GENIUS NY, Syracuse’s leading business accelerator program based out of CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden, has announced the sixteen teams named as semi-finalists in the competition’s second round. The teams will compete for $3 million in investment funding, including a $1 million grand prize investment.
Genius NY is a highly competitive program designed to bring innovative new drone companies to New York’s center state area. The semi-finalists were chosen from more than 250 submissions from all over the world and include 3 international teams.
“We are excited to welcome these forward-thinking entrepreneurs to Central New York for round two of the GENIUS NY competition,” said Empire State Development President, CEO & Commissioner Howard Zemsky. “This unique contest supports UAS startups in developing the next-generation technologies that are helping Central New York, and its burgeoning drone industry, to rise.”
The program is funded by Empire State Development and has served as a model throughout the country. GeniusNY is the largest such competition for the drone industry in the world, and will invest more than $3 million in 6 winning companies over the course of the year-long competition. The semi-finalists must now create a video presentation pitching their company as the best fit for the competition. It’s a big commitment, especially for those companies based overseas: judges are looking for organizations that not only demonstrate innovation and technology and the potential to scale successfully, but will also stay in the central NY region.
“The teams we have selected represent the very best of an incredibly competitive application pool,” said Rick Clonan, vice president of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CenterState CEO. “These high-quality teams will benefit from the success of the program’s first round and will have the necessary resources to accelerate the growth of their businesses while contributing to the region’s leading expertise and advancement of the UAS industry.”
“The grand prizes will be announced at an event in April, where teams will compete live by pitching their technologies to a panel of judges. Three grand prize investments – $1 million, $600,000 and $400,000 – will be awarded. The remaining runner-up teams will each receive a $250,000 investment,” says GeniusNY.
“The GENIUS NY program provides proven support to help our region grow innovative next-generation technology companies in the unmanned systems industry,” said Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “We are excited to welcome these teams to our community and connect them with the ecosystem of support we have developed including our nationally recognized corridor for testing beyond visual line of sight. Only in Central New York will these companies be able to conduct this kind high level research and development while receiving investments and mentoring.”
“Beyond the grand prize investments, participants will have access to some of the region’s premier startup programming, including business planning, industry specific mentorship, and access to vetted service providers offering startup friendly terms. As part of this effort, participants will be integrated into the larger regional effort to grow unmanned aerial systems in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley and will have access to world-leading infrastructure and testing assets when they come online. Participants also receive stipends for operating capital and subsidized rent, and will also have opportunities to connect with investors for follow on funding.”
The 16 semi-finalist teams are listed below:
AgriSense, New York
AndroMeta-X, New York
BioCarbon Engineering, United Kingdom
Fovea Aero Systems LLC, New Jersey
Precision Vision, New Mexico
Quantifly, New York
Kairos Weather Corporation, New York
Systems Technology Solutions, New Mexico
SU Applicant (New Company), New York
SkyTubeLive, New York
Miriam McNabb is the Editor-in-Chief of DRONELIFE and CEO of JobForDrones, a professional drone services marketplace, and a fascinated observer of the emerging drone industry and the regulatory environment for drones. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.