Teams Will Now Compete for One of Five Investments; $1 million Top Prize and Four awards of $500,000 Each
GENIUS NY has implemented a new investment structure for round three of the innovative unmanned aerial systems (UAS) business accelerator. Five finalist teams will be selected from a pool of applicants to participate in the third round of this world-class acceleration experience in Central New York. A total of $3 million in direct investment funding will be awarded, with one grand prize of up to $1 million and four $500,000 awards. Previously, the program awarded three grand prizes of up to $1 million, $600,000, and $400,000 and three runner-up prizes of $250,000 with $250,000 available for follow-on funding. Doubling the investment for the finalist teams will provide them with an even greater opportunity to succeed and grow their business in Central New York.
Round three of the GENIUS NY program will begin in January 2019 and will run for 12 months. It is 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 comprehensive strategy to revitalize communities and grow the economy. The UAS industry accelerator program is administered by CenterState CEO’s The Tech Garden in Downtown Syracuse.
“We have learned a lot through two rounds of this program and are in a position, thanks to the unprecedented investments being made by New York state, to make adjustments to create greater impact for the companies in the program and ultimately the region’s unmanned industry cluster,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “We now know that teams need more immediate capital for manufacturing in the Central New York region, and additional funding to hire more employees. The increases in awards will result in a larger budget for companies to hire new employees, supports additional market research and product development, and generally creates a longer runway for companies to achieve revenue and follow-on funding. As these companies grow and evolve they become more integrated in the region’s larger efforts, and strengthen our position as a global leader for the unmanned systems industry.”
Beyond investments, GENIUS NY participants 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 when they come online. Participants also receive incubator space, stipends for operating capital, and will have opportunities to connect with investors for follow on funding.
Over two years, the program has invested nearly $6 million in 12 high-quality teams, all of which have benefited from the program. In addition to these investments, teams benefit from the region’s multi-dimensional ecosystem that combines technology, innovation, standards and certification and public policy.
Applications for round three are now open and will be accepted until October 1 , 2018. To apply click here.