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Finalists chosen for seventh round of Genius NY program at Syracuse’s Tech Garden

By Eric Reinhardt (


The five finalists for this year’s seventh round of the Genius NY business-accelerator program will start their work in mid-July, Empire State Development announced. CenterState CEO and the Tech Garden administer the program, described as the “largest business accelerator for the UAS industry in the world.” UAS is short for uncrewed-aircraft system. (Photo credit: )

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Five teams will participate in the seventh round of the Genius NY business-accelerator program at the Tech Garden in Syracuse.

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

The teams are from New York City, Maryland, Michigan, the United Kingdom, and Florida, Empire State Development (ESD) announced.

The program is described as the “largest business accelerator for the UAS industry in the world.” An uncrewed-aircraft system (UAS) includes a drone and equipment used to control its flight. A drone is also referred to in the industry as an unmanned aerial vehicle, or UAV.

The five finalists are the following:

  • Voltela is from the Brooklyn area of New York City and provides connectivity assurance for commercial drones. Remote pilots must rely on reliable Command and Control connections.
  • Aloft from Silver Spring, Maryland is an FAA-approved UAS service supplier (USS) for LAANC (low altitude authorization and notification capability), “powering the vast majority of recreational and commercial airspace authorizations,” per an ESD news release.
  • Blueflite from Detroit, Michigan is a company designing and manufacturing a logistics drone platform to solve the “modern-day challenges in the logistics industry.”
  • Greenjets from Milton Keynes, United Kingdom is building next generation electric propulsion systems for advanced air mobility.
  • Votix of Weston, Florida is an “American Enterprise Drone Orchestration and Automation platform and the first universal (hardware-agnostic) drone operating system for commercial operations at scale,” per ESD.

Starting July 12, the five selected companies will move into downtown Syracuse where they will begin to refine work on their business cases, which they present at the pitch finals event on Oct. 4.

The five finalists were selected from a pool of more than 450 submissions. They will compete for $3 million in direct investment, with one grand prize of up to $1 million and four $500,000 awards.

Supported by the CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative and administered by CenterState CEO and the Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse, these startup, uncrewed-systems industry companies will participate in a yearlong program.

“The GENIUS NY accelerator has helped to establish Central New York as a hub for uncrewed aerial systems by attracting the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs,” said Empire State Development president, CEO, and commissioner Hope Knight. “New York State’s ongoing UAS investment will ensure that continued industry leadership, bringing top-quality jobs and growth to the region and beyond.”

Genius NY participants are required to commit to operating their business in Central New York for at least one year.