New York MilkLaunch is a competition open to any persons who, as of the date of entry, (i) are legal residents of one of the fifty (50) United States or the District of Columbia, (ii) are at least eighteen (18) years of age or older (or the age of majority in their state of residence if greater than eighteen (18), whichever age is older), who have a promising cow’s milk product targeted to Generation Z consumers, be it a start-up, Small to Medium Enterprise, researcher, student, public organization, consultant, engineering company, a combination of these. Employees of the New York State Dairy Promotion Order (NYSDPO) and its Board Members, and members of the immediate family of any such persons, are not eligible to participate and win through any entity or otherwise. The term “immediate family” includes spouses, siblings, parents, children, grandparents, and grandchildren, whether as “in-laws,” or by current or past marriage(s), remarriage(s), adoption, co-habitation or other family extension, and any other persons residing at the same household whether or not related.

To be eligible, an applicant’s product must have less than $250,000 of annual sales in U.S. sales and an edible prototype of the product must be available by the finals for the judges to taste. If the product is a spin-off or product extension from an existing business, as long as it meets the above criteria, it will also be eligible.

Location & Dairy Requirements  

The applicant must be innovating within dairy products for public consumption. These innovations may include, but are not limited to:  

• Flavor variations

• Nutrient/health improvements  

• Marketing innovations

• New packaging

• Environmentally conscious or sustainability innovations

• Offer new and/or improved methods for producing, preparing, and packaging food and beverage products or ingredients

• Represent high-growth opportunities for new and innovative food and beverage products or ingredients

The applicants must meet the following criteria:

Be a dairy-based product 

Cow’s milk must make up at least 50% of the formula

Commitment to source 100% of all dairy ingredients from New York State for a period of 12 months should they win the competition 

If applicant is unsure about eligibility to enter the Competition, they may contact beau@venturefuel.net before submitting an entry. 

Judging Criteria  

A panel of judges will award over $200,000 worth of total value prizing to innovative dairy applicants, based upon which entries best meet the assessment criteria, as set out below. Decisions made by the jury are final and no correspondence will be entered into. The composition of the jury may vary, and judges may select more than one grand prize winner depending upon quality of finalists. Judging criteria includes:  

Uniqueness/dairy innovation 

Taste as determined by the judges

Viability of commercialization and business model

Ability to generate revenue and potential market 

Competitive point of differentiation

Marketing – who is the consumer target and how you can win them over?

• Gen-Z product-market fit: Significant value for Gen Z customers for which they are willing to pay

State job creation: Potential for creation of jobs in New York 

• Team: Quality and completeness of the team and their readiness to deliver product to market. 

Winner Selection  

A panel of judges will review all submitted applications and select up to six (6) finalists. Those finalists will appoint a spokesperson from their team to pitch their business and plans to an audience and panel of judges during the final pitch competition, to be held virtually. Each pitch will be followed by a brief question period for judges to seek more information to which the presenter will answer to the best of their ability. After all pitches are completed, the judges will determine the winner and will be announced live. 

Questions? Please reach out to Beau Bergman at: beau@venturefuel.net