Sentient Blue, a team from Italy, has been named the $1 million grand prize winner of the latest GENIUS NY program, a business competition focused on unmanned systems, cross-connected platforms and other technology-based sectors.
Sentient Blue develops efficient, more environmentally friendly micro gas turbine-based power plants for use in unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) to increase flight endurance.
EagleHawk from Buffalo, N.Y.; Vermeer from Brooklyn, N.Y.; Resilienx from Syracuse, N.Y.; and Civdrone from Israel each were awarded investments of $500,000. Resilienx was also named the crowd favorite in a live poll taken during this week’s event.
EagleHawk provides a preventative maintenance platform for commercial buildings with flat roofs by leveraging drones equipped with infrared sensors to detect roof leaks; Vermeer offers an augmented reality drone solution that enables users to capture aerial photos, video and other data; ResilienX develops software to increase the resilience and reduce the maintenance costs of a UAS traffic management system; and Civdrone develops autonomous marking solutions on enterprise drones for the construction industry.
“The GENIUS NY competition is transforming the economic landscape of central New York by attracting the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs,” says Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, D-N.Y. “By investing in the unmanned aerial system businesses, we are ensuring that New York continues to establish itself as the leader in this burgeoning industry that is bringing jobs and economic growth to the central New York region.”
New York State has now invested $15 million in Genius NY over three rounds of the competition. The program, which is administered by The Tech Garden and CenterState CEO in Syracuse, also offers incubator space, company resources, programming and mentoring. Participants are required to operate their business in central New York for at least one year.
The advancement of the GENIUS NY program builds on the progress of CNY Rising, the region’s strategic plan to revitalize communities and grow the economy.
During the event, held at the Marriott Syracuse Downtown, the five teams pitched their business plans to a panel of judges and a live audience. Following the pitches, all five competitors were awarded one of five investments.
“We at Sentient Blue are honored to have been selected as the winner of GENIUS NY 2019. We would like to thank everyone at GENIUS NY for sharing our vision of revolutionizing the drone industry with our hybrid technology,” comments Saif Akanni, CEO and chief technology officer of Sentient Blue. “We are thrilled to be a part of the GENIUS NY ecosystem. This award is a real milestone for Sentient Blue; it will allow us to establish the company in central New York and accelerate our growth and development.”
“I applaud all of the winners and participants in the GENIUS NY competition and look forward to the investments they will make in our region and economy,” says State Sen. Rachel May, D-District 53. “The energy and innovation they represent is vital to continuing to build a thriving entrepreneurship economy in central New York. By funding business incubators and nourishing the best talent in our region, we are building a platform from which our local economy can prosper and we retain the talent we need to make our region stronger.”