Food & Beverage Entrepreneurship and Business Development

The Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture


The Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture at Cornell AgriTech is a business development hub that grows the food, beverage, agriculture and ag-tech economy in New York State.  We connect entrepreneurs and businesses with the resources they need to succeed, including Cornell research and technology, business mentorship, business-to-business partnerships, supply chain assets, government incentives, and capital resources.  The CoE focuses on pushing entrepreneurs and startups to launch their businesses in New York and commercialize products and services, pulling companies into the state be connecting them with innovation resources and economic development partners, and growing existing food, beverage and agriculture-related businesses.


  • Only United States citizens or permanent residents are eligible for UDA NIFA funds in this program.  Non-US citizens, especially Cornell CALS students, may be eligible for funding from other sources.
  • Must be 18 years of age by June 2022.
  • Must have completed two, and preferably three, years of college level study in business, food science, agriculture, global development or communications.
  • Must also be enrolled in an undergraduate program in business, food science, agriculture, global development or communications.

2022 Project

How to Grow a Food or Beverage Business

Focusing on the business development of food and beverage companies will allow students to learn about entrepreneurship, food and beverage production, general business operations, Cornell food and beverage research and technology, emerging food innovation and trends, regulatory compliance, government economic incentives, capital investments, business-to-business partnerships and supply chain issues.  In this project, the Summer Scholars will work with CoE experts and actual companies to gain knowledge about success in the food and beverage industry.  Site visits will allow students to see food company operations firsthand.  The Summer Scholars will develop a comprehensive database of food and beverage co-packers to understand each company’s capabilities and which types of business partnerships can be established.  In addition, the Summer Scholar will compile a resource list of economic developers across New York State and develop an outreach plan to educate officials about the services offered through the CoE.  The Summer Scholars also will compile a guide for food and beverage entrepreneurs who are developing products and starting their own businesses. The guide will include information on government regulatory requirements, food labeling, marketing resources, and other elements that will help small businesses to grow.