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GENIUS NY: Sky Is The Limit - Largest Accelerator of Unmanned Systems

GENIUS NY ( Growing Entrepreneurs in Upstate New York ) is a business accelerator program at The Tech Garden in Central New York that has rewarded innovative start-ups for the past 3 years with millions of dollars. This year it has again come up with the grand competition where teams will compete for five major investments, the winner will be awarded $1M investment while four teams will be rewarded with $500K investment each.

Along with monetary reward, the winners will also be offered all that is needed to make a company success which includes incubator space, advisors, resources, connections, and company stipends. The participant companies must be focused on unmanned systems, software, hardware, analytics and IoT.

Year-2017 Finalists

1) Akrobotix 

Akrobotix, Syracuse, has propriety technology of developing self-contained, safe autopilot systems for unmanned aerial, ground and marine vehicles. This technology can set the standards for safe integration of UAS into national airspace.

2) AutoModality 

The company from California builds autonomous mobile systems which analyze the world focusing on inspection of land, agriculture and infrastructure assets.

3) Ascent AeroSystems

From Arizona, AeroSystems manufactures, designs, sells and supports unmanned aerial vehicles with the help of its vehicle configuration system.

4) EZ3D 

This startup uses low-cost drones to assist professionals to take pictures, inspect and measure buildings without the aid of a ladder and complex equipment. It helps in analyzing repair estimates, solar installation, claims to adjust on an on-demand basis replacing traditional methods which can save companies billions of dollars.

5) Omnimesh 

Another from Syracuse, this firm designs wireless network protocol which is reliable, convenient and secure than the current internet. This network is to expand drone’s control and data transmission beyond visible sight.

6) SkyOp

From Canandaigua, this company provides training to unmanned aerial systems.

The Accelerator Program

The accelerator in-residence program has two phases:

Phase One – This phase will be three-month long, where five teams will receive a monthly stipend of $10,000 a month and a housing subsidy. The phase will end with a business pitch and investments totaling to $3 million. As mentioned before, the winner to receive $1 million and the other four teams will receive $500 thousand.

Phase Two – All five teams from phase one will be entering phase two of the program for 9 months that marks its end with three Investor Demo Day’s with investors and program judges from New York City, Boston, and Syracuse.

More details on the accelerator program can be found here.


  1. Business participating must be an existing business with less than $500,000 per year revenue.
  2. They should be focused on categories of IoT, hardware, analytics, unmanned system and software.
  3. Willing to a business under the terms and conditions of GENIUS NY.
  4. Seeking outside equity capital.
The eligibility, selection criteria and application process can be seen at GENIUS NY’S Application Process page.

This is an amazing opportunity for startups willing to move to NewYork and seeking equity capital. Keep an eye on important dates, as the application for GENIUS NY 3.0 closes on October 1st. Semi-finalists will be announced in November and finalists in December. January will be the month when the finalists arrive for Accelerator.

If you think, you have it, what it takes to win this challenge, apply now!