[MUSIC PLAYING] CATHARINE YOUNG: The Center of Excellence is committed to improving people's lives by growing the economy and helping food, beverage, and agriculture industries be able to thrive and grow.
BRUNO XAVIER: Whenever our clients were very successful using the techniques and the solutions that we provided, we were usually unable to help them to go to the next step. Now we have the right process. We have the great product that we wanted, but how do you make that into a company that is large enough to be financially viable in the long run?
DAN RAO: Imagine being a food entrepreneur in this food ecosystem, with some of the nation's largest grocery and retail chains asking you to make a product for them. Of course, you say yes, but you're going to need some help along the way, and that's what the Center of Excellence has done. They've opened up their lines of communications for us. They basically handed us keys to locks that we didn't have access to before.
JAN NYROP: The COE is a little bit like placing a flag in the sand. It's a banner from the State of New York saying, we are very serious about growing the food and agriculture economy in this state. New York has been called the Empire State, and the COE helps to promote that brand.
HAILEY SCOFIELD: The Center of Excellence has been incredibly influential in helping us really grow our network, introducing us to some potential key partners in adjacent industries, and then also really in a lot of individual mentorship and leadership training.
CATHARINE YOUNG: Our vision for the future is to have a thriving food, beverage, and agriculture industry in New York State, to lift everyone up so that they have opportunities and prosperity. And the Center of Excellence is on the front lines every single day working toward those goals.
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Since its doors opened in September 2018, Cornell AgriTech's Center of Excellence for Food and Agriculture has supported more than 50 New York-based companies and helped raised $12.3 million to grow businesses.