All six GENIUS NY Round 2 companies have committed to staying in Syracuse to continue expanding their businesses and contributing to the unmanned systems ecosystem in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley.
Read below to learn their plans for 2019.
Dropcopter made a buzz in Central New York as the first UAS company in the world to pollinate apple orchards via drones. They did it at one of America’s best orchards, according to USA Today, Beak & Skiff Apple Orchards. Dropcopter plans to continue the relationship with Beak & Skiff as well as other orchards and farms across New York State moving into 2019. They’ve also begun training new pilots and look forward to hiring further qualified operators this year.
“Prior to GENIUS NY we were somewhat of a side gig hobby experiment,” said Adam Fine, cofounder of Dropcopter. “Entering into the program turned this into a fulltime career and rapidly accelerated our growth. We are now serving customers actively in two states.”
Dropcopter is now a full-scale industry-changing business. The company recently received its Part 137 Exemption from the Federal Aviation Administration to operate unmanned aircraft for spray operations in the United States; the first in New York State.
Quick fact: New York State has more apple orchards than any other state in the country; so it’s great to have Dropcopter continue to keep their headquarters at The Tech Garden in Syracuse. Fine also stated that Dropcopter we will be starting trials for additional crops, pollinating avocados, walnuts and stone fruit.
To learn more about Dropcopter visit, www.dropcopter.com
Fotokite took home the $1M grand prize at Finals Night last April and has been growing ever since. Fotokite combines aerial and ground-based robotics with flight control algorithms to create a kite-like tethered drone system that can fly fully autonomously for 24 hours.
“We’re building up sales, business development and customer support in Syracuse this year,” said Chris McCall, CEO of Fotokite. “We’re also looking to expand some aspects of manufacturing and software engineering here. We’re looking for the right resources and want to build on the very special team we have built up already.”
2019 is all about scaling into the United States for Fotokite and making a product for firefighting and public safety applications. “We want to get systems out in the real-world in a more expanded way and look forward to seeing our systems on fire trucks and being used by fire teams to help them solve real-world problems.”
Fotokite will operate at The Tech Garden in Syracuse as well as their headquarters in Zurich, Switzerland.
“We have a very laid out landing zone here at The Tech Garden and we’ve brought in some meaningful financing that will help us build more momentum in 2019.”
We asked Chris about his favorite memory in GENIUS NY and he said, “One of the phenomenal staff, Beverly, had never flown a drone before. Teaching her how to fly one for the first time and it being a Fotokite was a great experience. She still talks about it to me all the time!”
To learn more about Fotokite visit, www.fotokite.com.
Quantifly uses aerial imagery, computer vision, and analytics to automate the observation, measurement, and analysis of change in cities. Its potential vertical markets can be applied to urban planning, civil engineering, retail, economic development and real estate development.
In 2019, Quantifly will be making its shift from product development to marketing and customer discovery.
“We really want to scale up,” said Zach Halberd, cofounder of Quantifly. “GENIUS NY basically took us from zero to product. Now that we have a product we’re really excited to get it out there and put our hypothesis to the test.”
“There’s a great ecosystem at The Tech Garden,” said Adrianna Jordan, cofounder of Quantifly. “We had resources, legal and marketing help all through the resource portal. Everything is already built in so you don’t need to spend a ton of time searching or figuring out how to find it. It’s such a time and money saver for a startup.”
Quantifly’s main office is at The Tech Garden in Syracuse. They currently have six full-time employees and plan to continue to use interns through Syracuse University’s CASE Center throughout the year. “There’s a lot going on in Syracuse. It’s vibrant and a wonderful little city. We’re happy to be here,” said Halberd.
To learn more about Quantifly visit, www.quantifly.io
Prevision (formerly Precision Vision) creates image-processing technology that makes real-time precision imaging affordable. Greg Walker, president of Prevision, packed his bags to move from New Mexico to Syracuse in mid-January last year and has not looked back since.
“This program has taken our technology and made it a business and, now, we’re off to the races!” said Walker.
2019 is about execution for Prevision. Though its technology and manufacturing will remain in New Mexico, its sales, business development and marketing will remain at The Tech Garden in Syracuse.
“We are really taking off and shipping our product. We want to continue to build up our team and have strong customer relationships.”
TruWeather Solutions is building a service to improve the precision, accuracy and communication of weather intelligence. 2019 holds a lot for TruWeather, starting with moving its weather operations center to The Tech Garden.
“We want to become the weather supplemental data service provider and set the benchmark for the UAS industry,” said Don Berchoff, CEO of TruWeather Solutions. “It will be important for UAS industry leaders to be around us in Syracuse as we build this culture to really trail blaze.”
Besides bringing its weather operations center to Syracuse, TruWeather also plans on hiring more staff once deals are closed, raising additional capital and building themselves into the community.
“New York State has one of the best university systems in the country and so many young talented people are leaving…well we hope to keep them here,” said Howard Loonan, CTO of TruWeather Solutions.
To learn more about TruWeather Solutions visit, www.truweathersolutions.com
UsPLM’s two founders are first-time entrepreneurs who transferred from university to the business world to found their company last January. The company provides a collaborative environment to develop, test, deploy and safely operate a single or a fleet of unmanned aerial systems.
“We have been fortunate enough to work with several teams like SkyOp, AutoModality and TruWeather Solutions, “ said Dr. Yunpeng Li, cofounder of UsPLM. “It’s been great collaborating with each of the GENIUS NY cohorts.”
In 2019 UsPLM plans to launch its beta product which focuses on asset tracking, forensic analysis and mission risk management. They also want to expand their team at The Tech Garden and improve their website development and social media marketing.
To learn more about UsPLM visit, www.usplm.net
The GENIUS NY round three finalists will soon arrive in Syracuse to a warm welcome from the previous GENIUS NY teams. Since 2017, the GENIUS NY program has retained more than 80% of its finalist companies in the Central New York area.