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Genius NY program announces 13 semifinalists in this year’s competition

By Eric Reinhardt (


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SYRACUSE, N.Y. — Genius NY, a business-accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden, on Tuesday announced 13 teams as semifinalists in the competition’s fifth round.

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

The program selected the companies from a pool of nearly 600 submissions from more than 50 countries, CenterState CEO said.

Of the 13 semifinalists, five teams are from across New York state and five are international teams representing Germany, Israel, Poland, the Netherlands, and Switzerland, respectively.

The firms involved are focused on sectors that include unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), internet of things (IoT), and big data industries.

The semifinalists listed alphabetically are:

  • Airial Robotics (Hamburg, Germany)
  • Airtonomy (Grand Forks, North Dakota)
  • Airwayz (Tel Aviv, Israel)
  • Birdstop (San Francisco, California)
  • CarScanner (Krakow, Poland)
  • Circle Optics (Rochester, N.Y.)
  • Fusion Engineering (Delft, Netherlands)
  • Organic Robotics (Rochester, New York)
  • Reign Maker (New York City)
  • Robodub (Buffalo, N.Y.)
  • SmartSpace AI (Costa Mesa, California)
  • Voltela (New York City)
  • Windshape (Geneva, Switzerland)

 A Genius NY panel of executive advisers interviewed the companies and five finalists will be selected for entry into the Genius NY program.

Judges are looking for businesses that will stay in the Central New York region and utilize “the ecosystem,” will scale and be successful, represent diversity of technology focus, and team makeup, CenterState CEO said.

In mid-July, the finalists will arrive in Central New York and to begin establishing their businesses at the Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse.

The program will hold its “Finals Night” in late fall, where teams will compete live by pitching their technologies to a panel of judges for the $1 million grand prize investment. The remaining four teams will each receive a $500,000 investment.



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