UAS Business Accelerator Program Accepting 2022 Entries

Applications are being accepted for the GENIUS NY business accelerator program through May 31, 2022 from tech startups focused on uncrewed systems, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and robotics By Caroline Rees / 17 May 2022
Follow UST

GENIUS NY – the world’s largest business accelerator focused on Uncrewed Aircraft Systems (UAS) – is looking for the five teams which will participate in the sixth round of the year-long program.

Airial Robotics GT20 Gyrotrak
Airial Robotics' GT20 Gyrotrak

The in-residence accelerator, operated out of Syracuse, New York, will invest more than $3 million in five companies, including a $1 million grand prize.

GENIUS NY is looking for companies who are focused on uncrewed systems, Internet of Things (IoT), big data and robotics. Applications are open until May 31, 2022.

Since 2017, GENIUS NY has invested more than $15 million in 26 startup companies who have gone on to raise more than $90 million in follow-on funding and scale and grow operations. Some notable participants from GENIUS NY include Fotokite, DroneSeed, Airial Robotics and Airtonomy.

GENIUS NY has the ability to combine high value investments in companies at the beginning of the program while also offering participants industry mentors, stipends, resources, programming and networking opportunities.


Additionally, teams have direct access to the region’s hi-tech ecosystem that consists of emerging UAS technologies, 5G, quantum computing, artificial intelligence, autonomy and more.

Since the region is also home to a globally leading UAS ecosystem, teams benefit from expertise in UAS operations, research and integration; they can utilize assets like the New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport (one of seven FAA designated test sites in the country); and the 50-mile Beyond Visual Line Of Sight (BVLOS) test corridor that facilitates UAS testing and commercial drone operations. The test site is managed by GENIUS NY partner NUAIR.

Round five winner, Airial Robotics, of Germany received a prize of $500,000 in October 2021. The company has been accelerating rapidly and partnered with several local providers and customers. They recently did their first demo in the US with their GT20 Gyrotrak at the New York State UAS Test Site.

“GENIUS NY has supported us in so many ways that it is hard to list all factors. First of all, they gave us a home in the US, one of the largest uncrewed markets. Second, they trained us to settle in the US industry and in the local community. They trained us to fine-tune business plans, talk the right marketing talk, present ourselves properly and find funding sources,” says Jörg Schamuhn, CEO of Airial Robotics. “The program also enabled us to work closely with NUAIR at the New York UAS Test Site which helped us with certification type and a linkage to the FAA.”

Likewise, round two winner, Fotokite, with headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland, now employs 12 people in Syracuse and has been rapidly growing each month. It recently announced plans to expand its US operations including increasing sales, business development and manufacturing capacity.

“Bringing Fotokite to the US has always been important for the success of our startup,” says Chris McCall, former CEO of Fotokite. “GENIUS NY has accelerated this process for us even more than we could have expected, resulting in game-changing speed of growth, incredible national and local connections, and highly curated business advice to help prepare and scale up operations.”

Applications are being accepted at through May 31.

Tech startups focused on uncrewed systems, IoT, big data, and robotics as well as those with subsets that include precision and remote sensing, smart city applications, data collection and analytics, guidance or communication systems, and sensors, among other technological categories are encouraged to learn more at

Posted by Caroline Rees Caroline co-founded Unmanned Systems Technology and has been at the forefront of the business ever since. With a Masters Degree in marketing Caroline has her finger on the pulse of all things unmanned and is committed to showcasing the very latest in unmanned technical innovation. Connect & Contact
Latest Articles