GrowRIVERSIDE is a multi-stakeholder initiative to cultivate food and agricultural activities across Riverside and surrounding region. The Riverside Food Systems Alliance will host the fourth annual GrowRIVERSIDE conference on March 30, 2017. The conference aims to: equip attendees with tools and knowledge to create a strong marketplace for local food systems, generate opportunities for economic development, advance public policy related to food and agriculture, and provide a venue for stakeholders to network.

High School and College Students: Do you have a desire to start your own food or ag-related business? Do you have an innovative idea for a new food or ag-related product or system? GrowRIVERSIDE would like you to prepare a business plan submission for the 2017 New Food/Agriculture Business Contest.

2017 Food & Agriculture Business Contest Guidelines


  1. Create an opportunity for students to present their food/ag business ventures or ideas in an environment that promotes new venture creation and the spirit of entrepreneurship
  2. Provide real feedback from entrepreneurs and experienced judges who will assist the students in their entrepreneurial goals and endeavors
  3. Award students on the merits of presenting their ideas with cash prizes, mentoring and recognition
  4. Provide students with an opportunity to network and build valuable connections with like-minded entrepreneurial peers from around the region
  5. Give students a chance to showcase their talents and passion for entrepreneurship
  6. Help to launch the next generation of farmers

Winners will receive:

  • Up to $2,000 toward business start-up costs
  • Consulting and mentoring from a business entrepreneur

Complete the submission form below to submit your business plan online. All submissions are subject to the approval of the GrowRIVERSIDE Business Contest Committee and will be reviewed by a panel of experts. Applications will not be accepted after the deadline listed below. The Top 5 contestants will be called in for an interview by the Committee. Presentation videos of the Top 5 contestants will also be shown during the 2017 GrowRIVERSIDE Conference. First and Second Place Winners will be introduced at the 2017 GrowRIVERSIDE Conference.

Key Dates

Submissions Due March 10, 2017 by 10:00 p.m.
Notification of Top 5 Status March 17, 2017 by email
Top 5 Contestant Interviews March 20, 2017
First and Second Place Winners Announced to Contestants March 24, 2017 by email
Winners Publicly Announced and Top 5 Contestants Presented at GrowRIVERSIDE Conference March 30, 2017

Submissions will be judged by a panel of business professionals who will use a scoring sheet and criteria provided by GrowRIVERSIDE that will be tallied to determine the highest ranking submissions. The panel will give priority to projects that can help the community, help people and our local food system. The winning submission will help take our food system to the next level.