$3 million up for grabs in next GENIUS NY competition; applications now open

Local News

SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — A total of $3 million is up for grabs in the next GENIUS New York competition. The application window has just opened for round five of the competition.

The program operated out of the Syracuse Tech Garden is billed as the world’s largest business accelerator competition focused on unmanned systems.

The year-long, in-residence accelerator program will award a grand prize of $1 million, and $500,000 each to the four runners-up.

GENIUS NY is funded through the CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative, and also offers company stipends, resources, programming, and networking opportunities to assist innovative startups with the tools they need to take advantage of emerging opportunities.

“We couldn’t be more enthusiastic about bringing five more companies in here. It just builds every year, it gets bigger and better, that GENIUS NY community that everybody belongs to becomes more substantial with each year,” says Jeff Fuchsberg, director of GENIUS NY.

GENIUS NY participants are required to operate their business in Central New York for at least one year.

“Which not only will help teams be more competitive but this will also become part of their funding agreement where we’re going to hold them to that in order to receive their prize funding,” Fuchsberg tells NewsChannel 9.

Last year’s competition attracted almost 400 applications from companies in 19 different countries.

Applications are currently being accepted through March 31, 2021, from tech startups focused on unmanned systems, internet of things (IoT), big data, and robotics.

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

Applications will be evaluated by a panel of judges and 15 to 20 semi-finalists will be selected to present demos and pitches this spring.

Five companies will advance to participate in the competition, which is structured as a unique programmed incubator and accelerator experience.

These five teams are expected to enter the in-residence accelerator at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden in May, and will be immersed in the incubator’s events, resource pool, and mentoring. Delays to the start of the program may be created by COVID-19.

Geopipe of New York City was named as the round four winner of the GENIUS NY $1 million grand prize in September of 2020. The AI company is the first non-drone company to win the top prize in the competition.

Other round four winners who are now operating in Central New York include BotsAndUs from the United Kingdom, Droneseed from Seattle, Skyy Network from Australia, and Eget Liber.

To learn more and apply to GENIUS NY before March 31, 2021, click here.

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