On the heels of GENIUS NY’s round 1 success, the program is seeing ongoing interest from companies across the globe as it closes its application period for a second round of funding. GENIUS NY received more than 250 submissions for next year’s competition and has gained stronger brand awareness in the global unmanned aerial systems (UAS) community. Several applicants reapplied this year; many are from out of state; and a few are from across the globe, including India and Australia. There was also an increase in women-owned businesses.

GENIUS NY is the world’s largest business accelerator competition for UAS, funded by Empire State Development and housed at CenterState CEO’s The Tech Garden. The program provides an unprecedented opportunity for companies to take home more than $1 million to advance their technologies in the UAS industry.

Last month, GENIUS NY staff attended Interdrone, an international drone conference in Las Vegas, NV, and met with numerous applicants to continue promoting the program and raise awareness of Central New York as a global hub for unmanned systems. UAS companies at the conference were familiar with the unmanned system efforts being made in Central New York such as the construction of a 50-mile corridor customized for unmanned aircrafts and the creation of NUSTAR, a new testing center for drone safety, durability and cybersecurity.

In addition, a number of investors attending Interdrone were interested in learning about the six current GENIUS NY teams whose accelerator program ends in December and are currently seeking follow-on funding. Some of those investors were invited to attend the first GENIUS NY Investor Day in New York City held recently in partnership with Perkins Coie. The GENIUS NY teams presented their businesses in front of more than 30 investors focused on the unmanned systems industry.

The six current teams will continue to operate in Syracuse even as their program ends. Three of the six teams have already outgrown their offices and are now renting larger spaces at The Tech Garden.

GENIUS NY 2.0 officially begins this January and the program is seeking mentors, speakers and sponsors for next year. Professionals with a background in business leadership, emerging technology, growing startups and unmanned systems are ideal candidates for mentors and speakers. To learn more please visit www.geniusny.com or contact Jon Parry at jparry@thetechgarden.com.


Mentor & Advise: GENIUS NY is looking for mentors and advisors with experience in executive management, business operations, investment and expertise in the UAS industry.

Host the New Teams: Six new teams from around the country will be living in Central New York for 2018. We’re looking for events, tours, company visits and opportunities to help them become familiar with the area.

Become a Sponsor: GENIUS NY is the world’s largest business competition in unmanned systems and is making a name for itself across the globe. The program has a large following and many events that sponsors can take advantage of throughout the year.  Contact Jon Parry at 315-470-1982 or jparry@thetechgarden.com for more information.