UPDATE: Genius NY Deadline Extended to Oct. 14

Ascent Sprite Drone. Photo: courtesy of Genius NY.

The deadline to enter the Genius NY program, one of the largest business competitions for unmanned systems in the world, has been extended to Oct. 14.

The 2017-2018 contest year drew more than 250 applicants from around the planet with the top three prize winners offering drones that could be tethered to fire trucks, drones for investigating parking spaces, and a weather service for drones.

In this round of the program five finalists will be chosen with the grand prize winner getting $1 million and the remaining four finalists $500,000 each for a total of $3 million in prize money. The five finalists each also receive a $10,000 per month stipend for their companies and other help for the three-month initial incubation period before the prizes are awarded. Moreover, this incubator program connects them with speakers, instructors, workshops and opportunities for networking and investment, all to help them work out the details on how to bring their technology to market. The Tech Garden in Syracuse, New York, which hosts Genius NY, can also help finalists search for the kind of expertise any new firm needs, including local firms to help with legal questions, insurance, accounting, marketing, manufacturing and so on.

The competition is open to early-stage firms worldwide that are focused on unmanned systems, including aerial, ground and aquatic, and hardware, software and analytics. The program also welcomes entries from firms involved in the emerging Internet of Things sector and data-to-decisions systems. Though it helps to have a full business plan, outstanding technology developments will also be considered. More information is available at www.geniusny.com.

Though this entry period is drawing to a close a fourth and fifth round are expected, according to a spokesman.