GENIUS NY Celebrates the Graduation of Its Seventh Cohort

Posted on June 27, 2024

Flight Fest Genius NY 7 teams

Flight Fest event highlights the Central New York Uncrewed Aerial Systems community and future opportunities, including new Le Moyne College-NUAIR partnership

CenterState CEO and its partners hosted Flight Fest at Le Moyne College to celebrate the graduation of the GENIUS NY program’s seventh cohort. The GENIUS NY teams will share what they’ve accomplished during the accelerator, and those in attendance will have the opportunity to fly a drone. 

The five teams and their growth over the last year contributes to the strength of Central New York’s dynamic and vibrant uncrewed aircraft systems (UAS) ecosystem. Since 2017, GENIUS NY companies have raised more than $100 million in follow-on funding and have created hundreds of new jobs in New York State.

“I am so proud of the members in our seventh GENIUS NY cohort. They’ve become valuable members of our Central New York UAS community, partnering with existing businesses and pushing each other’s technologies forward,” said GENIUS NY director Kara Jones. “I’m excited to see what they accomplish in the future and how they continue to innovate.”

Flight Fest, and the celebration of GENIUS NY teams, highlights the growth of this ecosystem as Le Moyne College’s Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity in the Madden College of Business and Economics commemorates its partnership with Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research (NUAIR®)  and the investment of $600,000 to support the Keenan Center’s establishment of a drone training curriculum centered on the technical mastery of UAS and their application for positive change.

By joining forces with NUAIR, the Keenan Center will be at the forefront of this pioneering field, providing a rich educational experience that balances skill acquisition with ethical considerations. This partnership will enable students to be at the cutting edge of drone technology applications, focusing on innovation while fostering the greater good.

“The opportunities in the uncrewed aircraft field are endless – from pilots to engineers, first responders to utility inspectors, innovators to business owners,” said NUAIR President and CEO Ken Stewart. “NUAIR is thankful to be able to multiply its investment from Empire State Development to drive economic and workforce development in the upstate New York community through the Keenan Center and its students.”

“This partnership aligns with Le Moyne's dedication to service and innovation to benefit society and will allow Le Moyne students, faculty and the broader community to engage with and benefit from groundbreaking projects and initiatives,” said Doug Hill, director of The Maker Institute in the Keenan Center. “It is rooted in the ethos of our Jesuit tradition, emphasizing the peaceful use of drone technology for societal benefit.”

The GENIUS NY program recently announced it chose 14 semifinalists for the next round of the accelerator. A panel of evaluators will select five companies as finalists for the eighth GENIUS NY cohort, expected to arrive in Syracuse later this summer.


About CenterState CEO & GENIUS NY

CenterState CEO is Central New York's premier business leadership and economic development organization, committed to creating a region where business thrives, and all people prosper. GENIUS NY is the world's largest business accelerator competition for uncrewed systems, IoT and robotics startups. The accelerator is funded by Empire State Development and housed at CenterState CEO's The Tech Garden, in downtown Syracuse, New York.


About NUAIR®

NUAIR is a New York-based nonprofit driving economic development through innovations in UAS and Advanced Air Mobility to safely integrate into the national airspace. With guidance from inception to acceleration, we help you deliver advanced UAS commercial outcomes and build your aviation ecosystem on a proven network of systems from incubators to investors and customers to partners. Understand the harmonization needed to innovate airspace, advance aviation, and architect AAM in your community from theory to reality with our team of experts.

With a rich history of 10+ years performing UAS testing and validation, investing in local and state economic development, and training public safety elite, the Northeast UAS Airspace Integration Research Alliance, Inc. (NUAIR) is proud to be the catalyst to not only New York’s airspace innovation, but aviation advancement around the globe.

NUAIR. Where Next Takes Flight.


About the Keenan Center for Entrepreneurship, Innovation and Creativity

The Keenan Center is focused on integrating an entrepreneurial mindset into curriculum and business practices across Central New York. Named for Tim and Kathleen ’81 (Fehlan) Keenan, it seeks to advance the economy by utilizing personal enterprise to promote economic development and combat poverty. The center elevates the profile of both Le Moyne College and the Madden College of Business and Economics in the regional and global marketplace, and plays a critical role in the upstate New York entrepreneurial ecosystem.

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