Commercialization Competition 2023

Commercialization Competition FAQ


Who can apply for the competition?

The competition is intended for pre-revenue manufacturing and technology companies physically located in New York State.

Does my startup need to be located in New York to receive investment?

Yes, companies must be located in New York State. If awarded, company must continue to reside and operate in NYS until at least a twelve (12) consecutive month period following the award announcement, or project completion, whichever is longest.

What documents can I submit to fulfill the New York State Presence requirement?

Examples of documents that can fulfill the New York State Presence requirement are (please redact all sensitive information before submitting):

  • Copy of an executed lease on company name
  • Copy of utility bill on company name
  • Copy of company financial institution statement on company name (bank, credit card, etc.)
  • Copy of insurance-related document on company name (bill, statement, plan, etc.)
How do I get a DUNS number for my application?

A DUNS number is a unique nine-digit identification number provided by Dun & Bradstreet (D&B). To obtain or update a DUNS#, contact D&B at 1-800-234-3867.

Alternatively, request a DUNS# online at, or update it online at

How do I fulfill the NAICS code requirement?

To be eligible as the industry partner, a manufacturing company must have a valid NAICS code listed in their Dun & Bradstreet (D&B) profile. Check the guidelines for a current list of valid codes. If the manufacturer does not currently have a valid code listed with D&B, they will need to contact D&B and request that the proper code be added.

NAICS was designed and documented in a way that allows businesses to self-code. To choose a code, you can use this Search Tool. Enter a keyword that describes the type of business, then choose the code from the list that most closely corresponds to the primary business activity, or refine the search to obtain other choices. Alternatively, you may browse the Manufacturing NAICS Codes and Titles to find a code.

If you need help with this requirement, you may contact FuzeHub staff and we will walk you through it.

Is there a word limit to the application answers?

No, there is no set word limit for the application answers in the PowerPoint template, per se. However, the answers must be legible, so if the template is submitted with a font size too small to read, the judges may be instructed to skip those sections.


We estimate that an applicant may fit between 300 and 500 words per slide using Arial font size 14, or about 2,300 characters, including spaces.

When can I apply for the competition?

The application period opens on July 10, 2023 and closes August 9, 2023 at 4:00PM EST. If the application is submitted in the specified timeline, applicants will receive a confirmation email. There will be no exceptions for this deadline.

Is the Commercialization Competition going to be held virtually or in-person?

The Commercialization Competition will be held as part of New York State Innovation Summit,  October 16 & 17, 2023, at the Saratoga City Center & Saratoga Hilton Hotel in Saratoga Springs, New York. Finalists (or a designated team member) will be expected to pitch in-person during the scheduled pitch sessions.

How do I apply?

Companies must complete the online application at Applicants will be required to create a SurveyMonkey Apply account in order to submit an application. (Re-applicants should login using previous credentials.) Applications that do not include all required items may be deemed incomplete and may be rejected without further review. Allow enough time to answer all of the application questions and to upload all required files before the deadline.

Can I make edits to my application once it has been submitted?

No, once an applicant has formally submitted an application and has received a confirmation email, no further changes can be made to the application. (It is possible to make changes to the application until the 4:00PM EST deadline on August 9, 2023 as long as the application has not been submitted.) Applicants are encouraged to submit their applications before the deadline to avoid potential time-related technical issues.

What do I do if I am not receiving notifications from the SurveyMonkey Apply platform?

Frequently, emails generated automatically by SurveyMonkey Apply are flagged as spam by email platforms, and sent to the recipient’s junk folder. In order to avoid missing an important notification, applicants should add the following email addresses to their email provider’s “safe sender list”:

Who should I contact if I’m having a technical issue with the application platform?

There is a detailed step-by-step guide to help applicants use the SurveyMonkey Apply application platform. Applicants may download this guide from within the platform, from the menu Pages, CC Resources, Application Step-by-Step Guide. If you have a technical question or problem, call 518-768-7030 extension 512 or email the Innovation Fund at [email protected] or Patty Rechberger, innovation fund manager at [email protected].

My company has no employees, and a single founder. How do I answer the "Team" question?

The team members do not need to be employed by the applicant company. Include in your team all people who actively contribute to the project, whether paid or volunteered. Include consultants, educational institutions staff, mentors, entrepreneurs-in-chief, etc.


Furthermore, use the team section to brag about accomplishments. What has each member done that is impressive? If you do not feel like you have accomplished something impressive, how about something really difficult? Entrepreneurs must be resilient. Do not be afraid to show unconventional wisdom.

Does FuzeHub take equity in the awarded companies?

As a condition to receiving any award proceeds, competition winners will be required to enter into a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) with FuzeHub. A template of the SAFE agreement is available here. Typically, the SAFE leads to equity ownership for the investor (in this case, FuzeHub), if and when it converts.

If you are not comfortable signing a SAFE, we encourage you to consult with legal counsel prior to applying for this grant. A recusal in signing the SAFE as is will lead to forfeiting any awards.


How is intellectual property (IP) handled in terms of confidentiality and ownership?

FuzeHub does not make any claim to IP ownership from applications to the Innovation Fund.  IP ownership is determined by the applicant team and/or applicant company and not something that FuzeHub has a preferred policy for. Applicants requiring non-disclosure agreements should not participate. 

If a company has received a prior award from the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund (i.e. a Manufacturing Grant, or Innovation Incentive award), or other FuzeHub programs, is it eligible to apply for the Commercialization Competition?

Yes. Additionally, companies that apply to participate in the Commercialization Competition continue to be eligible to apply for other FuzeHub funding. If a company receives multiple FuzeHub awards, FuzeHub will work with that company to ensure that the awards support separate scopes of work.

Who are the judges for the live Commercialization Competition event?

A panel of judges will be announced prior to the event and information will be made available on the FuzeHub website. Competition judges are from local, regional and statewide partner organizations. Application material of the finalists will be shared with the selected judges prior to the event.

When are competition awards announced?
  • Awards will be announced following the pitch sessions on October 17, 2023. Information regarding the awarded companies will be subsequently available on the FuzeHub website.

What does the Commercialization Competition portfolio look like?

The Commercialization Competition has awarded $2 million in funding to thirty-three New York State early-stage companies since its inception in 2017. Funding has been provided to companies in industry sectors such as medical/health, biotechnology, nanotechnology, agriculture, clean-energy, electronics, and consumer products, to name a few.

What types of prototype products are in the FuzeHub portfolio?

Several examples of previous prototype projects that have been funded include:

  • reusable urinary catheter
  • hands-free shoe
  • portable biomass electricity generator
  • transparent and insulating aerogel monolith insert for windows
  • environmentally friendly collapsible hair steamer
  • knee bracing system

You can view all of the prior awardees at

Attendee Request Form: 2023 Hardware Prototyping Workshop
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