New York accelerator GENIUS NY opens its applications for 2020 Cohort; expanded to include big data, cybersecurity, and IoT tech startups
The GENIUS NY program, the largest unmanned systems accelerator in the world, is now opening its applications to include startups in big data (smart cities, cybersecurity) and internet of things (IoT) (smart devices, AI).
Founded in 2016, GENIUS NY is CenterState CEO’s in-residence business accelerator program at The Tech Garden in Central New York. GENIUS NY is focused on Startups specializing in Unmanned Systems; software, hardware, analytics. The program invests $3 million in five early stage companies each year, while also providing incubator space, business programming, mentors and advisers, and resources. Now in its third year, it has already invested $9 million in 17 startups. Applications are open through Oct.1, 2019.
The program’s central focus is on unmanned systems, building on the progress of CNY Rising, the region’s comprehensive strategy to revitalize communities and grow the economy. New York State has invested significant resources to advance the unmanned aerial systems UAS industry in the region, which is home to one of only seven Federal Aviation Administration test sites and the only 50-mile beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) corridor for testing drones.
The program will expand its focus to IoT and big data to better leverage other regional initiatives, including the proposed Syracuse Surge and Smart Cities Initiative, announced this year. Syracuse Surge encompasses more than $200 million of public and private investment to prepare Syracuse for the Next Economy. The Smart Cities Initiative involves replacing all of the city’s streetlights with energy efficient light-emitting diodes that can connect to a variety of devices to help the city collect data and provide broadband access.
“We know that the future of the UAS industry includes data collection, storage and cybersecurity. Expanding the application criteria to include these complementary industries to the UAS field gives GENIUS NY a more diverse cohort of companies that can support and advance one another and not overlap,” said Jon Parry director of GENIUS NY. “This creates a stronger ecosystem of companies that will enable the program to be even more successful in the future.”
All 17 GENIUS NY startups, to date are still operational and continue to hire. Previous winners of the program’s $1 million grand-prize are:
- AutoModality, a drone-based inspection firm with proprietary software that enables fully autonomous close-up infrastructure inspection, especially in difficult-to-navigate areas where GPS may be unavailable or there are other safety risks. The firm now offers software to support automated inventory in warehouses and has a large contract with Union Pacific.
- Fotokite, of Switzerland, won in 2018 with a kite-like, tethered drone system that can fly fully
autonomously for 24 hours. Intended to support first responders the Fotokite Sigma UAS is
both launched and landed with a button and does not require a pilot during flight. Fotokite
recently partnered with firefighting firm Pierce Manufacturing to launch its system that can be
integrated with public-safety vehicles as well as other firefighting equipment.
- Sentient Blue Technologies, a team from Parma, Italy, is working to boost the length of drone
flights by developing efficient, more environmentally friendly, micro gas turbine-based power
Applications are being accepted through Oct. 1 for a chance to join the accelerator next year.
To apply to GENIUS NY, visit www.geniusny.com.
GENIUS NY is an in-residence business accelerator program at The Tech Garden in Central New
York that goes beyond substantial direct investment. In addition to $3 million in total investment
for five teams, the program also offers incubator space, company stipends, resources,
programming and connections, making it among the largest competitions of its kind across the
globe. The program is made possible by $5 million in funding support provided by Empire State
Development, New York State’s chief economic development agency.