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$3 million awarded during GENIUS NY virtual Pitch Finals

By Rob Simpson


[On Sept. 17], together with New York state, we announced Geopipe as the winner of GENIUS NY’s $1 million grand prize during the program’s first-ever virtual Pitch Finals. BotsAndUs from the United Kingdom; Droneseed from Seattle, Washington; Eget Liber from Syracuse; and Skyy Network from Australia were also each awarded investments of $500,000 during the event. 

The excitement for the impact of these teams’ technologies on the unmanned-systems industry, and our region’s continued leadership in this sector, is as strong as ever. Despite the challenges created by COVID-19, all of the companies involved in the GENIUS NY program continue to have support through CenterState CEO’s innovation programming and have advanced their technologies, hired local talent, continued to test the market, and are gaining follow-on funding. The GENIUS NY investments further enable this year’s teams to continue accelerating their growth in Central New York. 

This progress would not be possible without New York State’s unprecedented $20 million in previously allocated investments in the GENIUS NY program, helping it become the world’s largest business competition focused on unmanned systems, cross-connected platforms, and other technology-based sectors. In addition to the state’s investment, the support of the program’s mentors and judges have proven to be critical to its success. 

To learn more about the program and the technologies being developed by the GENIUS NY teams, visit, or contact Jeff Fuchsberg at        

Robert M. (Rob) Simpson is president and CEO of CenterState CEO, the primary economic-development organization for Central New York. This viewpoint is drawn and edited from the “CEO Focus” email newsletter that the organization sent to members on Sept. 18. 

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