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Michael Toscano, former President and CEO of the Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), spent the day with Genius NY teams at The Tech Garden. AUVSI is the world’s largest trade association for unmanned systems. Founded in 1972, the association now represents over 600 companies in over 60 countries. Since his start in 2008, Toscano was paramount in representing the industry during a very significant period of expansion and acceptance in the history of drone technology.
Michael began the morning by joining the GENIUS NY business accelerator teams at their “All Hands on Deck” meeting. The regular meeting is a way for members from each team to come together and share progress updates and suggestions. Toscano’s background and connections within unmanned systems is beneficial for any company in the industry and GENIUS NY teams took advantage of his experience and vast network. Teams continued discussions afterward with Michael during individual meetings to gain deeper insights based on their specific needs.
"I met with the six winning teams of the first GENIUS NY competition and I’m impressed with the quality, understanding, professionalism, and passion they have for this emerging technology. New York is truly pushing all their chips in the middle when it comes to unmanned systems technology." ~ Michael Toscano
Michael capped off the afternoon by leading a discussion on the future of Unmanned Systems and how local businesses can take advantage of the growing industry. The talk was open to the public and welcomed visitors from Central New York and surrounding communities interested in unmanned systems. The Tech Garden theater filled with over 70 attendees, some of which traveled from as far as Rochester and Potsdam, NY.
Toscano’s energy was infectious as he spoke of Unmanned Systems as a “Revolutionary and Disruptive Technology”. There are many opportunities to integrate unmanned technology into industries now and it will only continue to grow in the future. A firm believer in the benefits of technology, Toscano still understands there are risks involved. Mainstream acceptance, for example, the adoption of driverless cars, can only be achieved after “safety” is be proven.
With the continuation of unmanned technology, Toscano foresees improved capabilities and the alleviation or elimination of many dangerous jobs. “Opportunities are out there for Unmanned Systems. Unmanned vehicles can assist with dirty, dangerous, difficult or dull jobs.”
Toscano continued to paint the picture clearly for a future of possibilities as unmanned systems continue to solve challenges. Thanks to the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, Griffiss International Airport FAA Test Center, GENIUS NY, and local companies, Central New York is ready to lead the way.
Accessing and Spending time with Michael Toscano is one of the many benefits of the GENIUS NY accelerator program. Applications for GENIUS 2.0 are open until October 1, 2017. Apply today to see if you qualify to compete for up to $1 million in funding for your unmanned systems startup.