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New Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator Track Brings AgTech Innovations to Market

apples on a conveyer belt

New Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator Track Brings AgTech Innovations to Market

Rev: Ithaca Startup Works is excited to announce the launch of a new AgTech Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator track. Funded by the U.S. Economic Development Administration’s University Center program and offered in partnership with Cornell Engineering, the new track will operate in tandem with the successful Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator and support startups working towards innovations in agricultural areas such as farming operations, animal husbandry, and food processing. 

This marks the third year that Rev: Ithaca Startup Works has operated its Manufacturing program and supported the efforts of entrepreneurs as they bring their prototypes to the production phase. Through the AgTech track, the free, cohort-based program aims to leverage university assets to build a regional agrifood ecosystem that supports innovation and high-growth entrepreneurship, improving the economic conditions for the regional ag sector.

During the intensive year-long program, which will run from September 2022 to August 2023, selected participants will be provided with specialized training tailored to the ag tech industry and one-on-one mentorship. Additionally, startups will be connected to experts and potential partners in the region’s robust agrifood ecosystem, including manufacturers and investors.  

“Manufacturing products in the AgTech space poses some unique challenges that can include food safety, rugged operating environments, and integrating into existing operations. The Manufacturing Accelerator will assist companies in identifying these unique requirements and strategies to address to enable a smooth product launch,” said Ken Rother, Director of Rev: Ithaca Startup Works. 

Major goals of the AgTech Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator include leveraging the existing agriculture and food production ecosystem to foster innovation and create opportunity, strengthening the connective tissue between players in the Grow-NY region agrifood system, and planting the seeds for future Grow-NY business competition winners.  

“Grow-NY represents a top-notch enrichment opportunity for startups ready to scale their technology. The AgTech Accelerator is a kind of feeder school to the program, training participants to develop their ideas into viable material and conceptual plans,” said Jenn Smith, Program Director of Grow-NY. “Participants leave closer to readiness to compete for Grow-NY’s $3M of annual prize money.” 

The cohort will meet virtually twice a month and in person in Ithaca, NY approximately three times during the program for immersive experiences and manufacturing tours. Each startup is required to meet with their assigned mentor for one hour each month. Additional ecosystem events, networking opportunities, and training sessions will be available, but are not required. 

Applications for 2022–2023 cohort of the AgTech Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator, as well as the Open Track (for innovators in all fields and industries) of the Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator, are open through August 11, 2022. Applications will be reviewed on a rolling basis. The program is free, and participants do not give away any equity. Virtual information sessions on the Manufacturing Hardware Accelerator, including the AgTech track, will be held from 4:00 to 5:00 p.m. ET on June 23, July 19, and August 3. The program’s leadership team will provide an overview of the program schedule, benefits and expectations, and address questions. For more information, visit or email [email protected]