Tech and manufacturing are not the only ways local businesses innovate.

Some local agriculture entrepreneurs are part of a New York competition that could seed their businesses with prize money.

What You Need To Know

  • The Grow-NY Food & Agriculture Competition is now down to 20 finalists

  • 7 finalists are from Western New York

  • Grow-NY will award $3 million in prize money to seven winners

  • There will be a $1 million top prize, two $500,000 winners and four $250,000 prizes

In all, 330 startups applied from 32 countries. It is now down to 20 finalists for the Grow-NY Food & Agriculture Competition and seven of them are from Western New York.

The Finger Lakes, Rochester and Buffalo are rolling out some innovative food and agriculture businesses that are in the Grow-NY finals.

Nutreat is made at Cornell AgriTech in Geneva. Husband and wife team Rodolpho and Catia Coelho are natives of Brazil and parents of three. They are food nerds who believe nutrition is healing. They're simplifying eating healthy with Nutreat, a sugar-free, dairy-free, gluten-free spoonable sweet snack.

"I think everybody says it’s delicious. I think it’s delicious," said Catia. "So at the beginning, I said I want something that everybody likes and something like why not a sweet snack. It is way more than a project, it is a mission. We have a social responsibility as well so we want to tackle that as well through Nutreat."

"This is out of control amazing," said Rodolpho. "It is a recognition of hard work that started years ago. We are still pinching ourselves saying this is real. And whatever the outcome is we are already winners."

They applied in the first Grow-NY contest and didn't make it. Two years later, Nutreat is in the finals. You can buy Nutreat online at the company website and on Amazon.

There's big money at stake. Grow-NY will award $3 million in prize money to seven winners. That includes a $1 million top prize, two $500,000 winners and four $250,000 prizes.

The Grow-NY Summit in November will determine the winning startups.