AgTech Events FoodTech

Experts to award $3 million in prize money and analyze agrifood innovation and sustainability at Grow-NY Food and Ag Summit 

This year’s Summit draws inspiration from Cornell’s 2030 Project, seeking practical, real-world climate solutions. 

Grow-NY, the largest global food and agriculture business competition, will host its two-day Food & Ag Summit on Tuesday, Nov. 15 and Wednesday, Nov. 16. The event will take place in Syracuse, NY and virtually. The Summit will include a live pitch competition in which seven winners will be selected from the competition’s 20 finalists to receive a combined total of $3 million in prize money. It will also feature a symposium with thought-provoking panel discussions and fireside chats led by leading startups, industry players, and thinkers in food and agriculture. In addition, an Ecosystem Expo featuring organizations that support the thriving innovation ecosystem in New York State, will take place, creating networking opportunities for operators in the food and ag sectors. 

The Summit is designed for startups, companies, investors, resource providers, researchers, entrepreneurs, and students. Registration is now open. 

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 opening session “The 2030 Project: Driving towards Net Zero in Food and Farming” on Nov. 15 (9 to 9:20 a.m.) 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 this 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. 

“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 of a shelf. It’s a meaningful novelty that we’re looking for, and clear potential for growth,” said Jenn Smith, Program Director, Grow-NY. “As always, we look forward to their energetic live pitches with excitement.” 

A virtual awards ceremony will be held on Nov. 17, during which the winners of the $1 million top prize, two $500,000 prizes and four $250,000 prizes will be revealed. 

Admission to the Summit in Syracuse is $50 per person, $25 for students and includes virtual access as well. Group discounts for school trips or community organizations are available, and no one will be turned away due to the inability to pay. The full pitch competition, symposium panels, and award ceremony will be broadcast live online for anyone interested in virtually attending, free of charge. 

To learn more about the competition and the finalists, and to register for the Summit, visit

About Empire State Development 

Empire State Development (ESD) promotes a vigorous and growing state economy, encourages business investment and job creation, and supports diverse, prosperous local economies across New York State through the efficient use of loans, grants, tax credits, real estate development, marketing and other forms of assistance. To learn more about ESD visit

About the Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement 

The Cornell Center for Regional Economic Advancement (CREA) supports economic growth in Upstate New York through entrepreneurship and innovation. We help people advance ideas that will create jobs in all fields in our region, to enrich the area’s economic diversity. To learn more, visit