Genius NY 2.0 looks for next round of drone companies in CNY

Local News

The search is on to find the next six drone companies to be part of the $1 million first prize Genius NY program and set up shop at the Syracuse Tech Garden.

The first six Genius NY finalists are only a few months into their stay at the Tech Garden but are growing fast.

The finalists will compete for $2.75 million in prize money.

Ascent Aerosystems netted $600,000 for second place at the Genius NY finals competition in February.

The company has been busy cranking out orders for its cylindrical designed drones.

Ascent Aerosystems Co-Founder Jonathan Meringer says, “We’re at a nice pace right now and the fact that we’re pushing it and need additional help is a good sign.”

The young company has already hired an engineer from R.I.T and is looking to hire more people.

“We started as a consumer drone company but we’ll probably be pivoting to more of a military, industrial space so someone that has experience interfacing with military and government agencies.”  Meringer tells NewsChannel 9.

SkyOp Co-Founder Brian Pitre says he’s doing the same thing, “Its through the initial money we get from the Genius program we are actively trying to hire a couple people right now.”

Sky-Op took home a $250,000 prize for its unmanned aerial systems training class company, already in use by 17 community colleges across the country.

Genius NY Director Jon Parry says, “Its showing that we are committed to making Central New York and the Mohawk Valley the center of unmanned systems and the commercial drone market.”

Pitre adds, “Genius is remarkable in terms of an accelerator because they’re the only one that I know of that’s focused exclusively on drone companies.”

“The connections, the networking, the mentoring, the customers, the manufacturing opportunities that’s what’s bringing teams and technologies here.”  Parry says.

Click here to learn more about Genius NY or apply for Genius NY 2.0.

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