GENIUS NY Startup Accelerator (Cohort 8)

Deadline Date: May 15, 2024

Donor Name: GENIUS NY

Grant Size: Not Available

Submissions are now open for the GENIUS NY, a startup accelerator sponsored by Empire State Development that invests $3M annually into seed-stage startups focused on uncrewed aerial systems, automation and AI.

Beyond the grand prize investments, participants benefit from access to some of the region’s premier startup programming.

What They Offer?

  • Business Development
    • Dig into your customer discovery, get expert legal advice, build on your marketing strategy and much more.
  • Industry Networking
    • Meet and work with the entire portfolio of companies, plus connect with additional industry leaders and entrepreneurs.
  • Investor Relations
    • Gain insights into effective strategies for preparation and collaboration with investors to elevate your startup.
  • Events & Programming
    • Gain access to events and conferences to learn business strategies and make professional connections.

What does GENIUS NY provide participants?

  • ​Five winners are selected for the GENIUS NY accelerator each year. Winners receive a large investment; one grand prize winner receives $1 million, followed by four $500,000 investments to the remaining teams. ​Winners also receive funding in the form of a monthly stipend in Phase I, free office space and amenities, workshops and events, business training, a dedicated group of executive advisors, industry mentors, and recruiting, marketing, and fundraising support.

Besides the funding, winners also receive

  • Pitch Deck Support + Investor Relations
    • Support from experts on pitch deck creation and presentation, along with over 50 investor partners like ffVC and DroneFund Armory Square Ventures.
  • Industry Mentors + Executive Advisors
    • Dedicated one-on-one mentorship with experts in your field
  • Programming + Workshops
    • Workshops on product market fit, customer discovery, fundraising and go-to-market strategies
  • UAS Ecosystem + Partners
    • Access to a vast UAS ecosystem including past GENIUS NY companies, NUAIR and the NY UAS Test Site
  • Free Office Space + Amenities
    • Teams receive free office space at The Tech Garden incubator in Syracuse, NY
  • Recruiting + Fundraising Support
    • Work with staff and mentors to successfully fundraise, hire and scale


  • They welcome international applications. However, speaking English is a requirement. Meeting the requirements of US immigration policy will be the responsibility of the participants.
  • Ideal Applicants
    • Technologies in the uncrewed systems or UAV, automation and AI space
    • Pre-seed/Seed stage qualifications
    • Founders that have domain expertise and a great team
    • Traction with paying customers
    • Revenue or an MVP
    • A strong value proposition to locate in the Central New York region
    • Potential strategic partnerships with past GENIUS NY and Central New York companies
  • Businesses must be venture backable and high growth potential.
  • Business focus must be in the broader categories of:
    • Uncrewed systems, automation, AI.
  • Willing to commit to living on a full-time basis in Central New York for the period of the program.
  • Able to speak or communicate in English.
  • Able to travel to the United States with proper travel/work visa.

For more information, visit GENIUS NY.

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