RealEats takes $1M prize at Grow-NY
RealEats America is the $1 million winner of the first year of the New York food and agriculture challenge Grow-NY.
Geneva’s RealEats was chosen following a two-day summit in Rochester during which the 17 selected finalists pitched their businesses to a live audience and panel of experienced judges for their share the prize money. The Grow-NY competition is focused on growing an enduring food and agriculture innovation cluster in Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier regions of New York State.
The competition, which will run for three rounds, offers a total of $3 million in funding to innovative, high-growth startups from across the globe focused on the food and agriculture industry. Funding for the Grow-NY competition is being provided through the Upstate Revitalization Initiatives connected with the three regions— CNY Rising, Finger Lakes Forward, and Southern Tier Soaring. Cornell University is administering the competition through its Center for Regional Economic Advancement. Grow-NY winners must commit to operating in the Central New York, Finger Lakes, or Southern Tier regions for at least one year.
Nearly 200 food and agriculture startups from around the world applied for the competition this spring and the top 17 finalists moved forward in the competition. Those 17 startups were matched one-to-one with an experienced entrepreneur from the region who served as a mentor and helped each company plan a multi-day business development trip to the three regions. During these trips, the startups met with potential partners, customers, manufacturers, and producers and fine-tuned their plans for making a significant economic impact in the region.
Nearly 900 startups, companies, investors, resource providers, researchers, entrepreneurs, farmers, and students attended the two-day event which, in addition to the pitch competition, included an exhibition hall with over 70 food and agricultural exhibitors from New York State and a symposium with a series of panels that tackled some of the biggest opportunities and challenges facing the food and agriculture industry.
In addition to the $1 million top prize, two $500,000 prizes, and four $250,000 prizes were also awarded. The other awarded teams include:
$500,000 Winner – Dropcopter (Syracuse)
$500,000 Winner Tiliter (Munchen, Germany)
$250,000 Winner – Capro-X (Ithaca)
$250,000 Winner – Combplex (Ithaca)
$250,000 Winner – The Perfect Granola (Victor)
$250,000 Winner – Whole Healthy Food (Ithaca)