On September 15, 2021, at 9:00 a.m. EDT, Cornell University's Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) will hold a virtual briefing to reveal the finalists of the 2021 Grow-NY startup competition, a food innovation and agriculture technology business challenge that attracts high-growth startups to the dynamic food, beverage, and agriculture innovation cluster located throughout Central New York, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier. The virtual briefing, hosted on Grow-NY.com, will feature the names of the top 20 finalists—selected out of the 330 applicants from around the world. 

Applicants, members of the community, and media are invited to attend the virtual briefing by logging on to Grow-NY.com on the morning of Wednesday, September 15, 2021 to watch the video feed live. 

Registration is also available in advance to save the event to calendars and receive reminders.

Jenn Smith, program director for Grow-NY will host the virtual briefing event and provide the audience with an update on the highly-anticipated pitch competition and Food and Ag Summit, which is scheduled to come to Syracuse this November. Smith will be joined by George Zheng, the co-founder of Leep Foods, who will share an update on the company’s progress since winning $250,000 last November from Grow-NY. Together, they will announce the top twenty finalists, who will proceed to the next round of the competition—the business development phase, which includes being paired with a dedicated mentor, connecting with the region’s resources, and preparing for the pitch competition. Brian Bauer, communications director for CREA, will close the virtual briefing by discussing further details on the Food and Ag Summit format and what to expect.

The finalists named during the event will compete this fall and one finalist will ultimately be selected to take home the $1 million grand prize; two others will be recognized with $500,000 prizes and four with $250,000 prizes. The competition is funded through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative through the three regions—Finger Lakes Forward, CNY Rising, and Southern Tier Soaring. 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.

Footage will be available on Grow-NY.com post-event. Media inquiries and interview requests can be directed to jlepore@martingroupmarketing.com.

Related: Podcast—Ep. 101. Cornell’s Center of Excellence: A Call for Innovation