UAS startup finalists selected for Central New York program

By Patrick C. Miller | December 19, 2017

Six finalists have been selected for the first round of a Central New York program to provide resources for unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) startup companies with high potential.

GENIUS NY is business accelerator program at the CenterState Corporaton for Economic Opportunity (CEO), a regional business leadership organization. A final pitch event for first-round teams was recently held at the organization’s Tech Garden in Syracuse, New York.

Investments were awarded to six first-round teams to help advance their technologies. When the first round of the program ends later in December, four of the six teams will remain in Syracuse to continue operations. The six finalists selected for GENIUS NY 2.0 are:

Dropcopter (California), an agriculture technology startup that has developed patent-pending technology enabling farmers to pollinate orchards via drones. The recent decline of bee populations has raised pollination prices significantly, creating a market for alternative technologies.

Fotokite (Switzerland), a company that combines aerial- and ground-based robotics with patented flight control algorithms to create a kite-like tethered drone system using a tether to fly autonomously for 24 hours.

Precision Vision (New Mexico), a company that creates image processing technology to make real-time precision imaging affordable. Precision imaging locates each pixel at a known 2D or 3D referenced location in every image. The company has unique software and knowledge to provide low-cost, real-time precision imaging to new markets.

Quantifly (Michigan), provides an Internet-of-Things solution that simplifies and reduces the costs of parking and traffic studies by using UAS, machine vision and analytics to eliminate human error, mitigate safety risks and centralize data. The company is first to market and provides an app for urban planners focused on smart city applications and sustainability.

TruWeather (Virgina), which is building a service to improve the precision, accuracy and communication of weather intelligence for the UAV enterprise. It develops, commercializes and markets a UAV weather risk management service for beyond-line-of-sight UAV operations.

UsPLM (Syracuse), is a company providing a collaborative environment for stakeholders to develop, test, deploy and safely operate a single drone or a fleet of UAS. UsPLM can integrate UAS, Internet-of-Things and product lifecycle management technologies, which are missing in the current UAS ecosystem.

Program participants will have access to Central New York resources such as business planning, industry-specific mentorship and vetted service providers offering startup friendly terms. The UAS startup companies will be integrated into a larger regional effort to grow UAS in central New York and the Mohawk Valley. They’ll also receive stipends for operating capital and subsidized rent, as well as opportunities to connect with investors for follow-on funding.

“The GENIUS NY competition is paving the way to help to ensure that forward-thinking UAS companies stay in Central New York, create jobs and establish the region as a global hub for emerging technologies,” said Howard Zemsky, Empire State Development president, CEO and commissioner.

The Innovation Celebration event held at the Central New York Biotech Accelerator in Syracuse brought together upstate investors, community leaders and program partners. It was sponsored by The Tech Garden, Upstate Venture Connect and Upstate Capital Association.

“We know we have the ability to attract and drive new company growth in this sector and look forward to replicating this success in the program’s second round,” said Rob Simpson, president of CenterState CEO.