SYRACUSE N.Y. (WSYR-TV) — Geopipe is already off and running with its $1 million grand prize award as the newest GENIUS NY winner.
The pitch night for the finalists, usually held in the spring, was instead pushed back to Thursday evening and held virtually because of the pandemic.
Regardless, Geopipe, based in New York City, was able to beat four other companies for the top spot.
Geopipe Co-Founder and CEO Dr. Christopher Mitchell says, “It’s an amazing feeling for us. It’s incredible validation of what we’ve been doing.”
Mitchell says while the $1 million prize is a big investment for the company, being attached to a prestigious, globally-known competition like GENIUS NY is just as huge for the startup.
“We’ve found that many, many doors can be opened, whether it’s talking to investors, talking to customers, attracting people to the team the more we have names behind us that know us and support us,” Mitchell tells NewsChannel 9.
GENIUS NY opened up this year to more than just drone companies, and also included big data, internet of things, and artificial intelligence.
Geopipe is an AI company making perfect virtual copies of cities or other places and then able to teach computers how to quickly make 3D models.
“Today professionals like game developers, simulation creators, architects all need to work with the real world in the digital space,” Mitchell explains.
He says what Geopipe can do automatically in hours, now takes these professionals months to build by hand.
The pandemic has caused universities to reach out to Geopipe to create virtual tours of their campuses.
The company has one school onboard and Mitchell says several others in the pipeline “who want to be able to give prospective students the chance to visit without actually jeopardizing their health and traveling onto campuses.”
GENIUS NY requires finalists to stay in Syracuse for the year of their competition, but Geopipe says it has no plans to leave at the end of December.
“The resources we’ve seen in Syracuse, the support we’ve been given and what we’ve been able to do there all convinced us that it’s a place to put down roots,” he says, crediting the team at GENIUS NY for their mentorship, coaching and help when needed.
The four runners-up — BotsAndUs from the United Kingdom, Droneseed from Seattle, Eget Liber from Syracuse and Skyy Network from Australia — were also each awarded investments of $500,000 during the event.