Nov 19, 2021
Biopesticide startup wins $500K in Grow-NY biz competition

Empire State Development and Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement recently announced $3 million in prizes of Grow-NY.

Grow-NY is a food innovation and agriculture technology business competition focused on enhancing the emerging food, beverage and agriculture innovation cluster in Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier. The award ceremony was held at the Oncenter in Syracuse the past Nov. 16 and 17.

The second-highest prize winner may be of some interest to organic growers. Ascribe Bioscience, from Ithaca, N.Y., uses naturally occurring signaling molecules from the soil microbiome to produce a novel class of broad-spectrum, non-toxic biopesticides that prime the plants’ immune systems to enhance resistance to pathogens and increase crop yields. The company receives a $500,000 prize.

“I want to congratulate all the companies that took place in the third round of the Grow-NY competition,” Governor Kathy Hochul said. “This competition not only helps these companies continue to innovate but will further support New York State’s regional economies by drawing even more worldwide attention to our globally renowned food and agriculture industry.”

For year three of the Grow-NY Food and Ag Summit, more than 1,200 people registered for the event and audiences had the option to attend either in-person in Syracuse or virtually.

The in-person event featured panel discussions on the biggest issues facing the food and agriculture industry, a Summit showcase of vendors and organizations supporting the start-up community, a pitch competition where the top 20 finalists presented their business ideas to a live audience. A panel of five independent judges – reflecting a depth and breadth of agriculture, food production, and entrepreneurial expertise – listened to each presentation and presented questions before determining the top winners.


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