The fifth annual Grow-NY Summit will convene food and ag startups and industry players Nov. 14-15 at the Holiday Inn Binghamton Downtown, spotlighting the innovative technologies being developed locally and their impact that spans beyond the region.
The effect of progress in the Grow-NY region on the broader food and agriculture community will inform the two-day symposium, which will include panels and fireside chats exploring transformative ways to tackle the biggest challenges facing our agri-food systems.
“Upstate New York’s food and farming community has made an impression on a global audience as an ecosystem committed to innovation, economic development and resilient food systems,” said Grow-NY program director Jenn Smith. “There is no better way to join the conversation about the future of food production and the potential of the upstate New York region than to attend this year’s summit.”
The summit, which can be attended in person or virtually, will include a pitch competition featuring 20 startups from around the world who will vie for their share of $3 million. The $1 million grand prize winner, as well as two $500,000 and four $250,000 awardees, will be announced at an off-site awards ceremony on Nov. 15 at 5:30 p.m. at the SUNY Broome Culinary & Event Center.
The summit will provide an opportunity for Cornell thought leaders and experts across a variety of sectors to exchange new ideas and challenge existing ones about the way we approach the issues confronting our growing population.
This year’s symposium sessions include:
- Climate Beneficial Technology as an Engine for Regional Economic Impact (Nov. 14, 9 to 9:50 a.m.): In the symposium’s opening session, Benjamin Z. Houlton, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences, will sit down with Britt Groosman, the vice president for climate-smart agriculture at the Environmental Defense Fund, to discuss the upsides and disruptions associated with adopting technologies such as renewable energy, carbon capture and storage and sustainable infrastructure.
- Digital Ag Tech on Small and Mid-Sized Farms (Nov. 14, 10 to 10:45 a.m.): Hadas Kress-Gazit, the Geoffrey S.M. Hedrick Sr. Professor in the Sibley School of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, will moderate this panel considering the barriers and benefits of robotics, AI and autonomy for farms throughout the Northeast.
- Seeding Dairy Innovation Through Entrepreneurship (Nov. 15, 3:10 to 4:15 p.m.): Featuring pitches from the winners of the inaugural Northeastern Dairy Product Innovation Competition, professor of food science Julie Goddard ’99, Ph.D. ’09, will discuss how new products and businesses can contribute to a more sustainable, efficient and prosperous dairy sector.
- Food Systems Startups in the Northeast Regional Food Business Center (Nov. 15, 4:15 to 4:50 p.m.): The event’s closing session will include Richard Ball, commissioner of the New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets; Catharine Young, executive director of the New York State Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell Agritech; and Smith, among others, and will cover the effect that the Northeast Regional Food Business Center will have in cultivating a resilient regional food system from Maine to Maryland.
In addition, there will be networking opportunities at the Ecosystem Expo, the tabling portion of the agenda where startups, incubators, economic development agencies, small business partners and other organizations in New York state share their services and support.
Startups, investors, resource providers, researchers, entrepreneurs and students who are interested in food production, sustainability and environmental growth are encouraged to attend.
All-access registration for the Grow-NY Summit is $65, $25 for students, and virtual registration is free. Tickets to the awards ceremony are an additional $50. For more information and to register, visit grow-ny.com.
Lauren Simpson is a marketing communications coordinator for the Center for Regional Economic Advancement.