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2024 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, the 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 free of charge 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 https://www.dnb.com/duns-number/get-a-duns.html, or update it online at https://iupdate.dnb.com/iUpdate/viewiUpdateHome.htm

How do I fulfill the NAICS code requirement?

To be eligible for the Competition, a 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 applicant company 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. For the sake of fairness, applications submitted with a font smaller than size 12 will be deemed ineligible and rejected without further review.

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 8, 2024 and closes August 7, 2024 at 11:59PM EST. If the application is submitted in the specified timeline, applicants will receive a confirmation email. There will be no exceptions for this deadline.

How do I apply?

Companies must complete the online application at https://fuzehub.smapply.io/. Applicants will be required to create a SurveyMonkey Apply account in order to submit an application. (Re-applicants should login using previous credentials.)  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 11:59PM EST deadline on August 7, 2024 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, up to a $250,000 company lifetime limit. 

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 29, 2024. Information regarding the awarded companies will be subsequently available on the FuzeHub website.


Posted/Modified July 8, 2024. Please check back for any updates.

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