Nov 14, 2022
Grow-NY Food and Ag Summit to reward innovation

Grow-NY, one of the largest global food and agriculture business competitions, will spotlight food innovation at its Nov. 15-16 Food & Ag Summit in Syracuse, New York, and virtually.

Designed for startups, companies, investors, resource providers, researchers, entrepreneurs and students, the summit will include a live pitch competition where seven winners will be selected from the competition’s 20 finalists to receive a total of $3 million in prize money.

The event is also scheduled to feature a symposium with panel discussions and fireside chats led by leading startups, industry players and thinkers in food and agriculture, according to a news release.

An Ecosystem Expo featuring organizations that support the thriving innovation ecosystem in New York State, creating networking opportunities for operators in the food and ag sectors, is also scheduled.

This year’s summit symposium draws inspiration from Cornell’s 2030 Project, an initiative that seeks to bring cutting-edge research across disciplines together and adapt it into practical, real-world solutions to the challenges caused by climate change. Symposium sessions will offer practical advice to startups while tackling the biggest issues facing our food systems.

The Nov. 15 opening session: “The 2030 Project: Driving towards Net Zero in Food and Farming,” will highlight pressing challenges and opportunities for innovation the food and ag community face as they strive to meet climate change mitigation goals throughout the agrifood system.

The remaining sessions scheduled throughout both days of the Grow-NY Summit connect to the theme, and can be viewed here.

Symposium sessions will occur between dynamic live pitches from the entrepreneurs chosen as this year’s Grow-NY competition finalists. This year, 390 startups from around the world applied for the competition. The twenty finalists were selected in September and assigned mentors, and have entered an accelerator focused on exploring the regional resources available to help them grow and scale their startups in Upstate New York, and preparing their business pitch. At the Summit, each finalist will receive 10 minutes to present their business plans with the remaining 10 minutes set aside for questions from the panel of judges, according to the release.

“This year’s finalists are world class innovators doing cutting edge work across the food and agriculture landscape, from far upstream farm operations to consumer packaged goods that you can go into a grocery store and pull off a shelf,” Jenn Smith, Grow-NY program director, said in the release. “It’s meaningful novelty that we’re looking for, and clear potential for growth.”

The event is sponsored by the Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement and Empire State Development.

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