“Our winning streak continues!” thought Agency 29 Founder and CEO Maureen Ballatori as she applauded client, Clean Label Solution, for their $250,000 win at the 2023 Grow-NY pitch competition. This is the fifth year in a row that the agency, formerly known as 29 Design Studio, has helped clients take home a significant investment from the international Grow-NY Food and Agriculture competition.
“The finalists in this competition are the true champions, but we’re incredibly proud to be in their fighting corners,” says Maureen Ballatori, founder and CEO of Agency 29. The creative agency specializes in working with national and international food, beverage, and agriculture brands.
Agency 29 Creative Director Courtney Carroway led the relationship with Dr. Mohammad (Mo) Arshadi, Ph.D., founder and CEO of Clean Label Solution. “It was a pleasure to work with Dr. Mo – he is a tenacious entrepreneur who has been partnering with local farmers and proving his technology’s success right here in our backyard. We’re looking forward to watching Clean Label Solution grow as they innovate the dairy industry in New York and beyond!”
Clean Label Solution’s proprietary technology improves protein and fat digestibility and reduces CO2 emissions and energy consumption in the production of soy-based animal feeds for livestock such as dairy cattle, poultry, deer, and fish farms.
“Working with Agency 29 was a strategic choice as their expertise aligns seamlessly with our vision,” Dr. Arshadi said. “Their collaborative efforts ensured our presentation effectively communicated the essence of Clean Label Solution’s mission and technology.”
Participating in the Grow-NY pitch competition was a very positive experience for the Clean Label Solution team, Dr. Arshadi noted. “This experience provided invaluable insights into refining our pitch, connecting with industry experts, and gaining exposure to a broader network. It was a learning opportunity that will undoubtedly shape our future endeavors. This award will significantly impact our business by providing the necessary resources to scale our operations, invest in research and development, and accelerate the market penetration of our innovative soybean feed technology.”
2023 was the fifth year of the Grow-NY competition and Summit. The international competition drew 323 startups, all vying to receive a combined total of $3 million in prize money. The winners were announced on November 15 in Binghamton, NY.
In previous years, five other Agency 29 clients have received awards in the Grow-NY competition.
- RealEats Meals, a premium prepared meal delivery service, claimed the coveted first-place prize of $1 million in 2019.
- In year two, Leep Foods, a grower of premium regenerative organic mushrooms, won $250,000.
- Year three, 2021, brought two client winners. Agtech company Ascribe Bioscience took home a second-place $500,0000 prize in 2021, while the farm management company Agri-Trak received the “Audience Choice” award and $10,000 for having the most innovative and promising pitch.
- Sweet Pea, a plant-powered kitchen creating transformative paths by combining the benefits of its plant-centric food meal service and nutrition coaching, won $250,000 in year four, 2022.
“Grow-NY is such an exciting time for us and for the entire food and agriculture ecosystem. Every year we look forward to this opportunity to come together and celebrate the innovation happening in food and agtech from around the world,” Maureen noted. “To be able to support clients as they prepare for the opportunity to take home an investment to grow their business is an honor. I can’t wait to see who’s in the top 20 next year!”