Shape Divider - Style tilt_opacity
On Tuesday, September 20th GENIUS NY and ff Venture Capital partnered together to host the 2nd Drones & Robotics Summit in New York City.
Converging on the midtown location were over 150 attendees comprised of entrepreneurs, investors, and thought leaders. What everyone there had in common was an interest in sharing knowledge and learning more about how drones and robotics are impacting the construction, agriculture, transportation, supply chain, energy, aeronautics, consumer, and defense industries.
More than 40 speakers from around the world provided expert insight into a wide range of topics covering subjects such as, drone delivery, startup investments, field robotics, public and private sector collaboration, and workforce optimization. The GENIUS NY group was well represented with eleven of our companies participating. Panel speakers from GNY included, Christopher McCall (Fotokite), Joerg Schamuhn (Airial Robotics), Or Epstein (Wonder Robotics), Zak Niazi (Circle Optics), Don Berchoff (TruWeather Solutions), Dan Sola (Archangel Imaging), Jay Shears (WindShape), Liav Muler (CivRobotics), and Slawek Potasz (CarScanner).
GENIUS NY Cohort 6 attendees, Archangel Imaging, Fusion Engineering, and Wonder Robotics, found plenty of networking opportunities to practice their pitches in preparation for the November 3rd Finals Night in Syracuse, NY, when one of the five teams presenting will be awarded $1 million.
Closing remarks were presented by John Liddy, Interim VP of Innovation and Entrepreneurship, from GENIUS NY and CenterState CEO.
ff Venture Capital is a venture capital firm that specializes in providing seed-stage and early-stage funding to technology companies and located in New York City.
Wonder Robotics, a GENIUS NY Cohort 6 team, is a winner at the annual “Pitch the Press” event at the Commercial UAV Expo in Las Vegas, NV.
The WonderLand System from Wonder Robotics touts “Vertical Awareness” to improve the safe landing of autonomous vehicles. WonderLand’s sensors and algorithms increase understanding of weather conditions, ground conditions, lighting, and other factors that can impact the safety and precision of landings. In selecting WonderLand, the panel of judges cited the need for safe landing paths and risk management around drone operations.
Pitch the Press judges listened to two-minute pitches from 17 companies. Wonder co-founder Idan Shimon presented on behalf of his team. Companies were evaluated on innovation and potential for ROI, and the top three contenders were selected as winners.
Wonder Robotics’s winning pitch was great practice for the upcoming 2022 GENIUS NY Pitch Finals on November 3, 2022 at the Marriot Syracuse Downtown. On that evening, judges will award one company out of the five GENIUS NY Cohort 6 teams the grand prize of $1 million, based on a five-minute pitch and Q&A. The remaining teams will each receive $500,000, for an award total of $3 million. The event is free and open to the public, though registration is required. For more information and to purchase tickets: http://www.geniusny.com/finals.html
Congratulations Wonder Robotics!
The international teams of the GENIUS NY Cohort 6 have arrived in Syracuse, and are excited to begin their journey in Syracuse for the year-long accelerator. CenterState CEO and The Tech Garden welcomed them with lunch and local outings. Now they begin preparations to compete for the $1 million grand prize at the GENIUS NY Pitch Finals on November 3rd. The teams will be busy working with industry mentors, Executive Advisors and resource partners, networking within the community, participating in programming and workshops, and embarking on various outings and events.
We are thrilled to welcome Archangel Imaging, Ltd., AVSS- Aerial Vehicle Safety Solutions, Inc., Dronehub, Fusion Engineering, and Wonder Robotics.
All Finalists Are International Teams Highlighting the Global Reach of the Program and Region’s UAS Ecosystem
GENIUS NY is Supported by “CNY Rising” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy
Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the five GENIUS NY companies participating in round six of the world’s largest business accelerator focused on uncrewed systems. The companies, which are developing innovations in the uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS), internet of things (IoT) and robotics industries, were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 200 submissions from over 50 countries. The five winners are all international teams, representing Canada, the Netherlands, Israel, Poland and the United Kingdom. GENIUS NY participants are required to operate their business in Central New York for at least one year. The program is funded through the CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), the region’s award-winning strategic plan to generate robust economic growth and community development.
Empire State Development Acting President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight, said, “These selected GENIUS NY Round Six finalists are ready to take flight, adding to the cohort of forward-thinking innovators that have been drawn to this unique business accelerator competition which is elevating Central New York's unmatched UAS assets and infrastructure."
The winners are:
Archangel Imaging, Ltd. (United Kingdom) deploys smart machines alongside people to protect valuable assets and at-risk staff in remote or challenging places. Whether its cables being stolen, oil being tapped or elephants poached for ivory, Archangel provides the ability for the security team to know before these incidents are about to happen and immediately intervene or follow up.
AVSS - Aerial Vehicle Safety Solutions, Inc. (Canada) produces a parachute recovery system and flight termination system that is commercializing drone technology for Urban Air Mobility (UAM). AVSS’s products are distributed worldwide through their more than 50 authorized dealers’ network and sold directly to drone manufacturers across the world.
Dronehub (Poland) develops autonomous charging docks for drones that help companies with large infrastructure to reduce monitoring costs, get real-time aerial data, and exclude the human factor. Dronehub helps industries to collect real-time precise aerial data, process it and automate operations.
Fusion Engineering (Netherlands) are working to create the most reliable, flexible and easy-to-use flight controller for any type of multirotor drone. Fusion Engineering builds innovative flight control algorithms to ensure more accurate positioning, disturbance rejection and fault tolerance.
Wonder Robotics (Israel) is a leading provider of intelligent and robust autonomous solutions for commercial drone and unmanned platform applications, focusing on the drone delivery and Urban Advance Mobility (UAM/AAM) markets by utilizing highly advanced vision-based capabilities for mission enable and safety.
The selected teams will begin the in-residence accelerator at The Tech Garden, CenterState CEO’s regional business incubator, in the coming weeks, and will be immersed in the incubator's business workshops, events, resource pool and mentoring. On Nov. 3 the teams will compete for $3 million in investments, including a $1 million grand prize. To learn more and attend the event, click here. Throughout the program companies will also receive stipends, resources, programming, investor demo days and networking opportunities.
“We are excited to welcome these teams to Central New York and get to work advancing their business plans and technologies,” said Kara Jones, director of GENIUS NY. “Over the coming year, they will be connected to local businesses for strategic guidance and operational support and be immersed in the tech startup and UAS ecosystems. In addition to high-impact programmatic and business support provided by GENIUS NY, participants will also become more connected to our local community through events and social engagements.”
“The fact that each of these GENIUS NY finalists are international teams highlights the strength of the program and the industry’s recognition that Central New York is the single best place to grow your UAS company,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “In addition to the resources provided by the program these teams will also become part of Central New York’s robust tech ecosystem. We proudly welcome this new cohort to our community and are excited to work with these companies to ensure their companies evolve and grow here.”
The GENIUS NY competition has been renewed through round 10 by ESD. The program has attracted more than 26 startups to Central New York since its inception in 2017. To date, the innovative teams have gone on to raise more than $90 million in venture capital and have created more than 60 upstate New York jobs.
Circle Optics, innovators with patented technology enabling real-time, high-resolution multi-camera systems that provide panoramic video without the distortion and errors inherent in other systems, has been awarded a $150,000 NASA Phase I SBIR contract to “Enhance Detect and Avoid Optical Sensing for Urban Air Mobility.”
During this Phase I project, Circle Optics will further develop a wide angle staring EO/IR optical system for enabling the air safety of eVTOLs as they traverse the airspace. This system will remove the temporal inefficiencies and noise of the conventional gimballed systems. Circle Optics will focus on furthering the optical and mechanical system development, while also further exploring the requirements for testing and integration of our optical system into eVTOLs.
Circle Optics was a winner in the fifth cohort of GENIUS NY and awarded $500,000.
“The FAA requires that autonomous eVTOLs and UAVs have sense & avoid capabilities that are at least as safe – or better than – those of manned aircraft. NASA’s Armstrong Flight Center develops technology to meet this requirement. We are thrilled that our technology can support progress in both technology and safety,” says Zak Niazi, Circle Optics CEO.
NASA anticipates that radar can not meet this demand for electric vertical take-off and landing (eVTOL) aircraft due to its bulky size and interference effects. Additionally autonomous air travel will require multiple sensing modalities, including optical imaging, to collaboratively enable air safety. NASA contracted with Circle Optics in 2021 to develop initial designs for EO/IR sensors with both an ultrawide field-of-view and ultrahigh resolution, to meet the FAA’s requirements of detecting uncooperative air traffic 3.4 nautical miles out within a 270 x 30-degree field of regard.
“Collaborating with NASA will further our progress in revolutionizing panoramic imaging. Relative to safe air travel, we want to enable an optical safety net over a wide field of view,” said Andy Kurtz, Circle Optics, Director of R&D and Principal Investigator.
For more information, please visit Circle Optics at https://circleoptics.com
For more information about NASA’s Armstrong's Flight Center, please visit https://www.nasa.gov/centers/armstrong/home/index.html
About Circle Optics
Founded in 2017, Circle Optics has developed patented technology that enables the ability to capture the entire world in stitch-less, instant 360-degree imaging. This unique capability is revolutionizing aerospace and unmanned flight, and enhancing immersive experiences globally. We are just beginning to learn the applications of this new technology and are eager to learn how wider field-of-views will enhance other technologies.
It’s officially been one year since GENIUS NY and the Central New York community welcomed the program’s fifth cohort. The cohort consisted of five companies, three of which were international, a first for the program. The companies were Airtonomy (North Dakota), Airial Robotics (Germany), CarScanner (Poland), Circle Optics (Rochester) and WindShape (Switzerland).
Throughout the year, these companies worked out of The Tech Garden (TTG) alongside other members of GENIUS NY and TTG. Companies participated in business workshops, met mentors in the space, grew partnership connections, went to conferences around the country and globe, and grew their footprint here in Syracuse. Three companies have already hired locally and are excited to continue to expand their presence.
So, what's next for these companies in Central New York?
Airtonomy won the grand prize of $1 million during GENIUS NY’s Pitch Finals back in October of 2021. They have been able to nearly double in size since then and continue to hire positions in Syracuse. The company recently announced a partnership with Marquardt Switches of Cazenovia to help design and manufacture its modules, which plug into drones and control their radar, cameras and other sensors and wirelessly transmit the data for analysis.
Airial Robotics is expanding its office at The Tech Garden as they start to assemble and manufacture their UAV in the U.S. Back in May the company tested and flew its Gyrotrak GT20, a hybrid helicopter and gyrocopter UAV at the FAA-designated New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport managed by NUAIR. This was the first flight demonstration of its kind in the United States. The company continues to work with NUAIR to get to market.
CarScanner made its first U.S. sale in Upstate New York. The company is continuing to bring its robots to Central New York and plans to do road trips across the country to demonstrate its solution to dealerships.
Circle Optics has made multiple hires in the Central New York area since starting the program. After raising $2.5 million in contract awards from the Airforce and USAF Phase II, Circle continues to collaborate with its cohort 5 winners and other UAS companies to advance optics for drone companies.
WindShape hired its first VP of Business Development in Syracuse and is continuing to attract drone manufacturers to test on its WindShaper. The company is working on building a test facility in the region and continues to partner with organizations such as NUAIR and Syracuse University.
GENIUS NY will welcome its sixth cohort to Syracuse on August 15. The new companies will be announced August 3!
ffVC and GENIUS NY are teaming up again for the 2022 Drones and Robotics Summit in New York City. The event, which will take place on September 20, will bring together founders, investors, and thought leaders to explore how drones and robotics are impacting the construction, agricultural, transportation, supply chain, energy, aeronautics, consumer, and defense industries.
Confirmed speakers include Davis Hackenberg of NASA, Col. Pat Mahaney of the Department of Defense, and Tom Ryden of Mass Robotics and VGo Communication. The day will feature a variety of events, from intimate networking sessions and lightning talks to panels that will focus on the world-changing dynamics of drones and robotics.
Due to space restrictions and the subject focus, we are inviting people to apply to attend. Please use this link if you’re interested in attending the 2022 Drones and Robotics Summit.
ff Venture Capital is a venture capital firm that specializes in providing seed-stage and early-stage funding to technology companies and located in New York City.
Joerg Schamuhn is CEO and a co-founder of Airial Robotics, a company in the expanding field of uncrewed aerial vehicles – the UAVs commonly called drones.
The GENIUS NY business accelerator program brought Joerg, his wife, Birgit, and his company from Hamburg, Germany, to Syracuse and The Tech Garden. The company maintains other locations in the United Kingdom, Hungary, Grand Forks, N.D., and Hamburg. Joerg is CEO and responsible for the expanding global operation of the company.
The company’s roots go back to late 2017 when two of Joerg’s friends began developing a new approach to the principle of the gyrocopter. In essence, they added modern helicopter technology to gyrocopters, which have been around since the 1920s.
In 2019, they looked for someone to lead the operation and asked Joerg to join them. He was working in Europe and the U.S. for a Chinese drone manufacturer at the time, but he traveled to meet with them in Hungary, liked what he saw, and became one of the company’s four founders. He said Airial Robotics’ system substantially extends UAV performance in payload, range, speed, and safety.
How rare is a gyrocopter-helicopter hybrid? “This doesn’t exist anywhere else,” Joerg said. “Gyrocopters are not frequently around us. But interestingly enough, by track record they are the safest aviation design overall – better than fixed wing, better than any helicopter. But it has a big disadvantage. A gyrocopter cannot take off and land vertically, which is basically a must in an uncrewed aircraft … When you look into the playbook of aviation from 1911 till today, you will not find a company that was able to successfully combine helicopter with gyrocopter. We are definitely the first one.”
In Syracuse, the GENIUS program supports and mentors those kind of inventive drone companies. They spend a year in residence at The Tech Garden and every year five GENIUS finalists compete for $3 million in investments. Last October, Airtonomy won the grand prize, a $1 million investment. Airial Robotics was awarded a $500,000 investment.
With his naval aviation background and global business experience, how does Joerg view effective leadership? “It’s very important that leaders understand the responsibility that they have,” he said. “The responsibility is not only for revenue, profitability, efficiency. It’s about taking care of people … A good leader is the one that takes care of his people in the most complete way possible.”
Read Joerg's entire interview on leadership with Stan Linhorst of syracuse.com, here.
Fourteen companies were named semi-finalists in the GENIUS NY program’s sixth round. These companies will now compete to see which five are selected to the business accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden. The companies, which are developing innovations in the uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS), internet of things (IoT) and robotics industries, were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 200 submissions from more than 50 countries. Of the 14 semi-finalists, nine are international teams representing Germany, Israel, Poland, the Netherlands and United Kingdom. Three teams are from New York state.
Archangel Imaging Ltd (Oxford, United Kingdom)
Aveopt (Rochester, Michigan)
AVSS - Aerial Vehicle Safety Solutions (New Brunswick, Canada)
DroneHub (Warsaw, Poland)
Fusion Engineering (Delft, Netherlands)
LeVanta (Monett, Missouri)
Manifold Robotics (New York, New York)
Neuron Innovations (London, United Kingdom)
OrthoDrone (Bremen, Germany)
Outfield Technologies (Cambridge, United Kingdom)
Prisam (Rochester, New York)
SkyCutter (Loughborough, United Kingdom)
Voltela (New York, New York)
Wonder Robotics (Hod Hasharon, Israel)
Semi-finalists must present their technologies and business plans to a panel of executive advisers. Advisors are looking for companies that will stay in the Central New York area; participate in and contribute to the region’s ecosystem; will scale and be successful; and represent diversity of technology focus and team makeup. Finalists will be announced in July. In August, the winners will arrive in Central New York to begin the program. Pitch Finals will be held on November 3, and teams will pitch their technologies live before a panel of judges and audience. One team will be awarded a $1 million grand prize investment. The remaining four teams will each receive a $500,000 investment.
“The geographic diversity, as well as the advancement of technology and businesses represented in these semi-finalists makes selecting five participants challenging but also highlights the strength of this program,” said Kara Jones, director of GENIUS NY. “I am excited to learn more about these teams to determine which are the best fit for this round of the program. We will also continue to work with the teams that do not make the next round to determine if there are other growth opportunities for them at The Tech Garden and in Central New York.”
Since 2017, GENIUS NY has invested $15 million in 26 companies from around the world and brought them to Central New York to participate in the yearlong in-residence accelerator where they receive assistance with product development, business development, as well as networking opportunities with investors and business leaders. In addition, GENIUS NY companies have raised more than $100 million in follow-on funding and have created more than 70 jobs in Upstate New York.
Beyond the grand prize investments, participants benefit from access to the region's premier startup programming, including business planning, industry specific mentorship and access to vetted service providers offering startup friendly terms. Participants are integrated into the larger regional effort to grow uncrewed aerial systems in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, gain access to world-leading infrastructure and testing assets, and have opportunities to connect with investors for follow on funding.
The world’s largest accelerator competition for uncrewed systems, IoT and robotics start-ups has extended applications for its sixth cohort to June 14, 2022. Five finalists will be selected for this year’s program and split a total of $3 million in cash with the winner taking home a $1 million top prize. To apply, click here.
Based in Syracuse, New York, the GENIUS NY program has helped more than a two dozen companies scale their operations and make the necessary connections to secure partners, customers and follow-on funding. Those companies selected as finalists spend a year at a Syracuse-based startup incubator where they have office space and amenities plus workshops, training, mentoring and opportunities for networking and follow-on funding. Since 2017, GENIUS NY has invested over $15 million in 26 early stage companies from around the world.
Among the winners so far have been Fotokite, of Switzerland, who won in 2018. Fotokite technology uses a tether combined with an onboard IMU to compute the vehicle's position relative to the user. This allows for quick deployment and controlled flight by virtually anyone and obviates the need for complex start-up protocols, GPS dependency, trained pilots, and bulky remote controls. Fotokite supports first responders and has partnered with firefighting firm Pierce Manufacturing as well as Axon.
"Bringing Fotokite to the U.S. has always been important for the success of our startup,” said Chris McCall, former CEO of Fotokite. “GENIUS NY has accelerated this process for us even more than we could have expected, resulting in game-changing speed of growth, incredible local and national network connections, and highly curated business advice to help prepare and scale up operations."
Last October, Airtonomy, a team from North Dakota, won the $1 million prize. The startup is the leader of enterprise-scale autonomous robotics for delivering precise inspection insights. Airtonomy is a SaaS/RaaS company that enables scaled, autonomous robotic harvesting of unstructured asset data by frontline workers, specifically for machine perception, within the energy and utility sectors, in a $6.5B domestic market.
GENIUS NY is looking for companies who are focused on uncrewed systems, IoT, big data and robotics. To apply and see program requirements visit, www.geniusny.com/about.
The entry deadline for the upcoming accelerator is June 14. The program is funded by Empire State Development and administered at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden incubator in Syracuse, New York.