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CenterState CEO announces 16 semifinalists in Genius NY second round

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Genius NY, a business-accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s Syracuse Technology Garden, on Thursday announced 16 semifinalists in the competition’s second round.

Genius NY stands for Growing ENtrepreneurs & Innovators in UpState New York.

The companies, which are developing innovations in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry, were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 250 submissions to compete for $3 million in investments.

CenterState CEO should announce the six finalists for Genius NY in late December.

Of the 16 semifinalists, three teams represent Switzerland and the United Kingdom. Additionally, women co-founded three teams chosen as semifinalists, CenterState CEO noted.

“We are excited to welcome these forward-thinking entrepreneurs to Central New York for round two of the Genius NY competition,” Howard Zemsky, president, CEO & commissioner of Empire State Development, said in a CenterState CEO news release. “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 semifinalists are:

  • AgriSense, which is headquartered in the Finger Lakes region, according to its website.
  • AndroMeta-X, which CenterState CEO lists as a New York company
  • Quantifly, listed as a New York company
  • Kairos Weather Corporation, listed as a New York company
  • SkyTubeLive, listed as a New York company
  • Syracuse University applicant (new company)
  • Dropcopter, California
  • Dronetechuav, Texas
  • Fovea Aero Systems LLC, New Jersey
  • Kinaptic, Maine
  • Precision Vision, New Mexico
  • USDRobotics, Florida
  • Systems Technology Solutions, New Mexico
  • OneSky, Switzerland
  • Fotokite, Switzerland
  • BioCarbon Engineering, United Kingdom

What’s next?

The 16 teams now have three weeks to complete a video presentation on why their company would be the “best fit” for Genius NY. A panel of local judges will review the presentations and select the six finalists participating in Genius NY 2.0.

Judges will be looking for companies that will stay in the Central New York region and utilize the ecosystem, will scale and be successful, and represent diversity of technology focus and team makeup.

“The teams we have selected represent the very best of an incredibly competitive application pool,” Rick Clonan, VP of innovation and entrepreneurship at CenterState CEO, said in the release. “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 program, which is funded by Empire State Development in a model similar to Buffalo’s 43North program, will invest more than $3 million in six companies over the course of the year-long competition, “making it the largest business accelerator competition for the UAS industry in the world,” CenterState CEO said.

The advancement of the Genius NY program builds on the progress of CNY Rising, the region’s award-winning “strategic plan to generate robust economic growth and community development.”

CenterState CEO will announce the grand prizes during an event in April, where teams will compete live by pitching their technologies to a panel of judges. The program will award three grand-prize investments, including $1 million, $600,000 and $400,000.

The remaining runner-up teams will each receive a $250,000 investment.

Contact Reinhardt at


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