The competition, sponsored by Empire State Development Corp. and run by CenterState Corporation for Economic Opportunity, developed out of Gov. Cuomo’s Growing Entrepreneurs and Innovators in Upstate New York – or GENIUS NY — initiative last year, and will award $4 million to six startup companies focused on data, cyber security, analytics, unmanned ground, air and marine systems.
The participants will have an opportunity to win three grand prizes, valued at up to $1 million, $600,000 and $400,000, during the competition, the governor’s office stated.
Businesses can apply online at www.geniusny.com.
“‘Genius NY’ will attract world-class startups to Central New York by going beyond substantial direct investment, and offering resources, programming and connections not found in previous business competitions,” Empire State Development president and CEO Howard Zemsky stated. “These resources and investments, combined with an alignment to the CNY Rising plan, and exposure to Central New York’s exceptional quality of life will give startups the best possible chance for success, and create sustainable businesses headquartered in the region.”
According to Cuomo, the applications will be evaluated by a panel of judges, and 12 semi-finalists will be selected to present live demos and pitches this fall.
Six companies will then advance to participate in the competition, which will be structured as a programmed incubator, and mentorship experience.
“The GENIUS NY program will build upon the progress started by the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, and help the next generation of Central New York businesses create new jobs, and generate economic opportunity across the region,” Cuomo stated.
The six teams will enter the in-residence incubator program at CenterState CEO’s Tech Garden, and be immersed in the organization’s events, resource pool, and mentoring program, according to officials from the organization.
The application period is open now through Sept. 16.