Cole Johnson SYRACUSE, N.Y. (NCC NEWS) – Drones will be taking center stage on South Warren Street in Syracuse on Tuesday night. As part of a competition that brings technological philosophies to life, some of the brightest minds in the business will clash.
In a time period rising in innovative technologies, businesses from all over the world are coming together to advance technology in the most creative ways. Many of these startup companies are turning towards Central New York. The Tech Garden in Syracuse holds the largest business accelerator competition for unmanned systems in the world, and it’s called GENIUS NY.
Each year in January, finalists are selected from a competitive pool and are given stipends and housing subsidies to participate in an accelerator program, ending in a business pitch. The winner receives $1 million in investments, while the others receive $500 thousand. The categories include hardware, software, data analytics and IoT (Internet of Things).
The event at Rock the Block on Tuesday will be showcasing some of these ideas. Jon Parry, the Director of GENIUS NY, hopes that an event like this will shed light to people that drones aren’t just toys, but rather are a technological advancement that can provide safer and more productive jobs down the road.
“We want the community to be aware that there are not just job opportunities, but also be aware of why the drone industry can be important for the potential growth of the Central New York region,” Parry said.
Since the most recent winners of GENIUS NY have been from Switzerland and Italy, Parry also believes that the work they have done here in Central New York has reached outside investors due to its excelling technology in drones.
“There’s a large appeal for companies that want to be involved in the drone industry. They know they can come to Central New York to be around other entrepreneurs and companies in the region,” said Parry. “Boston is really well known for robotics. San Francisco is really well known for autonomous vehicles…in Syracuse, we’re becoming known for drone technology.”
GENIUS NY is being funded by Empire State Development in hopes of expanding similar economic acceleration programs. As a result, 17 companies have been started up with a total of $9 million in investments.
Here is the list of the 2019 Finalists for GENIUS NY that may be represented at Tuesday’s event.