Grow-NY to Host Virtual Briefing on Business Competition Tomorrow

Past winners and competition stakeholders to speak on the impact of Grow-NY on regional economies

The team behind Grow-NY, a global food and agriculture business competition, announced today that they have organized a virtual briefing on May 14 at 9:00 a.m. ET on to celebrate the competition kicking off its second year. The unprecedented competition is known to attract high-growth food and agricultural startups from around the world to compete for a combined total of $3 million in prize money. The virtual briefing will address news that was initially slated for an in-person press conference including why and how the competition is moving forward in the current economic climate affected by COVID-19, the planned location of the competition in the fall in Syracuse, NY, and plans to convene Upstate New York’s growing food and ag innovation hub at the annual Grow-NY Summit in the coming year.

Community and members of the media are invited to attend the virtual session by logging onto to watch the video feed. Among the highlights, the following speakers are scheduled to participate:

  • Lt. Governor Kathy Hochul remarks on what this competition means to the Grow-NY region of New York state, a growing food and agricultural innovation cluster
  • Chair of the Legislative Commission on Rural Resources, Senator Rachael May discusses the impact of the competition on rural communities and resources within the state, especially Central New York
  • County Executive Ryan McMahon welcomes the competition to Syracuse, a vital city in the Grow-NY footprint
  • Year 1 winners RealEats America, Dropcopter and Perfect Granola share their experiences with the competition and provide an update on their progress to date
  • Jenn Smith, Program Director for Grow-NY and member of the team at Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement, offers insight into the application process, the finalist timeline and the impact of COVID-19 on the competition

Footage from the event will be available on post-event. Media inquiries and interview requests can be directed to

Grow-NY, one of the biggest food and agriculture business competitions in the world, is in the second year of its three-year initiative and focuses on strengthening the food and agriculture innovation cluster so important to the Finger Lakes, Central New York and Southern Tier regions of New York state. 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. Each year, one finalist will be selected for a $1 million top prize; two $500,000 prizes and four $250,000 prizes will also be awarded for a total of $3 million in prize money. Tax incentives will also be included.

 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

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

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