Grow New York, new economic development competition focuses on agriculture

Local News

A new economic development competition hopes to draw agriculture-focused businesses to Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier.

“Grow New York” was unveiled at a Regional Economic Development Council meeting Tuesday in Syracuse.

Companies who apply online have the chance to win state funding.

Ultimately, seven finalists will get a piece of $3 million but also must stay in Upstate New York for at least one year and participate in an equity share program in which a portion of their profits are returned back to the program.

“It could be ways to get a higher yield out a seed product, it could be packaging, it could be a whole new food product,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Hochul compared the competition to state-funded projects like 43North in Buffalo, which since its creation in 2014 has invested in 44 companies.

“This is not the first time we’ve done a competition but it’s the very first that focuses on food and agriculture,” said Lt. Gov. Kathy Hochul.

Applications for “Grow New York” will be accepted between April and July. From those applicants, 20 semi-finalists will be selected and enter a mentoring/business development curriculum that will take place from August to October.

The finalists would be announced in late fall of 2019.

– 1st Place: $1 million

– 2nd Place: $500,000 (two companies)

– 3rd Place: $250,000 (four companies)

Hochul said the state has pledged the same $3 million prize pool for three years.

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