SYRACUSE, N.Y. (WSYR-TV)- The top five business finalists have been chosen for GENIUS NY, a business accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden. All of the finalists were determined to have the potential to help boost the local economy.

GENIUS NY helps businesses get a start. Submissions come from all across the world as far as Europe, and these five finalists were picked from a pool of 600 submissions. They specialize in things like un-manned systems and robotics, and many of them feel Central New York is the perfect place for them.

“It certainly is a tough labor market right now, but we’ve found that Upstate New York has a fantastic pool of employees, and we’ve been able to hire people recently by really trying to see the vision of our company and where we want to go with the culture of the company,” said COO for Circle Optics, Ian Gauger.

Many of them are still looking for help. Joerg Schamuhn is the CEO for Airial Robotics, a company out of Germany that develops commercial UAV’s for surveillance, logistics and agriculture. They’re looking to hire electrical engineers, robotocists, and assistant programmers. Others have said they’re looking for software developers, computer scientists and engineers.

Part of what GENIUS NY is supposed to do is help make sure these positions are filled.

“We do have partnerships in place for interns for co-op programs, through Syracuse University, with RIT, with Cornell, with Clarkson,” said Kara Jones, the Director for GENIUS NY.

The goal for these companies is to attract employees, but also keep them in the area.

Beyond the award it’s the acknowledgement and fundamentally changing the UAS landscape, and doing so right here in Syracuse and we are reliant on people, talented people and so using those dollars to further our hiring locally and expanding our workforce would be the goal.

CEO & Founder of Airtonomy, Dr. Joshua Riedy.

Learn more about each company and GENIUS NY here.