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Five Teams from Around World to Receive a Total of $3 Million in Investments and Participate in Year-Long Accelerator in CNY
Syracuse – GENIUS NY, a business accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden, today announced the five finalists companies selected for its fifth round. These startup unmanned systems and robotics companies will participate in the year-long program and will compete for a total of $3 million in direct investment, with one grand prize of up to $1 million and four $500,000 awards. The companies were selected from a pool of more than 600 submissions. Finalists include teams with international and New York state representation.
The five companies will move into The Tech Garden, in Syracuse, this month and will begin to refine work on their business cases and pitch before Pitch Finals which will be held on October 20 at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown.
“We look forward to welcoming these teams from around the world to our community so we can support their growth and integrate them into the thriving ecosystem we have developed for the unmanned systems industry,’ said Kara Jones, director of GENIUS NY. “Over the next year, they will receive targeted business development resources and mentoring, that coupled with the state’s high-value investment will ensure their success. It has been incredibly rewarding to see the growth of the teams from previous rounds of the competition and I know this new cohort will join with them to further establish The Tech Garden as the leading place to grow your UAS company.”
The five finalists selected for GENIUS NY 5 are:
Airial Robotics (Hamburg, Germany): 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 (Grand Forks, ND): Airtonomy's push-button software automates uniform collection, packaging and analysis of data acquired by autonomous vehicles and sensors, specifically targeting critical energy infrastructure. Airtonomy's rules-based drone data management methodology increases customer return on investment.
CarScanner (Krakow, Poland): CarScanner develops a used car inspection robot that autonomously navigates around a car and automatically detects scratches, dents, repainted body surfaces, and other damages with structured light, thermography and machine learning algorithms.
Circle Optics (Rochester, NY): 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. Paired to a UAS this technology can enable immersive telepresence, better autonomy and a platform to run edge applications such as self-localization, object recognition/tracking, as well as volumetric data capture.
WindShape (Geneva, Switzerland): 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 year-long competition is the largest business accelerator competition for the UAS industry in the world. Recent announcements by GENIUS NY teams demonstrate the quality of the program, which is funded by Empire State Development. Teams from GENIUS NY continue to hit growth milestones and have attracted outside investments, made connections and established partnerships with local businesses, and have made hires or currently have openings.
“These companies were selected from the most competitive pool of applications we have ever seen,” said Jeff Fuchsberg, vice president of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CenterState CEO. “This year’s applicant pool and high-growth finalists highlight the program’s ability to drive success and impact the rapid growth of participating teams. As round five teams join the innovation ecosystem we have created at The Tech Garden, they too will benefit from a network of resources we’ve established to support startup companies.”
“The success of this program can be seen in the companies that participated in rounds one through four and continue to grow and create jobs in our community,” said Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “Their continued success supports regional efforts to be a global leader in the unmanned systems industry.”
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. Since 2017, GENIUS NY companies have raised more than $40 million in follow-on funding and have created over 50 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 mentorship, and access to vetted service providers offering startup friendly terms. Participants 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. Participants also have opportunities to connect with investors for follow on funding.
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.
Throughout the program, teams will engage with community leaders, mentors, and advisors from leading companies in Central New York while also participating in tourism activities. The goal is to encourage all participants to put down roots and stay in the region following the conclusion of the program.
To learn more about GENIUS NY visit www.geniusny.com.
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