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Genius NY is accepting applications for program’s fourth round

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 Wednesday said it is accepting application for the program’s fourth round through Oct. 1. (Eric Reinhardt / BJNN)

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Genius NY is accepting applications for the fourth round of the year-long business accelerator.

Genius NY stands for Growing ENtrepreneurs & Innovators in UpState New York. It is described as “the world’s largest business competition focused on unmanned systems.”

The program will invest more than $3 million in five finalist companies, including a grand prize of $1 million.

The program will accept applications through Oct. 1. Entrepreneurs and early-stage businesses focused on unmanned systems, including unmanned aerial, ground, and marine systems; internet of things, and data-to-decision and cross-connected platforms sectors may apply.

Subsets may include precision and remote sensing, data collection and analytics, guidance or communication systems, and sensors, among other technological categories.

Administered by CenterState CEO, Genius NY is funded by Empire State Development in a model similar to Buffalo’s 43North program, per the news release.

The “advancement of the Genius NY program builds on the progress” of CNY Rising, the region’s award-winning plan to generate “robust economic growth and community development.” The program also offers company stipends, housing, resources, programming and networking opportunities.

More than 50 applications “from around the globe” have already been submitted following AUVSI Xponential. The event, which is described as “the world’s largest unmanned systems conference,” was held in Boston May 4 through May7, per its website. 

Genius NY representatives and partners from UAS Central, New York’s unmanned systems sector, attended the event, per the news release.

How the program works

A panel of judges evaluates the applications and will select 12 semi-finalists to present demonstrations and pitches this fall. Five companies will advance to participate in the competition, which is structured as a “unique programmed incubator and accelerator experience.”

These five teams will enter the in-residence accelerator at CenterState CEO's Tech Garden in 2020, and will be immersed in the incubator's events, resource pool, and mentoring.

Participants are required to operate their business in Central New York for one year during the competition.

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