Circle Optics named GENIUS NY finalist
Rochester’s Circle Optics is among five teams selected to participate in round five of the GENIUS NY business accelerator program.
Supported by the CNY Rising Upstate Revitalization Initiative and administered by CenterState CEO at the Tech Garden in downtown Syracuse, these startup, unmanned systems industry companies will participate in a yearlong program. The five finalists include teams with international and New York State representation and were selected from a pool of more than 600 submissions. They will compete for $3 million in direct investment, with one grand prize of up to $1 million and four $500,000 awards. The competition is the largest business accelerator competition for the UAS industry in the world. GENIUS NY participants are required to commit to operating their business in Central New York for at least one year.
“The GENIUS NY competition has helped to establish Central New York as a hub for unmanned aerial systems by attracting the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs,” said Kevin Younis, chief operating officer and executive deputy commissioner of Empire State Development. “New York’s ongoing UAS investment will ensure that continued industry leadership, bringing top quality jobs and growth to the region and beyond.”
Circle Optics develops high-resolution, wide field-of-view imaging systems that enable real-time capture without the time and expense of post-processing required by other multicamera systems. Paired to a UAS, this technology can enable immersive telepresence, better autonomy and a platform to run edge applications such as self-localization, object recognition/tracking, and volumetric data capture.
The five finalists will move into the Tech Garden, in downtown Syracuse, and will begin to refine work on their business cases which they present at the Pitch Finals event which will be held in October. In addition to Circle Optics, other finalists are:
- Airial Robotics (Hamburg, Germany): Airial Robotics develops commercial UAVs for surveillance, logistics and agriculture modeled after gyrocopter/helicopter hybrid that are challenging industry performance limits for safety, payload, range and speed.
- Airtonomy (Grand Forks, North Dakota): Airtonomy’s push-button software automates uniform collection, packaging and analysis of data acquired by autonomous vehicles and sensors, specifically targeting critical energy infrastructure.
- CarScanner (Krakow, Poland): CarScanner develops a used car inspection robot that autonomously navigates around a car and automatically detects scratches, dents, repainted body surfaces, and other damages with structured light, thermography and machine-learning algorithms.
- WindShape (Geneva, Switzerland): WindShape develops indoor weather simulation technology to test and certify drones under controllable and repeatable flight conditions to enable autonomous and scalable drone applications.
- Throughout the program, teams will engage with community leaders, mentors, and advisers from leading companies in Central New York while also participating in tourism activities. The goal is to encourage all participants to put down roots and stay in the region following the conclusion of the program.
Since 2017, GENIUS NY has invested $12 million in 22 companies from around the world and brought them to Central New York to participate in the yearlong in-residence accelerator where they receive assistance with product development, business development, and networking opportunities with investors and business leaders.
“We look forward to welcoming these teams from around the world to our community so we can support their growth and integrate them into the thriving ecosystem we have developed for the unmanned systems industry,” said Kara Jones, director of GENIUS NY. “Over the next year, they will receive targeted business development resources and mentoring that, coupled with the state’s high-value investment, will ensure their success. It has been incredibly rewarding to see the growth of the teams from previous rounds of the competition and I know this new cohort will join them to further establish The Tech Garden as the leading place to grow your UAS company.”