BINGHAMTON, N.Y. (WIVT/WBGH) – An Endicott-based agtech company has qualified for the finals of an international business and agriculture competition.

Big Yield Growers has been selected as a finalist for round five of the Grow-NY Global Food and Agriculture Business Competition. The company will have the chance to compete against 20 other startups for a combined total of $3 million in prize money at the Grow-NY Summit on November 14 and November 15. The summit will be held at the Holiday Inn in downtown Binghamton.

The competition, now in its fifth year, aims to catalyze the growth of food, beverage, and agriculture innovations in Upstate New York. Funded through New York State’s Upstate Revitalization Initiative and administered by CREA, the event seeks to transform the industry by rewarding companies that they believe will create a positive impact on both the community and the environment.

“The innovative Grow-NY business competition has once again attracted a group of exceptional startups and entrepreneurial talent from around the world. Grow-NY’s agribusiness focus demonstrates New York State’s continued dedication to supporting agriculture advancements that will create jobs and grow the Central New York, Finger Lakes and Southern Tier economies,” said Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Hope Knight.

In total, the competition received applications from 323 startups across 49 countries, including Canada, the UK, and Italy. The 20 finalists were chosen by a panel of 30 respected judges who all have a vast knowledge of the region’s agriculture and food production communities.

Prior to the competition, all 20 finalists will go through a 10-week business development phase. This initiative serves as an accelerator for the companies and their business plans to better prepare them for their presentation. Over the course of the 10 weeks, the finalists will receive dedicated mentorship from a business advisor, business development support, workshop training, site visits, business tours, and industrial and economic development agency introductions as well as pitch training to hone their live presentation skills. They will also be introduced to a variety of regional leaders and resources in order to connect them to potential partnerships and other strategic opportunities. The companies will then pitch their ideas at November’s Grow-NY Summit where a panel of judges will reward seven winners. Prizes include a $1 million top prize, two $500,000 awards, and four $250,000 awards. 

Big Yield Growers works to ensure everyone they serve is getting food that’s fresh, healthy and affordable. They work closely with local communities and pride themselves on their long-term livelihood and organic farming practices. The company opened during the COVID-19 pandemic and operates year-round with the use of indoor growing towers. Headed by AgZeit CEO Jim Dutcher and 24:45 Organics founder Andy Maslin, the company says their farmers are trained by master indoor growers who help them provide quality produce to local grocery stores and restaurants across the community.