Governor Hochul Announces Round Three Winner of the Grow-NY Food and Agriculture Business Competition

November 17, 2021

Every Body Eat Awarded $1 Million Grand Prize

More Than $3 Million in Prize Money Awarded to Eight Startups After Two-Day In-Person and Virtual Pitch Competition in Syracuse

Funding for Competition Comes Through Upstate Revitalization Initiatives: CNY Rising, Finger Lakes Forward and Southern Tier Soaring - Regional Comprehensive Strategies

Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Every Body Eat was named as the $1 million grand prize winner of round three of the Grow-NY food innovation and agriculture technology business competition, which is focused on enhancing the emerging food, beverage and agriculture innovation cluster in Central New York, the Finger Lakes, and the Southern Tier. The innovative competition once again attracted a group of exceptional startups and entrepreneurial talent from around the globe to compete in its two-day pitch competition and highly anticipated symposium. Every Body Eat was one of eight finalists to take home prize money during the Grow-NY Food and Ag Summit's awards ceremony held at the Oncenter in downtown Syracuse. The winning teams must commit to operating in the Central New York, Finger Lakes, or Southern Tier regions for at least one year, while providing Grow-NY with a small equity investment stake in each entity. Funding for the competition, which is administered by Cornell University's Center for Regional Economic Advancement, is provided through the state's Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

"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."

Every Body Eat, from Chicago, IL, makes, markets and sells delicious food that is free from corn, sugar and the most common 14 allergens, so that people can enjoy it, together, regardless of dietary restrictions or preferences. 

"We are absolutely honored to be selected—from such an incredible pool of food and agriculture startups—as this year's $1 million top prize winner at Grow-NY," said Nichole Wilson, Co-founder and President of Every Body Eat. "We look forward to leveraging this award and all of the connections we have made in the region to take our company to the next level, expand our market, and hire more talent."

For year three of the Grow-NY Food and Ag Summit, over 1200 people registered for the event and audiences had the option to attend either in-person 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 startup community, and 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.

Read the full press release.