July 25, 2021

See list of 20 finalists for $3M Grow-NY food and agriculture business competition

Syracuse, N.Y. — Twenty finalists, including two Ithaca startups, will compete for $3 million in prize money in the 2020 Grow-NY global food and agriculture business competition.



a green apple on a leaf: Apples ripe for picking at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020.


© Katrina Tulloch | [email protected]/Katrina Tulloch | [email protected]/syracuse.com/TNS
Apples ripe for picking at Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards on Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020.

The state-funded competition attracted applications from 264 startups from 27 countries. In the U.S., applications were received from startups in 26 states, including 98 entries from New York.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the finalists on Wednesday. A panel of 30 judges from the food, beverage and agriculture industries and academics selected the finalists, who will pitch their business plans at a virtual summit Nov. 17 and 18.

Finalists will be judged based on the potential to commercialize their business model, customer value, food and agriculture innovation, regional job creation, and team quality/readiness.

A total of $3 million will be awarded to seven winners, with a $1 million top prize, two $500,000 prizes and four $250,000 prizes.

The annual competition seeks promising young companies with business plans that will enhance the food, beverage and agriculture industries in Central New York, the Finger Lakes and the Southern Tier. It is administered by Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement.

The 20 finalists are:

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 the 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

Soos 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

Rick Moriarty covers business news and consumer issues. Got a tip, comment or story idea? Contact him anytime: Email  5/8  Twitter  5/8  Facebook  5/8 315-470-3148

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