Genius NY names 16 semifinalists

Published Nov 18, 2017 at 4:00pm

A spinoff of a Rome company and a start-up created by a Roman and a man from Oneida are among the 16 semifinalists in Genius NY, a business accelerator program at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden.

The companies developing innovations in the unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) industry were selected from a pool of more than 250 submissions to compete for $3 million in investments. Of the semifinalists, three are international teams representing Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Additionally, three teams were co-founded by women, the program noted.

The semifinalists include SkyTubeLive, a start-up created by Mat DePasquale of Rome and Brian Barris of Oneida. It makes an Android app that is capable of live streaming in-flight drone video to the internet.

Also on the list is AndroMeta-X, a spinoff of Andro Computational Solutions of Rome.

AgriSense of the Rochester area; Kairos Weather Corp., a subsidiary of TruWeather Solutions of Albany; a yet-unnamed entity created by a Syracuse University professor; and Quantifly, based in New York City, make up the others located in the state.

Also on the list: BioCarbon Engineering, United Kingdom; Dropcopter, California; Dronetechuav, Texas; Fovea Aero Systems, New Jersey; Kinaptic, Maine; Precision Vision, New Mexico; OneSky, Switzerland; Fotokite, Switzerland; USDRobotics, Florida; and Systems Technology Solutions, New Mexico.

“We are excited to welcome these forward-thinking entrepreneurs to Central New York for round two of the Genius NY competition,” said Empire State Development President Howard Zemsky. “This unique contest supports UAS startups in developing the next-generation technologies that are helping Central New York, and its burgeoning drone industry, to rise.”

The teams now have three weeks to complete a video presentation on why their company would be the best fit for Genius NY. A panel of local judges will review the presentations and select the six finalists. Judges will be looking for companies that will stay in the region and utilize the ecosystem, scale and be successful and represent diversity of technology focus and team makeup.

The program, which is funded by Empire State Development, will invest more than $3 million in six companies over the course of the year-long competition — making it the largest business accelerator competition for the UAS industry in the world.

The grand prizes will be announced at an event in April, where teams will compete live by pitching their technologies to a panel of judges. Three grand prize investments — $1 million, $600,000 and $400,000 — will be awarded. The remaining runner-up teams will each receive a $250,000 investment.

​Businesses must be start-ups or existing businesses with less that $500,000 per year in revenue. They must focus must be in the broader categories of UAS hardware, software and analytics. They must also be willing to commit to living on a full-time basis in Central New York.