While there are other universities with top 10 agriculture programs and other schools with top 10 computer and information science programs, only Cornell University can offer both. Because of that, New York state chose Cornell to administer the competition and accelerate the formation and growth of new, innovative startups. Cornell will leverage its experience managing the state’s 76West Clean Energy Competition, its resources as a top-ten institution for entrepreneurship and a top-three agriculture school, its partnerships through AgriTech and extension programs, and its long history as New York’s land grant research university. The competition will be administered by Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement.
The New York state Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech pulls together multiple partners to catalyze business development in the agriculture and food industries. The Center for Excellence serves as a hub connecting New York state businesses and entrepreneurs with the services they need to grow including:
Grow-NY Program Director
Jenn Smith directs Cornell University’s Grow-NY program, which includes an annual $3M food and ag startup competition, an ag tech hardware accelerator, and activities supporting the cultivation of Upstate New York’s regional agrifood ecosystem. The role draws on her background in craft beverage market development, most recently as the Executive Director of the New York Cider Association and the New York State Distillers Guild. In addition to working with NYCA and NYSDG, Jenn helped other food and farming entrepreneurs to launch value-added products and hospitality ventures as an NYC-based consultant.
Mary Shelman Group
Global Head of Food and Agribusiness Innovation and the FoodBytes! platform,
Pedersen Farms, Inc.
President and Founder
Hudson Valley Fisheries and New York Hemp Service
EVP, Innovation Leader
Farm Credit East,
Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Entrepreneurial Fellow
LaunchNY and Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Independent Attorney at Law
RD & Associates Consulting
Assistant Professor and Entrepreneur-In-Residence
Syracuse University and LaunchNY
Liddy Enterprises Inc
Director of Blackstone LaunchPad
Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Associate Professor of Agricultural Business
TUNING Design Co.
Vice President and Senior Engineer
Innovation Execution Director
Corning Research and Development Corporation
Food Processing Business Incubation Program
Clean Energy Analytics
Empire Food Consultants
Director of Commercialization
High Strain Dynamics and The Montgomery Group