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:
Director of Food and Agriculture Programs, CREA
Jenn Smith leads food and ag startup programs for Cornell’s Center for Regional Economic Advancement, including the Grow-NY program, an annual $3M competition for innovative, early stage, high growth potential businesses working anywhere in the agrifood system. Through CREA she co-directs an ag tech hardware accelerator and runs a Dairy Product Innovation initiative and activities supporting the cultivation of Upstate New York’s regional agrifood ecosystem. In her role she draws on her background in entrepreneurship in the food and farming space and subject matter expertise in craft beverage market development, gained while the Executive Director of the New York Cider Association and the New York State Distillers Guild. In addition to leading NYCA and NYSDG, Jenn has helped entrepreneurs throughout the Northeast launch value-added products, agritourism ventures and hospitality businesses.
Grow-NY Program Manager
Sarah A. Meyer is a Program Associate for Cornell University’s Grow-NY program. She leverages her familiarity with food, agriculture, and community innovation to provide administrative and management support to the Grow-NY Food & Agriculture Competition. Experiences gained in her most recent roles as Project Manager of the Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech and Director of Cornell Agriculture and Food Technology Park are an asset to Grow-NY and its continued dedication to strengthening New York’s viable food system.
Entrepreneur-In-Residence and Entrepreneurial Fellow
Launch NY and Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Assistant Professor of Agribusiness
RD & Associates Consulting
Assistant Professor and Entrepreneur-In-Residence
Syracuse University and Launch NY
Director of Industry Outreach
Cornell Center for Materials Research
Liddy Enterprises Inc
Director of Blackstone LaunchPad
Visiting Professor of Entrepreneurial Studies
Hobart and William Smith Colleges
Associate Professor of Agricultural Business
Director of Tech Extension
GiveGab (now Bonterra)
Founder, Global Food Lawyer
Neumann Advisory Services, LLC
Director of Commercialization
Empire Food Consultants
Alchemist Climate Ventures
Business Development Specialist
Bison Bag Co., Inc.