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GENIUS NY, a business accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden, announced 13 teams as semi-finalists in the competition’s fifth round. The companies, which are developing innovations in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS), internet of things (IoT) and big data industries, were selected from a highly competitive pool of nearly 600 submissions from more than 50 countries. Of the 13 semi-finalists, five are international teams representing Germany, Israel, Poland, the Netherlands and Switzerland. Five teams are from New York state.
Airial Robotics (Hamburg, Germany)
Airtonomy (Grand Forks, North Dakota)
Airwayz (Tel Aviv, Israel)
Birdstop (San Francisco, California)
CarScanner (Krakow, Poland)
Circle Optics (Rochester, New York)
Fusion Engineering (Delft, Netherlands)
Organic Robotics (Rochester, New York)
Reign Maker (New York, New York)
Robodub (Buffalo, New York)
SmartSpace AI (Costa Mesa, California)
Voltela (New York, New York)
Windshape (Geneva, Switzerland)
Companies interviewed with the GENIUS NY panel of executive advisers last month. Five finalists will be selected for entry into the GENIUS NY program. Judges are looking for companies that will stay in the Central New York area and use the ecosystem; will scale and be successful; and represent diversity of technology focus and team makeup. In mid-July, the finalists will arrive in Central New York to begin establishing their businesses at The Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse. Finals Night will be held in late fall where teams will compete live by pitching their technologies to a panel of judges for the $1 million grand prize investment. The remaining four teams will each receive a $500,000 investment.
“The high-growth potential of all of these semi-finalist teams highlights the strength of this program and the entire ecosystem surrounding the unmanned systems industry in the region,” said Jeff Fuchsberg, director of GENIUS NY. “We look forward to working and learning more about these teams to determine which will move forward and be a part of the fifth round of the program. We will also continue to connect and engage 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 $12 million in 22 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 $40 million in follow-on funding and have created more than 50 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 unmanned 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.