Print Edition

  Email News Updates

Genius NY increases minimum cash awards for startups by more than 40 percent

By Eric Reinhardt


SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Genius NY, a $2 million business accelerator based at the Syracuse Technology Garden, has increased by 43 percent the minimum cash-prize amounts it will award its competition finalists.

Genius NY stands for Growing ENtrepreneurs & Innovators in UpState New York. It’s an in-residence business competition accelerator at the Tech Garden that CenterState CEO operates. 

The program will award six companies at least $250,000 for participating in the program, the Syracuse Technology Garden said in a news release issued Wednesday. That’s up from $175,000 last year. The six companies will spend a year at the Tech Garden developing their business plan, their operations, and working with mentors.

The program will award grand prizes of $1 million, $600,000, and $400,000 to the top three competitors, with “additional opportunities for follow-on funding,” while the other three firms get the $250,000 minimum.

“We’re excited to raise the stakes for this competition and show our dedication to accelerating startups engaged in the unmanned systems, data-to-decision, and IoT [Internet of Things] space in Central New York,” Jonathan Parry, director of Genius NY, said in the release. “Our awards make Genius NY the largest business competition for these specific industries, and a unique opportunity for companies that require a seed round to gain momentum.” 

As of Wednesday, nearly 200 startups had already applied to compete for placement as semifinalists. 

They include companies based on the West Coast looking to expand operations in New York and startups in the Ukraine, Spain, Belgium, and Brazil.

The startups from outside the U.S. that have applied have the Tech Garden contending that Genius NY is “gaining traction for promoting Central [New York] as an attractive hub for scaling innovative technologies,” according to the release.

“Weeks before applications close, we’re already impressed by the quality and ingenuity of our competitors, and look forward to selecting the companies that will add the greatest value to our entrepreneurial ecosystem,” Parry added.

Startups within the industries of unmanned systems, data-to-decision applications, and IoT are encouraged to apply at by Oct. 16. 

The program will notify semifinalists in early November, the Tech Garden said.

Contact Reinhardt at

Thank You For Visiting