The in-residence accelerator, funded by Empire State Development and operated by CenterState CEO in downtown Syracuse, New York, will invest more than $3 million in five finalist companies, including a $1 million grand prize.
The program also offers business resources, programming, mentorship and networking opportunities to assist innovative startups with the tools they need to scale.
Applications are being accepted at www.geniusny.com through May 15, 2024, from tech startups focused on uncrewed aerial systems (UAS), automation, AI and advanced air mobility (AAM). Subsets may include precision and remote sensing, smart city applications, data collection and analytics, guidance or communication systems, and sensors, among other technological categories.
The program has attracted 37 startups to Central New York since its inception in 2017. To date, nearly $21 million has been invested in the innovative teams, which have gone on to raise more than $100 million in venture capital. Some notable UAS companies that have gone through GENIUS NY include Ascent AeroSystems, Fotokite, ResilienX, AVSS, TruWeather Solutions and Aloft. Round seven winner, blueflite received the top prize of $1 million in October 2023. The company has since seen significant growth, hired local staff in Syracuse and partnered with past GENIUS NY team AVSS to integrate parachute recovery systems in their drones.
Central New York (or greater Syracuse, New York region) is emerging as the epicenter for innovation in UAS and AAM, solidifying New York’s status as a premier destination for drone-related businesses and growth. The area is home to one of just seven FAA-designated UAS test sites in the nation which conducts operations for UAS and AAM testing.
In addition, GENIUS NY collaborates closely with its partner, NUAIR, to drive innovation within the aviation industry forward. NUAIR operates the Center of Excellence for Advanced Air Mobility in Syracuse Hancock International Airport and has over a decade of historical management of the only non-academic UAS test site in the United States. Through strategic partnerships with regional economic development agencies and industry stakeholders, NUAIR delivers the next generation of UAS/AAM solutions for the safety, societal, and economic benefits of New York State and beyond.
“We’re looking for startups interested in pushing the bounds of current UAS technologies in Central New York,” said Kara Jones, Director of GENIUS NY. “The region’s growing innovation ecosystem offers early-stage companies a unique opportunity to work collaboratively with industry leaders while advancing their own technologies. The targeted resources awarded to GENIUS NY companies enable them to scale faster, generate revenue sooner, and create jobs for the local economy.”
To start your application, click here.
GENIUS NY participants are required to operate their business in Central New York for at least one year. The program is funded through the CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), the region’s award-winning strategic plan to generate robust economic growth and community development.
Applications are evaluated by a panel of judges, and semi-finalists will be selected to present demos and pitches this summer. Five companies will advance to participate in the program, which is structured as a unique programmed incubator and accelerator experience. The selected teams will enter the in-person accelerator at CenterState CEO’s The Tech Garden later this summer, where they will be immersed in the incubator’s events, resource pool, and mentoring. Applicants should be prepared to relocate to Central New York to participate in the program starting in August 2024.
To apply and learn more about GENIUS NY visit, www.geniusny.com