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The Tech Garden

GENIUS NY: Now Accepting Applications for Round 5

GENIUS NY — the world’s largest business accelerator competition focused on unmanned systems — is now accepting applications for its fifth round. The year-long, in-residence accelerator program is operated out of CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse and will invest $3 million in five finalist companies, including a grand prize of $1 million. GENIUS NY is funded through the CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative, the region’s award-winning strategic plan to generate robust economic growth and community development. The program also offers resources, programming and networking opportunities to assist innovative startups with the tools they need to take advantage of emerging opportunities. GENIUS NY participants are required to operate their business in Central New York for at least one year.

Applications are currently being accepted at 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.

“The GENIUS NY accelerator program has proven to be a critical element of the region’s growing UAS and UTM ecosystem,” said Jeff Fuchsberg, director of GENIUS NY. “At a time when our community has felt the economic challenges caused by COVID-19 firsthand, it is exciting to see investment in this sector, which is a proven jobs creator. The teams we will welcome through this round will be selected in no small part because of their potential to create jobs and support the region’s growing tech sector.”

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 will enter the in-residence accelerator at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden in 2021, and will be immersed in the incubator’s events, resource pool and mentoring. Applicants should be prepared to relocate to Central New York to participate in the program starting in May. 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 2020. Other round four winners who are now operating in Central New York include BotsAndUs from the United Kingdom; Droneseed from Seattle, Washington; Skyy Network from Australia; and Eget Liber from Syracuse.

“Startups from four prior cohorts have come from around the world to participate in this program and be immersed in Central New York’s strong unmanned systems ecosystem. I have no doubt that this round’s finalists will find this region to be the best place to grow their company,” said Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. Our support will enable them to create high-skilled jobs and contribute to the regional economy.”