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Empire State Development Announces Five Teams Selected to Compete in Round Six of Genius NY Accelerator

All Selected Finalists Are International Teams Highlighting the Global Reach of the Program and Region’s UAS Ecosystem

GENIUS NY is Supported by “CNY Rising” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the five GENIUS NY companies selected to participate in round six of the world’s largest business accelerator focused on uncrewed systems. The companies, which are developing innovations in the uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS), internet of things (IoT) and robotics industries, were selected from a highly competitive pool of more than 200 submissions from over 50 countries. The five finalists are all international teams, representing Canada, the Netherlands, Israel, Poland and the United Kingdom. GENIUS NY participants are required to operate their business in Central New York for at least one year. The program is funded through the CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative (URI), the region’s award-winning strategic plan to generate robust economic growth and community development.

Empire State Development Acting President, CEO & Commissioner Hope Knight, said, “These selected GENIUS NY Round Six finalists are ready to take flight, adding to the cohort of forward-thinking innovators that have been drawn to this unique business accelerator competition which is elevating Central New York's unmatched UAS assets and infrastructure."

The selected finalists are:

Archangel Imaging, Ltd. (United Kingdom) deploys smart machines alongside people to protect valuable assets and at-risk staff in remote or challenging places. Whether its cables being stolen, oil being tapped or elephants poached for ivory, Archangel provides the ability for the security team to know before these incidents are about to happen and immediately intervene or follow up.

AVSS - Aerial Vehicle Safety Solutions, Inc. (Canada) produces a parachute recovery system and flight termination system that is commercializing drone technology for Urban Air Mobility (UAM). AVSS’s products are distributed worldwide through their more than 50 authorized dealers’ network and sold directly to drone manufacturers across the world.

Dronehub (Poland) develops autonomous charging docks for drones that help companies with large infrastructure to reduce monitoring costs, get real-time aerial data, and exclude the human factor. Dronehub helps industries to collect real-time precise aerial data, process it and automate operations.

Fusion Engineering (Netherlands) are working to create the most reliable, flexible and easy-to-use flight controller for any type of multirotor drone. Fusion Engineering builds innovative flight control algorithms to ensure more accurate positioning, disturbance rejection and fault tolerance.

Wonder Robotics (Israel) is a leading provider of intelligent and robust autonomous solutions for commercial drone and unmanned platform applications, focusing on the drone delivery and Urban Advance Mobility (UAM/AAM) markets by utilizing highly advanced vision-based capabilities for mission enable and safety.

The selected teams will begin the in-residence accelerator at The Tech Garden, CenterState CEO’s regional business incubator, in the coming weeks, and will be immersed in the incubator's business workshops, events, resource pool and mentoring. The GENIUS NY Pitch Finals will be held Nov. 3, and teams will compete for $3 million in investments, including a $1 million grand prize. Throughout the program, companies will also receive stipends, resources, programming, investor demo days and networking opportunities.

“We are excited to welcome these teams to Central New York and get to work advancing their business plans and technologies,” said Kara Jones, director of GENIUS NY. “Over the coming year, they will be connected to local businesses for strategic guidance and operational support and be immersed in the tech startup and UAS ecosystems. In addition to high-impact programmatic and business support provided by GENIUS NY, participants will also become more connected to our local community through events and social engagements.”

“The fact that each of these GENIUS NY finalists are international teams highlights the strength of the program and the industry’s recognition that Central New York is the single best place to grow your UAS company,” said Robert Simpson, president of CenterState CEO. “In addition to the resources provided by the program these teams will also become part of Central New York’s robust tech ecosystem. We proudly welcome this new cohort to our community and are excited to work with these companies to ensure their companies evolve and grow here.”

The GENIUS NY competition has been renewed through round 10 by ESD. The program has attracted more than 26 startups to Central New York since its inception in 2017. To date, the innovative teams have gone on to raise more than $90 million in venture capital and have created more than 60 upstate New York jobs.

Senator Rachel May said, “It’s an exciting time for CNY as our technology and innovation sector booms. We must continue to grow, bringing more tech businesses and high-paying jobs to the area. GENIUS NY is doing just that by welcoming innovative companies that are at the forefront of uncrewed systems technology and will no doubt benefit our local community in many ways.” 

Senator John W. Mannion said, “GENIUS NY is strategically building on Central New York’s strength as a hub for UAS technology and is attracting upstart companies from around the world to join our established research, design, and innovation ecosystem. I warmly welcome these companies to the region and will work with my colleagues across government and the private sector to ensure they have the support and resources they need to succeed.”

Assemblymember William B. Magnarelli said, “Congratulations to the finalists. The GENIUS NY Competition continues to help Central New York maintain its status as a hub for innovative companies exploring uses for unmanned aerial systems and other leading-edge technologies. The partnerships and opportunities created locally during the entrepreneurial stage create a catalyst for grown in our Central New York region.”

Assemblyman Al Stirpe said, "After the challenges of the past two-plus years, we must make Central New York's recovery a top priority and work diligently to boost the regional economy, create good-paying jobs and better support hardworking families. The sixth round of the GENIUS NY accelerator helps further our revitalization and strengthens our region's position as a leader in the uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) industry and other high-tech manufacturing fields. Representing a wide range of nations, the five finalists demonstrate the program's international reach and promise good things to come for Central New York."

Onondaga County Executive Ryan McMahon said, “Round six of the exciting GENIUS NY competition will continue to build on the success we've experienced as people come from across the world to Central New York. This innovative competition provides these entrepreneurs with the available tools and resources they need to ensure their long-term success in the region."

City of Syracuse Mayor Ben Walsh said, “The GENIUS NY competition has aided in expanding our entrepreneurial and tech cultures and brought energy and excitement to the Syracuse Surge -- our strategy for inclusive growth in the New Economy. I look forward to the innovative ideas that the five teams bring to round six of GENIUS NY, and thank Governor Hochul, Empire State Development and CenterState CEO for continued investments in this important economic development initiative."

Central New York Regional Economic Development Council Co-chairs Randy Wolken, president and CEO of the Manufacturers Association of Central New York (MACNY), and, Le Moyne College President Linda M. LeMura said, "We are incredibly excited to see what the selected teams will bring to the table for round six. Through our continued support for the GENIUS NY competition, we are ensuring that New York state remains at the forefront of the uncrewed systems industry in Central New York, creating new opportunities and jobs for residents in the region for decades to come."

To learn more about GENIUS NY visit, www.geniusny.com.

To learn more about CenterState CEO, visit: www.centerstateceo.com.

Accelerating CNY Rising

Today's announcement complements “CNY Rising,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The regionally designed plan focuses on capitalizing on global market opportunities, strengthening entrepreneurship and creating an inclusive economy. The region is accelerating CNY Rising with a $500 million state investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative. The state’s $500 million investment is helping incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion – and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 5,900 new jobs. More information is available here.

About Empire State Development

Empire State Development (ESD) is New York’s chief economic development agency (www.esd.ny.gov). The mission of ESD is to promote a vigorous and growing economy, encourage the creation of new job and economic opportunities, increase revenues to the State and its municipalities, and achieve stable and diversified local economies. Through the use of loans, grants, tax credits and other forms of financial assistance, ESD strives to enhance private business investment and growth to spur job creation and support prosperous communities across New York State. ESD is also the primary administrative agency overseeing the Regional Economic Development Councils and the marketing of “I LOVE NEW YORK,” the State’s iconic tourism brand. For more information on Regional Councils and Empire State Development, visit www.regionalcouncils.ny.gov and www.esd.ny.gov.


Shari Vincent | [email protected] | (585)399-7055 | (800) 260-7313

Press Office | [email protected] | (800) 260-7313