GENIUS NY increases investments for third round

Five GENIUS NY finalists will now receive $3 million in investments

CenterState CEO and The Tech Garden have announced some exciting news about the GENIUS NY program!

The program now has a new investment structure for round three of the innovative unmanned systems 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.

GENIUS NY is a business accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s The Tech Garden. It is the largest business accelerator competition for the UAS industry in the world.

Empire State Development President, CEO and Commissioner Howard Zemsky said, “In Central New York, world-class UAS firms are already driving major growth and innovation in the industry. Be increasing the minimum prize amount to $500,000, GENIUS NY will now be able to attract more competitive and high-quality companies who will bring their entrepreneurial spirit to the region and generate economic opportunity.

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.

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. 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.

“GENIUS NY has grown in popularity and its brand awareness is attracting teams that have developed a minimum viable product, or that have already commercialized their products,” said Rick Clonan, VO of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at CenterState CEO. “We believe this new investment structure will attract tech startups t the region that are further along in their life-cyle, and the risk profile is actually decreased as we are providing a significantly larger investment to each team.”

Round three of the GENIUS NY program will begin in January 2019 and will run for 12 months. GENIUS NY is accepting applications until October 1. Apply now!

You can find more information here about the new funding structure.

Over two years, the GENIUS NY program has invested nearly $6 million in 12 high-quality teams, all of which have benefited from the program.


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