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More than 350 high-quality applications from around the world submitted for program’s third round.
GENIUS NY, a business accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden, announced today the 15 semi-finalist teams in the competition’s third round. The companies, which are developing innovations in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry, were selected from a highly-competitive pool of more than 350 submissions to compete for $3 million in investments. Of the 15 semi-finalists, three are international teams representing Italy and Israel. Additionally, three businesses are women-owned and two minority-owned.
The semi-finalists are:
EagleHawk One Inc., New York
FlyCam UAV, California
Kestrel Agritech Inc., Massachusetts
ResilienX, New York
SafeFlight LLC, Nevada
Secure Drone Labs, New York
Sentient Blue Technologies, Italy
Systems Technology Solutions LLC, New Mexico
Up Sonder, California
Vermeer, New York
Zenith Aerospace, California
The fifteen teams now have three weeks to complete a video presentation on why their company would be the best fit for GENIUS NY. A panel of local judges will review the presentations and select the five finalists participating in GENIUS NY 3.0. Judges will be looking for companies that: will stay in the CNY region and utilize the UAS ecosystem; will scale and be successful; represent diversity of technology focus and team makeup.
The grand prizes will be announced at an event in April, where teams will compete live by pitching their technologies to a panel of judges. The top prize will be $1 million followed by four $500K prizes.
The program, which is funded by Empire State Development in a model similar to Buffalo’s highly successful 43North program, will invest more than $3 million in five companies over the course of the year-long competition – making it the largest business accelerator competition for the UAS industry in the world. The advancement of the GENIUS NY program builds on the progress of CNY Rising, the region’s award-winning strategic plan to generate robust economic growth and community development.
Beyond the grand prize investments, participants will have access to some of the region's premier startup programming, including business planning, industry specific mentorship, and access to vetted service providers offering startup friendly terms. As part of this effort, participants will be 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. Participants also receive stipends for operating capital and subsidized rent, incubator space at The Tech Garden and will also have opportunities to connect with investors for follow on funding.