and Agriculture Business Competition

Governor Cuomo Announces 20 Finalists Selected for Round Two of the $3 Million Grow-NY Global Food and Agriculture Business Competition

More Than 260 Startups from 27 Countries Applied to Compete in Innovative Mentoring Program

The Food and Agriculture Industry Competition is Funded through Upstate Revitalization Initiatives – CNY Rising, Finger Lakes Forward and Southern Tier Soaring – Regional Comprehensive Strategies Aimed at Revitalizing Communities and Growing the Economy

New York (STL.News) Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced the 20 finalists selected to participate in round two of Grow-NY, a food innovation and agriculture technology business challenge focused on enhancing the emerging food, beverage and agriculture innovation cluster in Central New York, the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions.  Finalists were chosen from a field of over 260 startups that applied to be part of the initiative.  The Grow-NY region includes a broad 22-county swath that includes Upstate New York’s farming community as well as several major urban centers, including Rochester, Syracuse, Ithaca and Binghamton.  Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement is administering the competition and New York State is providing funding for the Grow-NY competition through the Governor’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative connected with the three regions – CNY Rising, Finger Lakes Forward and Southern Tier Soaring.

“New York State is committed to supporting our world-renowned food and agricultural industry,” Governor Cuomo said.  “Once again, the Grow-NY competition has attracted a group of diverse, innovative entrepreneurs who are ready to focus on finding new, innovative ways to further transform this critical industry. It is through targeted efforts like Grow-NY that we will continue to bolster these regional economies, fostering statewide growth as we work to build back better.”

“The agricultural economy in New York continues to grow with increased investment in our farms and local products,” said Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul.  “The first round of the Grow-NY Competition was a success, and we are excited about the potential that these finalists for round two have to make the industry even stronger.  These companies are developing ideas and plans to revolutionize the industry by transforming sustainability and improving the health and well-being of New Yorkers. I congratulate all of the finalists and winners of the competition, and we look forward to helping these innovative companies grow and thrive in New York.”

In all, 264 startups applied from 27 countries including Argentina, Germany and Israel. In the U.S., 26 states were represented, including 98 entries from New York. 29 percent of applicants included a female founder and 32 percent included a founder from an underrepresented minority group.  The 20 selected finalists will pitch their business plans at the Grow-NY Food and Ag Summit this November.  Grow-NY will award a total of $3 million in prize money to seven winners.  This includes a $1 million top prize, two $500,000 prizes and four $250,000 prizes. The winner will be required to make a positive economic impact in the Grow-NY region by spurring job growth and connecting with local industry partners.

The 20 selected finalists include:

  • AgTrace, Florianopolis, Brazil – Provides a traceability solution that incorporates farming information and captures, stores and processes data while connecting stakeholders
  • ARPAC, Porto Alegro, Brazil – Creates and integrates heavy-lifting drones that apply pesticides in a fast and localized manner, with uniformity and precision
  • Asarasi, Katonah, NY – Recovers the wasted 97% maple water by-products of the maple industry, providing a sustainable alternative to traditional bottled water
  • brytlife foods, Kerhonkson, NY— Crafts sustainably sourced vegan artisanal cheese and yogurt with next level nutrition from 100% plants
  • Candidus, Hull, GA – Develops cost-effective supplemental lighting strategies and control systems for commercial greenhouse operations
  • Crystal Creek Organics, Rochester NY – Converts soluble phosphorous in liquid manure into a non-soluble, revenue-generating, solid by-product
  • FreshSource, Giza, Egypt – Empowers smallholder farmers by connecting them to fair, modern and transparent markets
  • Halomine, Ithaca, NY — Develops anti-microbial products to ensure the safety of our food supply
  • InnerPlant, Davis, CA – Genetically transforms plants into living sensors to increase yield and reduce agrochemical waste
  • Leep Foods, Rochester, NY – Grows premium organic mushrooms using regenerative soil methods on nutrient-enriched American hardwoods for consumers and restaurants
  • Nordetect, Copenhagen, Denmark – Provides rapid chemical analysis for nutrients in the AgriFood industry
  • Norwhey, Ithaca, NY – Transforms New York state’s yogurt whey into delicious and sustainable alcoholic beverages
  • PittMoss, Ambridge, PA – Produces a next generation growing media that is proven to grow bigger, stronger plants than most peat-based mixes
  • PureSpace, Busan, South Korea – Extends shelf-life and improves food safety by decomposing ethylene gas, airborne mold, and viruses effectively and efficiently
  • Re-Nuble, New York, NY — Transforms food waste into industrial-grade, water soluble, organic hydroponic nutrients for soilless farming
  • Ripe.io, New York, NY – Provides a platform to access transparent and reliable information on the origin, journey, and quality of one’s food
  • Simply Good Jars, Philadelphia, PA — Expands access to sustainable, restaurant quality meals in a convenient, pre-packaged format
  • SoFresh, Pleasant Prairie, WI – Manufactures a unique packaging material with an organic vapor to extend the shelf life of fresh bread
  • Technology, Kidron, Israel – Mitigates male-chick culling by transforming male chickens into egg-laying females
  • Zetifi, New South Wales, Australia – Enables farmers to access fast and reliable connectivity across the entirety of their property

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