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Genius NY says cybersecurity, internet of things, and big data startups can participate in 2020

By Eric Reinhardt


Jon Parry, director of the Genius NY program, addresses the gathering during the Genius NY awards night held April 9 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown. Genius NY on Monday said it is accepting applications from startups in the cybersecurity, internet of things, and big data sectors for the program’s fourth round. The application period continues through Oct. 1. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — The Genius NY program is now opening its applications to include startups in the fields of big data (smart cities, cybersecurity) and internet of things (IoT) (smart devices, artificial intelligence), CenterState CEO announced Monday.

Genius NY is CenterState CEO’s in-residence business accelerator program at the Tech Garden in Syracuse. The organization calls it “the largest unmanned systems accelerator in the world.”

The program invests $3 million in five early-stage companies each year, while also providing incubator space, business programming, mentors and advisers, and resources. Now in its third year, Genius NY has so far invested $9 million in 17 startups.

Applications are open through Oct.1. To apply to Genius NY, visit

The program’s central focus is on unmanned systems, building on the progress of CNY Rising, “the region’s comprehensive strategy to revitalize communities and grow the economy.” 

New York has invested “significant” resources to advance the unmanned aerial systems (UAS) industry in the region, which is home to one of only seven Federal Aviation Administration test sites and the only 50-mile beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) corridor for testing drones.

The program will expand its focus to IoT and big data to “better leverage” other regional initiatives, including the proposed Syracuse Surge and Smart Cities Initiative, which were announced earlier this year, per a news release.

Syracuse Surge encompasses more than $200 million of public and private investment to prepare Syracuse for the “Next Economy,” CenterState CEO said. The Smart Cities Initiative involves replacing all of the city’s streetlights with energy efficient, light-emitting diodes that can connect to a variety of devices to help the city collect data and provide broadband access, it added.

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