Calling all youth food system and technology entrepreneurs

Staff Report

Today’s youth are the next generation of innovators. To find the best and brightest, several state agricultural programs have united to hold a new competition for students.

Grow-NY is a business competition focused on food and agriculture innovation where winning companies receive professional mentorship and a cash prize to build their business. For the first time, students are invited to submit their proposals for the chance to pitch their big idea “Shark Tank” style to a panel of judges. A student winner and runner-up will be awarded a cash prize to next grow their business.

With the hope of inspiring and investing in the future of food, Grow-NY, Cornell University, New York State 4-H and New York Agriculture in the Classroom have partnered to support this new opportunity. Organizers are looking for innovative ideas for a business or product in food systems, agriculture and technology.

Twenty middle and high school students will be selected to attend the 2021 Grow-NY competition, with eight students selected to pitch their business idea during the competition to a panel of youth judges.

The Grow-NY competition will take place Nov. 16 and 17 in Syracuse.

Fourteen youth will be selected to attend the competition and have their registration cost paid for by Grow-NY. Then eight youth entrepreneurs will be selected to give their pitch on the youth stage. Competition registration cost and hotel accommodations will be paid for by Grow-NY.

Applications are due Oct. 20. Learn more here.

Students age 12 to 18 enrolled in middle or high school are eligible to apply, including public, private and home schools.

Contact Vicki Giarratano at with questions.

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