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Circle Optics, innovators of the Hydra, the world’s first stitch-less 360° camera have been awarded an United States Airforce AFWERX grant of $750,000 (USD). This Phase II award is for “Improved Image Capture for AI Training Simulation.” The award comes as a follow on to a USAF Phase I award of $50,000 (USD) to develop Real-Time 360° Imaging Capture of Modeling and Simulation.
“The next major step in the development of the camera system involves cutting the wires and going to full portability. 360° surround imagery contains large amounts of data and requires lots of computational power for real-time, wireless connectivity.” said Peter Stubler, Circle Optics, Principal Investigator.
During Phase II, Circle Optics will further develop its novel camera system Hydra 2 so that it can be deployed from a vehicle for the purpose of data collection. As part of this award Circle Optics is partnering with Steven’s Institute of Technology to design an integrated circuit (FPGA) to replace the need for a laptop to run the system. The Hydra is the world’s first stitch-less 360° camera.
“The initial intent behind our technology is to make Google Street View have greater scalability. Developing this advantage enables greater capture of volumetric 3D data of remote locations, enabling the possibility to create a synchronous digital twin of the planet” explains Zakariya Niazi, Circle Optics CEO.
There’s a lot happening at this year’s XPONENTIAL conference in Orlando, and each GENIUS team is bringing something to the Solutions Theater.
Joerg Schamuhn, founder and CEO of Airial Robotics, will present on the GT25 Gyrotrak, which is viewed as a versatile workhorse based on gyrocopter technology.
Zak Niazi of Circle Optics is following up with a discussion of the company’s novel imaging system which will allow unmanned systems to collect more high-quality data without the lag or processing required by alternatives.
Don Berchoff of TruWeather Solutions will talk about how their technology delivers the most advanced micro-weather services and decision insight products for the UAS industry for Beyond-Visual-Line-of-Sight (BVLOS) and Advanced Air Mobility (AAM) operations.
Gray Byers of Airtonomy will present on how their product provides scaling robotic inspections for asset management.
Finally, Guillaume Catry and Nico Bosson of WindShape will demonstrate the capability of indoor drone testing in controlled wind and weather conditions through their company’s technology.
More panels and presentations from other GENIUS NY winners include, Andrew Carter of ResilienX, joining a panel on “Enabling the BVLOS Ecosystem: A Deep-Dive Into ‘Associated Elements,’” and NUAIR’s Andy Thurling, joining numerous presentations ranging from “Autonomy Enabling Future Operations Beyond Visual Line of Sight” to “How 5G is Changing the UAS Industry.”
To learn more about the presentations please click here.
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 $1,000,000 (USD) National Science Foundation (NSF) Phase II award for “Fast Panoramic Image Capture for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.” The award comes as a follow on to a NSF Phase I award of $256,000 (USD) to develop an MVP system for VR, which was supported during Circle Optics’ participation in Upstate New York accelerators Luminate NY and GENIUS NY. During Phase II, Circle Optics will further develop its novel camera systems to bring emerging imaging capabilities to UAVs and drones. These optimized camera systems will enhance the situational awareness of aircraft for improved navigation and collision avoidance.
“Circle Optics, with the synergistic support of this NSF Phase II award and the GENIUS NY program, will enable imaging from drones to be an immersive experience, to see the environment from new vantage points and in new way,” said Andy Kurtz, Circle Optics, Principal Investigator.
Circle Optics also was awarded an AFWERX grant of $750,000 (USD). The grant is to develop preliminary opto-mechanical designs and a multi-telescopic camera channel breadboard to demonstrate the potential for high-resolution, panoramic, swath-scan imaging of the Earth. This capability will increase both speed and accuracy of simultaneous capture of
"We live in an ever-changing world. Technologies need to evolve to keep up with these changes. Circle Optics is working to develop the next generation of technology to enable more persistent imaging to identify and respond to situations on the ground as they unfold,” said Zakariya Niazi, Circle Optics CEO.
WindShape develops indoor weather simulation technology to test and certify drones under controllable and repeatable flight conditions to enable autonomous and scalable drone applications. The company is a GENIUS NY finalist and won $500,000 in the startup accelerator competition in October of 2021.
WindShape was founded in 2016 in Geneva by two alumni from the Haute Ecole Spécialisée de Suisse occidentale (HES-SO). The WindShaper technology was conceived as a solution to many drone testing problems, including management of the testing environment and experiment replicability. This revolutionary solution facilitates free flight testing and provides an alternative to traditional wind tunnels. The partnership with like-minded Tyto Robotics aims to expand the availability of this technology to the aerospace sectors in Canada and the USA.
The WindShaper itself can be flat or curved, small or large, tiltable, and can include add-ons such as motion tracking, weather effects and turbulence filters. Each individual fan in a WindShaper is independently controlled through an online GUI or custom scripting through a Python 3.x control API. 3D wind flow programming allows the user to simulate any wind environment, including turbulence, obstacles, gusts and landing conditions.
As the exclusive North American distributor, Tyto Robotics will help clients to conceive and design their wind testing facility, a highly customized task due to the modular construction of the wind generators.
The partnership comes at an ideal time as more countries commit to supporting drone innovation and infrastructure. WindShape wind facilities will play an important role in this evolution for research institutions and private businesses alike, with increased growth thanks to this new distribution agreement.
About Tyto Robotics
Tyto Robotics is a Canadian aerospace company specializing in the development of professional testing tools for drone characterization. Founded in 2014, the company manufactures several varieties of test stands that fully characterize brushless motors and propellers for drones and eVTOL aircraft. The test equipment and software precisely measure thrust, torque, power and efficiency so that drone designers can optimize their propulsion systems for maximum performance. Thousands of companies across the globe have benefited from Tyto Robotics’ products, including NASA, Airbus, Volansi and numerous prestigious research institutions. https://tytorobotics.com/
About WindShape Ltd
WindShape develops indoor weather simulation technology to test, validate and certify drones under controllable and repeatable flight conditions. Founded in 2016 in Switzerland, the company invented an innovative wind generator, called WindShaper, capable of generating an infinite variety of wind profiles through thousands of wind pixels (fans). With its open test section design, this technology allows for the study of drones in free flight, while monitoring their behaviour and evaluating their performance in a variety of conditions, including gusts, rain and even snow. WindShape’s goal is to enhance current drone testing and certification capabilities to enable autonomous and scalable applications. www.windshape.com
GENIUS NY is getting ready for XPONTENTIAL 2022 in Orlando, Florida
Join us at Booth 1761 in the exhibit hall this year as we seek new startups interested in applying to round six of our GENIUS NY business accelerator. Along with staff who will be available to answer all your program questions, seven of our portfolio companies will be joining our booth including, Airial Robotics, Airtonomy, Circle Optics, Fotokite, ResilienX, WindShape, Circle Optics and TruWeather Solutions.
Airial Robotics: Airial Robotics develops commercial UAVs for surveillance, logistics and agriculture modeled after gyrocopter/helicopter hybrid that are challenging industry performance limits for safety, payload, range and speed.
Airtonomy: Airtonomy's push-button software automates uniform collection, packaging and analysis of data acquired by autonomous vehicles and sensors, specifically targeting critical energy infrastructure.
Circle Optics: Circle Optics develops high-resolution, wide field-of-view imaging systems that enable real-time capture without the time and expense of post-processing required by other multicamera systems.
Fotokite: Fotokite builds actively tethered situational awareness tools for first responders to help them save lives and preserve property.
ResilienX: The ResilienX software platform monitors the health and integrity of a system and will facilitate fault recovery if a problem is encountered.
TruWeather Solutions: TruWeather delivers custom decision intelligence for drones and eVTOLs via micro-weather dashboard for multi-mission awareness or API service for deep C2 integration.
Windshape: WindShape develops indoor weather simulation technology to test and certify drones under controllable and repeatable flight conditions to enable autonomous and scalable drone applications.
NUAIR and New York UAS Test Site Unlock 35 Miles of Beyond Visual Line of Sight Drone Operations
NUAIR and the New York UAS Test Site have received authority from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to fly unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), commonly referred to as drones, beyond visual line of sight (BVLOS) across 35 miles of airspace within New York’s 50-mile Drone Corridor. Current regulations require drone operators to always have a pair of eyes on the drone, limiting the ability to fly long distances. The ability to safely fly BVLOS is the key to unlocking the full potential and economic advantage of routine commercial drone operations like medical and package deliveries.
In 2019, NUAIR and the Test Site received their first BVLOS authority for an eight-by-four mile stretch of airspace from the New York UAS Test Site, at Griffiss International Airport, south to the State Preparedness Training Center in Oriskany. This new airspace authority extends west of Griffiss towards Oneida Lake increasing their overall BVLOS airspace to 35 miles.
“Oneida County’s Test Site at Griffiss International Airport has long established itself as an elite hub for all things UAS,” said Oneida County Executive Anthony J. Picente Jr. “The one-of-a-kind testing, research and development that occurs here is elevating the entire industry. This latest FAA authorization will allow our 50-mile drone corridor to push the limits of what is possible yet again, and we look forward to the new advancements that will result.”
“We have a long track record of safe UAS test flights and real-life implementation, including BVLOS operations,” said NUAIR chief of operations Tony Basile. “This new BVLOS airspace authorization will allow us to test more advanced, long-range flights and help us prove BVLOS operations can be done safely – the key component in realizing the true economic advantage of commercial drone operations.”
NUAIR will utilize the ground-based surveillance systems (GBSS) installed throughout the corridor to monitor air traffic and detect intruder aircraft for BVLOS operations that are taking place at or below 400 feet. Visual observers may also be deployed during BVLOS operations to assure safety of operations.
Empire State Development acting commissioner and president & CEO-designate Hope Knight said, “Supporting innovative technology that is creating the jobs of tomorrow is at the heart of what ESD and the New York State Regional Economic Development Councils are designed to do. By continuing to support the growing UAS industry in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, we are ensuring its continued development in New York State, securing our place as a global leader in this emerging business.”
NUAIR has conducted over 3,800 UAS test flights at the New York UAS Test Site, within New York’s 50-mile Drone Corridor, equating to more than 950 flight hours since operations began in 2014. This new authorization will help advance the reality of routine commercial drone operations and continue to draw companies from across the globe to Central New York and the Mohawk Valley regions.
NUAIR (Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance, Inc.) is a New York-based nonprofit with a mission to safely integrate unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) into the national airspace, enabling scalable, economically viable commercial drone operations. NUAIR manages operations of the FAA-designated New York UAS Test Site at Griffiss International Airport, Rome, NY on behalf of Oneida County and is responsible for the advancement of New York’s 50-mile UAS Corridor between Rome and Syracuse, NY.
Airial Robotics Takes UAV’s to New Heights With Successful Mission atop the Himalaya Mountains
The team at Airial Robotics looked to test and prove the suitability of their new Unmanned Aerial Vehicle (UAV), the CT30 Cargotrak, so of course they sought out the extreme altitude and weather conditions of the Himalaya mountains.
The objective of the mission labeled as “Himalaya Express” was to lift 10kg (22lbs) of freight from a takeoff height of 4000m+ (14,000+ft) under the extreme weather conditions, icy temperatures and stormy winds typically found among the rough mountainous region.
After several hours of scaling the mountain in off-road vehicles, it was time finally time to launch. The CT30 Cargotrak UAV lifted itself along with a 10kg (22lbs) weight from 4275m (14025ft), ascended to 4500m (14763ft) and then successfully landed safely at its original starting point. Extreme weather conditions were noted to be 10°C (14°F) with wind speeds up to 10 m/s or 22 miles/hour.
Select the video below to view the “Himalaya Express” mission
“Airial Robotics developed within 8 weeks our new cargo drone solution, the CT30 Cargotrak, with high lift capabilities and crowned the product tests with an expedition into the Himalayan alps in Kashmir where the system performed way beyond expectation. Operating at 14°F, 22 mile/hour winds and a height of almost 15,000ft was a real experience. I am very excited about our team’s success which will open new doors for the Airial Robotics technology stack.”
Aerial Robotics was recently awarded $500,000 as one of our five finalists selected for the 2021 round of the GENIUS NY competition. The year-long competition is the largest business accelerator for the UAS industry in the world. The accelerator is funded by Empire State Development and housed at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden incubator in downtown Syracuse, NY. The program continues to help its portfolio companies hit growth milestones, attract outside investments, make connections, local partnerships, and fill job openings within the region.
Since 2017, GENIUS NY has invested $15 million in 26 companies from around the world and brought them to Central New York where they receive assistance with product development, business development, as well as networking opportunities with investors and business leaders. Over the course of five-years, GENIUS NY companies have raised more than $73.5 million in follow-on funding and have created 60 jobs in New York.
Beyond the grand prize investments, participants benefit from access to some of the region's premier startup programming, including business planning, industry specific mentors, and access to vetted service providers offering startup friendly terms. The companies are also integrated into the larger regional effort to grow unmanned aerial systems in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley, and will have access to world-leading infrastructure and testing assets.
Company HQ: Rochester, NY
Team Size: 10 employees
Focus: Capturing immersive, real-time experiences through seamless 360° content
An interview with COO, Ian Gauger
Tell us about your company:
Circle Optics is a deep-tech R&D team specializing in wide-field imaging systems. Our first product which we call Hydra, is a 360-degree camera, that can see a complete spherical view. It’s different from any other 360-degree cameras because we can capture higher resolution with less distortion. Due to our method of using novel optics, we can combine field of view together at the speed of light within the optics as opposed to using powerful post processing software. You get real-time high resolution, low distortion spherical images and video.
How did Circle Optics get it’s start?
Circle Optics originally came out of a desire by our founder Zak Niazi to merge two technologies he was seeing used out in the world. He saw that VR headsets were becoming popular while at the same time there were 360-degree cameras on top of Google cars driving throughout the world and he wondered, why can’t I put on a headset on and feel like I’m riding along the Italian Riviera or visit the pyramids in Egypt?
While Zak was at the Institute of Optics University of Rochester, one of the top optics institutes in the world, he learned from an advisor and mentor that this task would be extremely difficult. It just wasn’t possible to do images at that high resolution, with little distortion and high frame rate because it takes a lot of post processing to correct every image. If you are filming 60 frames per second, which most VR does, it would be an incomprehensible amount of data to go through and try to fix after the fact. Already, Google Street view has about a 6 month back log trying to process all of their data before getting it out to their website. A lot of this has to do with the corrections they have to make and even so, you still get some blurry, misaligned images and not a smooth walk-through at 60 frames per second. This all goes back to the issue of parallax and distortion that is inherent in cameras today. In his senior lens design class, Zak tried to solve this issue, but was only able to correctly identify the problem and not yet come up with a solution.
A few years later while he was working in Australia, Zak had a light bulb moment for a solution. Back in the U.S., he began work on the solution, polygon fields of view which align along their edges. Zak realized that no one had done this before so he filed a patent and that is when Circle became a company.
What has your experience been like with current and past GENIUS NY companies?
Yes, that is one of the bonuses of GENIUS NY, the network is a lot of the reason why we want to be here. We’ve had a number of conversations with different drone manufacturers currently in the GENIUS NY program like Airial Robotics and past companies such as Fotokite. Right now, we are trying to get a better understanding of their exact needs in order to determine the specs we want to get to with our next system. Our methodology allows for a large range of system sizes, geometries and resolutions, but ultimately there’s tradeoffs. Some companies may want a very small system which is more important than the end resolution, while others may prefer as high a resolution as possible, even if it requires a larger device. So having these conversations has allowed us to understand what the majority of drone companies want to see and to hone in on the specs for what that next system should be.
Hopefully, we will be able to form a partnership with one of these companies in order to get our system on their drone, allowing us to validate to the market that this system works.
How is the data stored and transferred from the Circle Optics camera system?
We can run a cord right from the device to transfer data. When we perform demos, we connect the system to a laptop so the computer can run a VR headset. We can also run it straight to an SSD and store it or you can run it to a computer and live stream it over the internet. We are looking into options to incorporate 5G technology or other types of wireless technology so that when you capture something, it can be beamed right back down to the ground in real-time.
Who is your ideal customer?
There is a very broad range of companies and a variety of industries that would have interest in our technology. We are starting out by targeting defense and aerospace companies because of their high interest. This is going to help us mature our technology prior to pushing into other commercial markets. A lot of the interest we have been seeing from defense and aerospace comes from the use of our systems on aerial vehicles or electric vertical takeoff and landing vehicles (eVTOLs).
What can we expect from Circle Optics in the future?
The next big step for us is to take our technology which we’ve built and demonstrate its capabilities. Also, finding and working with a drone partner in order to continue testing our product to work in various conditions that may come up, such as vibrations or temperature changes. After that, we will continue to produce smaller size versions which will open up lots of other potential opportunities. With a much smaller system, we will be able to produce 360-degree videos in very small spaces such as interiors of vehicles.
Why are you excited to be part of the GENIUS NY program?
We are excited to progress our company, to get to market and generate revenue. All of our previous market research pointed us to the drone market indicating UAV’s as being great potential for our technology, so we’re excited to be here to better network with the unmanned ecosystem in order to get our product out the door soon.
What are you looking forward to while staying in Syracuse?
Being from Rochester, NY I have been in and out of Syracuse many times, but since I moved downtown here, I get to experience things in a very different way. It’s one thing to just drive in and out to go to the Dome for a concert, verses me biking here to the office everyday or walking around on a Sunday afternoon and coming across a new store or place to see.
What do you plan to do with your funding from GENIUS NY?
We have a lot of hiring to do. Even though we have been growing really fast this past year, we still need to continue to grow in order to expand our product and company. Some immediate needs we have are adding business development staff as well as Human Resource and IT Support. We would also like to build some partnerships and start collaborating with local vendors who can help us build the mechanical and electrical components of our systems.
Be sure to check out Circle Optic’s website for information and to stay connected.
GENIUS NY Program Builds on Progress of CNY Rising - The Region's Comprehensive Strategy to Create Good Jobs and Attract Businesses to Central New York
Governor Kathy Hochul today announced that Airtonomy, of Grand Forks, North Dakota, is the $1 million grand prize winner of round five of the GENIUS NY accelerator competition. The year-long GENIUS NY program is the world's largest business competition focused on unmanned systems, cross-connected platforms and other technology-based sectors. Airial Robotics of Hamburg, Germany, CarScanner of Krakow, Poland, Circle Optics of Rochester, NY and WindShape of Geneva, Switzerland were each awarded investments of $500,000 following the round five virtual pitch event. The teams will use these investments to continue to accelerate their growth and expand their presence in the region. To date, New York State has invested $25 million in GENIUS NY over five rounds of the competition. GENIUS NY participants are required to operate their business in Central New York for at least one year.
"The GENIUS NY competition continues to transform the landscape of Central New York by attracting the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs from around the world to the region," Governor Hochul said, "Our continued investment in unmanned aerial system businesses is helping to ensure that New York remains the leader in this important industry and brings quality jobs and economic growth to Central New York."
The GENIUS NY program, which is administered by CenterState CEO's Tech Garden in Syracuse, offers participants incubator space, company resources, programming and mentoring. Since 2017, GENIUS NY companies have raised more than $73.5 million in follow-on funding and have created 60 jobs in the region. The advancement of the GENIUS NY program builds on the progress of CNY Rising, the region's award-winning strategic plan to revitalize communities and grow the economy.
Grand prize winner Airtonomy, which was started in 2018 and has 25 employees, enables anyone to collect data uniformly using autonomous vehicles or drones. It makes complex flight as easy as pushing a button so that a wind technician, security guard or power lineman can operate a drone safely and consistently, and collect data uniformly. This means data collected can be processed automatically using machine learning and turned into actionable intelligence for an organization.
Airtonomy founder and CEO Dr. Joshua R. Riedy said, "Airtonomy is transforming the UAS landscape and is honored to be selected as the GENIUS NY 2021 winner. This award will fuel Airtonomy's continued growth and will result in the hiring of local talent and the direct investment in the UAS ecosystem, including throughout the Central. The GENIUS NY program, especially the amazing people and organizations involved, have been incredible. We look forward to reciprocating the support we've experienced with other startups in the region. GENIUS NY exemplifies the type of expertise, networking, and support crucial for the success of a startup. We've gotten to know the other finalists very well and every one of them is outstanding so we're proud to be in their company."
Director of GENIUS NY at CenterState CEO Kara Jones said, "Pitch Finals is an important milestone for the teams participating in the GENIUS NY program. It provides an initial investment to accelerate their growth and marks the successful completion of the program's first phase," said Kara Jones, director of GENIUS NY at CenterState CEO. The teams will now begin the second phase of this competition, where they will utilize the input received from judges to go to market, build stronger partnerships with GENIUS NY teams from prior rounds, and focus on technology and business development, hiring and establishing headquarters and offices in Central New York. Each team will receive targeted support from mentors and advisers and will have additional opportunities to meet with investors to ensure their success."
Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO said, "The investments made through the GENIUS NY program, coupled with resources and support programming, will accelerate the growth of these high-potential UAS companies and the UAS sector in our region. As they establish their businesses in the region we will provide targeted business development support to enable them to leverage these investments, advance their technologies and platforms, create jobs and contribute to the growing UAS ecosystem we have established in Central New York."
In addition to the GENIUS NY accelerator competition, New York State is focused on making major investments in the unmanned aircraft systems industry in Central New York and the Mohawk Valley. In 2016, New York state committed a $30 million investment to develop a 50-mile drone test corridor between Syracuse and Rome through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. In 2020, officials unveiled Skydome, a small unmanned aerial system, or SUAS, experimentation and test facility at Griffiss International Airport in Rome, Oneida County. Today, the world's first 50-mile Unmanned Traffic Management Corridor between Syracuse and Rome is a global leader for testing UAS platforms and innovations.
Empire State Development Chief Operating Officer and Executive Deputy Commissioner Kevin Younis said, "The GENIUS NY business accelerator competition is helping to fuel the continued growth of the Unmanned Aerial Systems industry in Central New York. Congratulations to all of these companies that are bringing entrepreneurial ideas to the region, where they can take advantage of New York State's unmatched UAS assets and infrastructure."
State Senator Rachel May said, "I congratulate Airtonomy on winning the grand prize of this year's GENIUS NY competition and look forward to the investments they will make in our region and economy. The energy and innovation they represent is vital to continuing to build a thriving entrepreneurship economy in Central New York. Each of this year's winners will help our local economy prosper and retain the talent we need to make our region stronger."
State Senator John W. Mannion said, "Central New York has a great history of innovation and companies like Airtonomy and all of the GENIUS NY participants are carrying on that tradition. They are driving the jobs and economy of tomorrow and I look forward to seeing them grow in our community. I am grateful to Governor Hochul for supporting New York's entrepreneurs and UAS industry."
State Senator Al Stirpe said, "Congratulations to the winners of the 2021 GENIUS NY competition, particularly Airtonomy for taking the grand prize. These companies will be a welcome addition to Central New York's flourishing tech industry. For the past five years, the GENIUS NY program has invested in startups that are looking to change the way our communities function and connects them to resources that supports their growth. I look forward to seeing how these startups transform the future of our region and the global tech market."
Assemblymember William B. Magnarelli said, "The Genius NY competition continues to help Central New York maintain its status as a hub for innovative companies exploring unmanned aerial systems and other leading-edge technologies. I look forward to watching its collaboration, with both the Tech Garden and local companies, bring expertise and new ideas to the forefront of the unmanned aerial systems industry."
Assemblymember Pamela Hunter said, "Innovations relative to unmanned systems continue to strengthen our central New York economy. The recent awards from Governor Hochul shines a spotlight on the technological strength of our local companies and ongoing potential in workforce development. Congratulations to all the finalists and $1 million award winner AIrtonomy."
Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, "It is incredibly exciting to see the emerging UAS industry continue to grow right here in downtown Syracuse. On behalf of Onondaga County, I congratulate and welcome these innovative companies who are ready to put down roots in Central New York. I have no doubt that they will continue to play an important role in our regions' overall economic success."
City of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, "Congratulations to Airtonomy and welcome to the exciting ecosystem for unmanned aerial systems technology that is growing in the City of Syracuse and Central New York. The GENIUS NY competition has helped expand our entrepreneurial culture and contributed to the Syracuse Surge, our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy. I thank Governor Hochul for ensuring that New York State continues to invest in this important economic development initiative."
Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Randy Wolken, President & CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY), and Deborah Stanley, President of the State University of New York at Oswego said, "Many Congratulations to GENIUS NY round five winner Airtonomy. We are incredibly proud to welcome these imaginative entrepreneurs to the Central New York as they commit to growing their innovative business in this region. Through the regional council's continued support for the GENIUS NY competition, we are ensuring that New York state remains at the forefront of the growing UAS industry in Central New York, creating new opportunities and jobs for residents in the region for generations to come."
The GENIUS NY teams' business plans and pitches were judged by Captain Houston Mills, vice president of Flight Operations and Safety at UPS; Theresa Mazzullo, CEO of Excell Partners; Chedy Hampson, founder and CEO of TCGplayer; Kelly Wypych, consultant and retired CEO at Cryomech; Clayton Besch, director of Empire State's Development's New York Ventures.
To learn more about GENIUS NY, click here.
To learn more about CenterState CEO and the Tech Garden, visit: https://www.centerstateceo.com/about-us/partners-programs/tech-garden
Accelerating CNY Rising
Today's announcement complements "CNY Rising," the region's comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. Now, the region is accelerating CNY Rising with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The State's $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion - and the region's plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.
This years GENIUS NY Pitch Finals premieres on October 26 at noon. Watch our 5 finalists pitch their innovative startups to a panel of judges and see who is awarded $1 million.
Meet the judges