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Let’s assume you have a good idea, and potentially a great business. Your startup is scalable and fundable—you’re prepared for quick growth. Understandably, you want to accelerate the development of your business.
One great way to flesh out your business plan, collaborate with top entrepreneurs, and receive constructive feedback, is to join an accelerator or incubator. But with hundreds of programs to choose from, selecting the right program is not an easy decision. Your startup will not benefit from any random accelerator. You need to be deliberate in your search.
That’s why GENIUS NY, the world’s largest business competition for unmanned systems, wants to make it easier for you to compare programs. In this article, we will discuss what makes our program different—according to current participants.
What is GENIUS NY?
GENIUS NY is an in-residence accelerator and incubator that facilitates the growth of unmanned systems startups: hardware, software, and analytics. The program is coordinated by The Tech Garden and CenterState CEO in Syracuse, NY and funded with $5 million by NYS Empire State Development (ESD). Nearly 80 percent of this fund is allocated to prize money and other entrepreneur-consumed resources.
From strategic 12-month programming to specialized mentoring, a prime location (i.e. an unmanned systems hub) to the top prize of $1 million, there are a lot of great reasons to apply to GENIUS NY. If you already know you want to apply, start your application today. The deadline for GENIUS NY 3.0 is October 1, 2018.
What makes GENIUS NY Unique?
If you’re trying to determine if the GENIUS NY program is right for your team, consider what the 2017 and 2018 teams have to say about the program. We had a chance to speak with two participants about their experience, Jim Smyth, CEO of EZ3D, and Don Berchoff, CEO of TruWeather Solutions. EZ3D launched an app for easy roof measurement and inspection. TruWeather Solutions is building a service to improve the precision, accuracy and communication of weather intelligence.
Participating in an industry-focused program is advantageous. Jim Smyth, CEO of EZ3D, appreciates GENIUS NY’s niche. “EZ3D loves the focus of the GENIUS NY accelerator,” says Smyth, “It is great to network with other teams that focus on different aspects of one of the fastest growing industries (i.e. unmanned systems) in the world.” As a niche program for unmanned systems startups, the GENIUS NY network is overflowing with valuable, specialized knowledge that would be hard to find in any other program.
During the second phase of the program (the last nine months), teams participate in an incubation period where they share resources and technology. This structure fosters cross-pollination and peer support. Niche accelerators that focus on a specific industry, like GENIUS NY, excel at surrounding teams with like-minded entrepreneurs and experts.
Central New York (CNY) is hub for UAS Innovation. “GENIUS NY has amplified the acceleration of our product development and go-to-market sales pipeline,” says Don Berchoff, CEO of TruWeather Solutions. “We have taken advantage of CNY's hub of UAS innovation leveraging a unique ecosystem of connections, opportunities and resources. The New York State UAS blueprint is attracting and integrating smart people, businesses, communities and educational institutions and we are excited and very fortunate to be part of it all!”
Central New York is an emerging global hub for unmanned systems and related applications. Over the next five years, the state of New York will invest $250 million in unmanned systems as part of the Upstate Revitalization Initiative.
Why Choose GENIUS NY?
Past participants consider the industry focus and location as distinguishing characteristics of the GENIUS NY program. If you are eligible for GENIUS NY, check out the GENIUS NY application.
Your unmanned systems team will benefit from the in-residence programming, specialized mentoring, peer-to-peer networking, geographic location, and valuable investment money.
What could your unmanned systems startup accomplish with $1 million? Let’s find out.
If GENIUS NY sounds like the next best step for your startup, we would love to review your application. The deadline to apply for GENIUS NY 3.0 is October 1, 2018. Read more about the competition and how to apply.