No PLUs necessary with this retail check-out system

No PLUs necessary with this retail check-out system

RealEats America, a meal kit company focused on healthy foods, received the $1 million top prize in the inaugural Grow-NY competition.

Other winners include a company with a retail check-out technology that can identify fresh produce items without the use of labels.

Seven companies split a total of $3 million at the Grow-NY event in Rochester Nov. 12-13, according to a news release. Seventeen finalists pitched their ideas after being chosen from almost 200 applicants.

“This targeted investment not only helps these dynamic companies establish themselves in New York State, but supports New York’s regional agricultural economy,” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said in the release. “RealEats represents the initiatives that will create a lasting economic impact on New York’s agribusiness.”

Tiliter Technology, Munchen, Germany, is one of two companies that took home $500,000. The company has developed a system that can recognize fruits and vegetables without a price look-up label, even identifying different varieties of apples.

Other award recipients are:

  • Dropcopter, Syracuse, N.Y. ($500,000), which uses drones to pollinate fruit and nut crops, increasing fruit set by 25%;
  • Capro-X, Ithaca, N.Y. ($250,000), which turns whey acid (a by-product of Greek yogurt production) to natural bio-oils;
  • Combplex, Ithaca ($250,000), which has a way to eliminate the destructive Varroa mites in beekeeping;
  • The Perfect Granola, Victor, N.Y. ($250,000), a granola company that donates 5% of profits to homeless shelters and food banks; and
  • Whole Healthy Food, Ithaca ($250,000), which uses cannellini beans to reduce carbohydrate uptake.

Although companies based outside of New York competed, award recipients are required to make economic investments in the Grow-NY region, covering counties in central New York, and the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier areas of the state, according to the release. That includes jobs and connecting to local industry partners.

Empire State Development provided the award money and Cornell University’s Center for Regional Economic Advance administered the competition, according to the release.

Related stories:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announces 18 finalists in Grow-NY contest

Grow-NY’s competition applicants pass expectations

Food and ag startups can win Grow-NY’s $1 million prize