GENIUS NY Round two teams have made significant growth and progress as part of the world’s largest business accelerator for unmanned systems. Just six months into the year-long program, three full-time employees and ten interns have been hired. These hires come just two months after the six teams received nearly $3 million in investments.
Fotokite, the grand prize winner of $1 million, recently hired a senior-level engineer and two interns; one from Syracuse University and one from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. Fotokite combines aerial and ground-based robotics with flight control algorithms to create a kite-like tethered drone system that can fly fully autonomously for 24 hours.
Quantifly, winner of $600,000, has added two full-time employees with degrees from Syracuse University; Dr. Javad Roostaei, Civil and Environmental Engineer Project Manager and CTO, and Zimeng Lyu, Computer Vision Engineer. Quantifly also hired three summer interns from Syracuse University. Quantifly uses aerial imagery, computer vision, and analytics to automate the observation, measurement, and analysis of change in cities.
TruWeather, winner of $400,000, has added three interns to its team through Syracuse University. TruWeather is building a service to improve the precision, accuracy and communication of weather intelligence.
Lastly UsPLM, winner of $250,000, has added two interns from Syracuse University. UsPLM provides a collaborative environment to develop, test, deploy and safely operate a single or a fleet of unmanned aerial systems.
In addition to growing their teams, the companies have been advancing their business models and making new sales. Dropcopter recently received significant media coverage for their work as the first in the nation to test drone pollination on apples. This partnership enables the company to demonstrate its capabilities and attract business leads.
Another great partnership for the GENIUS NY teams has been with The Center for Advanced Systems and Engineering (CASE Center) at Syracuse University. The majority of interns mentioned above have come from Syracuse University's CASE Center. The first company to hire students through CASE was Ascent AeroSystems, a round one team. Other companies hiring students from the round one cohort were Akrobotix and OmniMesh. A total of 11 student interns were hired by round one teams in 2017 and 10 student interns were hired for round two teams this year.