“The world’s largest accelerator competition for unmanned technology start-ups is now accepting entries for its 5th year. Five finalists will be selected for this year’s program and split a total of $3 million in cash with the winner taking home a $1 million top prize. Applications are open until March 31, 2021,” says a press release.
The Syracuse, New York, GENIUS NY program is one of central NY’s secret weapons in becoming a drone industry hub. The program provides more than funding, although the $3 million is a big draw: the accelerator also provides space, connections, mentoring, and networking. Combined with the world class drone testing facilities available at nearby NUAIR, the FAA UAS test site, it’s a compelling offering for a small company trying to get off the ground in the U.S. New York’s development of a 50 mile drone corridor to facilitate the development of advanced operations has added further incentive for companies to grow their businesses in the central NY area. “Since 2017, GENIUS NY has invested over $12 million in 22 early stage companies from around the world,” says the announcement.
Fotokite, of Switzerland, won in 2018. “Fotokite technology uses a tether combined with an onboard IMU to compute the vehicle’s position relative to the user. This allows for quick deployment and controlled flight by virtually anyone and obviates the need for complex start-up protocols, GPS dependency, trained pilots, and bulky remote controls. Fotokite is intended to support first responders recently partnered with firefighting firm Pierce Manufacturing to launch its system that can be integrated with public-safety vehicles as well as other firefighting equipment,” explains the press release. For Fotokite, the program provided the opportunity to move into a new market and reach the momentum they needed to bring their products to a wider audience.
“Bringing Fotokite to the U.S. has always been important for the success of our startup,” said Chris McCall, CEO of Fotokite. “GENIUS NY has accelerated this process for us even more than we could have expected, resulting in game-changing speed of growth, incredible local and national network connections, and highly curated business advice to help prepare and scale up operations.”
Last September, Geopipe, a team from New York City, won the $1 million prize. The startup is developing algorithmic tools to model expansive virtual worlds for architecture, real estate, urban planning, and beyond.
Dr. Christopher Mitchell, CEO and cofounder of Geopipe, said, “The Geopipe team is honored and proud to have been selected as the GENIUS NY 2020 winner. We’re grateful for the support of the GENIUS NY coaches, mentors, and other startups as we’ve accelerated Geopipe beyond our 2020 goals. We’re looking forward to growing our team in Central New York and elsewhere, as we move Geopipe even faster towards our vision of the whole-Earth digital twin. If you are passionate about 3D data, open world gaming, or building intelligence to automatically rebuild the Earth in the digital space, we want to talk to you!”
GENIUS NY is looking for companies who are focused on unmanned systems, IoT, big data and robotics. To apply and see program requirements visit, www.geniusny.com/apply.
The entry deadline for the upcoming accelerator is March 31. The program is funded by Empire State Development and administered at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden incubator in Syracuse, New York. To apply visit, www.geniusny.com.
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 penned over 3,000 articles focused on the commercial drone space and is an international speaker and recognized figure in the industry. Miriam has a degree from the University of Chicago and over 20 years of experience in high tech sales and marketing for new technologies.
For drone industry consulting or writing, Email Miriam.
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