All USA USA Territories: American Samoa (USA); Guam (USA); Puerto Rico (USA); Virgin Islands (USA); Northern Mariana Islands (USA); USA Compact Free Associations:The Federated States of Micronesia (USA) Marshall Islands (USA) Republic of Palau (USA) International, Israel and Canada.
Opportunity for USA, Canada, and International businesses to participate in a food and agricultural business competition to benefit eligible regions. Successful applicants will receive monetary support, business development support, training, and mentorship. Eligible businesses are those able to commit to making a positive impact in the growing startup hub located in New York state’s Finger Lakes, Central NY, and Southern Tier regions.
Competition Benefits and Support All finalists (up to 20 companies) receive:
Dedicated mentorship from a hand-selected business advisor
Additional pitch training to hone your live pitch for the judges
An expenses-paid three-day business development trip to the region
Up to two team members from finalist teams will travel to the region for networking introductions, business tours with potential partners, and valuable appointments
Winning companies commit to making a positive impact in the growing startup hub located in New York state’s Finger Lakes, Central NY, and Southern Tier regions.
The Competition is open to all startups located in any state or country in the world that meet the Grow-NY definition of ‘Food and Agricultural Field’, are early-stage, and have a scalable business model.
As a condition of any Award, Recipients must materially locate and maintain a presence on an ongoing basis within the Grow-NY Region for at least twelve (12) consecutive months, commencing within three (3) months of the date of the Award. For additional information, see "Regional Impact" on the Full Grant Text RFP link.
As used in these Terms and Conditions, the term “Food and Agriculture Field” is defined as follows:
Physical products, hardware technologies, software technologies, services, or processes that relate to or impact products that are derived from cultivating plants or enhance human life, such as:
- Food, including but not limited to fruits, vegetables, grains and cereal crops, meats and dairy products, honey and farmed fish, packaged and prepared food products for distribution;
- Fuels, including but not limited to ethanol, produced from corn, sugarcane, or sorghum, and agricultural byproducts like straw, sugarcane;
- Fibers, including but not limited to fiber crops such as cotton, wool, silk, hemp, flax and bamboo;
- Raw materials, including but not limited to livestock feed; and
- Processes or systems that improve the development, growth, production, distribution, delivery, or processing
The term “Food and Agriculture Field” also includes hardware technologies, software technologies, services, or processes that are new, novel, or otherwise benefit agriculture, food, or their related industries.
To be eligible for the Competition, an applicant must be a registered, formative stage business entity that can enter into the Investment Agreement, such as a corporation or limited liability company (LLC),that meets two or more of the following criteria:
- Less than seven years from date of formal organization
- Has its first product or service in testing or pilot production
- Pre-revenue or early revenue
- Has a leadership team working towards commercialization and profitability.
The Competition defines a business in the formative stage as a company in the start-up or early stage of development with a product, service, software, or research that may or may not be in the commercial marketplace, which can show continued and steady maturity towards commercialization and profitability either by product development, external funding or product sales.
If the business is a spin-off from an existing business that does not meet the above criteria, the new entity must be pursuing a substantially new technology or business model.
- Applications Open: March 13, 2023
- Applications Close: June 15, 2023 at 5 p.m. ET
- Finalists Selected: Late August, 2023
- Mentoring & Business Trips: September – November 2023
- Pitch Competition & Summit (Winners Selected): November 2023
A panel of judges will review all of the submitted applications and select up to 20 finalists. Those finalists will pitch their business and plans to a live audience and panel of judges during the pitch competition in the region. Each pitch will be followed by brief question period for judges to seek more information. After all pitches are completed, the judges will determine the winners, taking into account input from the previous judging round, and winners will be announced.