How do I apply?
When does GENIUS NY start?
GENIUS NY is an in-residence one-year accelerator in Syracuse, New York. Applicants should be prepared to relocate to Central New York to participate in the program starting in the summer. Delays to the start of the program may be created by COVID-19. Finalists are expected to reside in Syracuse for one year during the accelerator.
What does GENIUS NY provide participants?
Five finalists are selected for the GENIUS NY accelerator. Finalists receive a large investment; top prize is $1 million followed by four $500,000 investments. Finalists also receive funding in the form of a monthly stipend, office space and amenities, workshops, training, mentoring and opportunities for networking.
How much equity do I need to give?
To participate in GENIUS NY companies must give 6-8% equity depending on the investment that is awarded.
What are the terms and conditions of GENIUS NY?
The GENIUS NY terms and conditions are listed here. The GENIUS NY warrant can also be found here for LLCs and here for corporations.
What kind of start-ups are eligible for GENIUS NY?
The program focus is on unmanned systems; hardware, software, analytics. GENIUS NY is also open to robotics, data to decision platforms and IoT.
Will COVID-19 effect the accelerator?
GENIUS NY will adhere to New York State guidance regarding safe business operations during COVID-19. This may impact the start date to the program but information will be updated on the website, application and to the selected finalists.
Can I apply if I have an existing business?
Eligibility for the GENIUS NY competition requires you to be (or become) a true startup or a spin-off from a larger corporation. Our definition for a start-up is a entity that usually leverages technology and is scalable and fundable (can grow quickly).
Can I be an individual or do I have to have a team?
We would rather see a two person team or larger. A technical and business founder is the preferred arrangement. The application process details what you need to have to apply.
Why do I need a technical founder?
Companies can be started by anyone. GENIUS NY is looking for startups that have a technical founder or the idea originator. This person is someone that has the technical background to develop the idea. People like this are usually engineers, programmers, coders, web developers/designers, or scientists.
What’s my commitment to the program?
Participants (at least two team members) are required to live in the Syracuse area and participate in the in-residence accelerator for the one-year duration of the competition.
Do I have to be a US citizen to apply?
No, we welcome international applications. However, speaking English is a requirement. Meeting the requirements of US immigration policy will be the responsibility of the participants.
Do I have to live in Central New York to apply?
No. GENIUS NY is open to applicants from around the world, but you will need to live in Central New York for the in-residence accelerator. One finalist (of five) is reserved for a Central New York applicant.
What’s the process to qualify?
Companies should be in our core focus areas (unmanned systems, IoT, big data, robotics etc.), meet the eligibility requirements, and submit a complete application. The first step in the application process is to complete the Registration Form. Once your registration is verified via email, you will need to complete the Application Form through the Applicant Log-In tab.
Who selects participants?
GENIUS NY is administered by The Tech Garden. An evaluation panel comprised of industry professionals, each experienced in key areas has been selected by The Tech Garden.
How many participants will be selected for the program?
The evaluation panel picks 15 to 20 applicants for the semi-final round. Those applicants are interviewed and then five (plus alternates) are selected for the GENIUS NY accelerator.
Who can I talk to about the program before applying?
If you have questions, we’re here to answer them. Contact us.
Will I have to find housing?
Housing subsidies are part of the GENIUS NY program. Several long-term stay facilities are available in downtown Syracuse for program participants. Staff will help finalists select the best space for their needs and wants.
What’s life like in Syracuse and Central New York?
Central New York is the heart of New York State. Syracuse is the fifth most populated city in New York State and is the economic and educational hub of Central New York. Learn more about the region here.