Two local companies advance to finals of Grow-NY competition
Out of more than 260 companies, Leep Foods and Crystal Creek Organics were among 20 organizations selected to advance to the finals of the Grow-NY competition. Leep Foods grows premium USDA-certified organic mushrooms and has seen success with a regenerative soil method for consumers and restaurants. Crystal Creek Organics manufactures unique fertilizers, which are made by separating nutrients and organic material from manure-based bio-gas digesters.
Both companies originated through Rochester Institute of Technology’s Venture Creations, a technology business incubator. Grow-NY is a food innovation and agriculture technology business challenge, based in Central New York, the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions.
The entries were submitted from 27 countries including Argentina, Germany and Israel. In the United States, 26 states were represented. Finalists will pitch their business plans on Nov. 17-18 at the Grow-NY Food and Agriculture Summit. Funding of $3 million in prize money will be distributed to seven winners.
Crystal Creek Organics is based in the Venture Creations incubator. With a patented, eco-friendly technology, the company provides the Southern Tier with a high-volume economic and environmental alternative to fertilization that eradicates harmful phosphorus.
Leep Foods is now based in Chili, New York, after starting the business with Venture Creations in 2019. The company’s USDA-certified organic mushrooms can be located at Wegmans, The Good Food Collective, and Range Me, a product sourcing platform for retailers and suppliers.