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Genius NY expands for applicants in Internet of Things industry

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Genius NY, a $2 million business accelerator based at the Syracuse Technology Garden, is expanding its applicant pool to accommodate startups specializing in Internet of Things (IoT) technologies.

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

Since June, the program has attracted applicants nationwide who are focused on unmanned aerial, marine, ground, and data-to-decision systems, CenterState CEO said in a news release issued Wednesday.

With a new industry available for potential applicants, Genius NY will now accept submissions until Oct. 16.

“Genius NY aims to capture the spirit of emerging industries and help them succeed in Central New York,” Rick Clonan, VP of innovation and entrepreneurship at CenterState CEO, said in the release. “IoT can enable and amplify the capabilities of unmanned systems, which makes companies that specialize in these technologies a natural fit for our accelerator.”

IoT is defined as “Internet-based autonomous communication between physical objects.

San Jose, California–based Cisco Systems (NASDAQ: CSCO) released two studies that indicate IoT will become a $19 trillion industry within the next decade, CenterState CEO said. It is estimated that there are more Internet-connected devices than people on the planet, and that IoT will grow to include “more than 30 billion connected devices in 10 years,” the organization added.

Central New York is building a “deep reservoir” of talent and facilities to ensure security, privacy, and trust for IoT, Marc Viggiano, founder and CEO of Niteopark, and executive advisor to Genius NY, contended.

“IoT-connected devices will transform our lives for the better with autonomous vehicles, smart homes, smart grids, and wearable devices. It’s exciting that Genius NY is offering a unique opportunity to companies in this emerging field, and will allow them to gain a competitive advantage by leveraging our network and assets in Upstate,” Viggiano said.

The Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse hosts the Genius NY competition.

Beginning in January, six finalists will compete for the top prize of $1 million, followed by 2nd and 3rd place cash awards of $600,000, and $400,000, respectively.

The remaining teams will receive $175,000, with opportunities for follow-on funding for all teams available.

The in-residence business accelerator also offers monthly team stipends of $10,000, housing allowances, and a “specialized” mentorship network, according to the release.

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