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Commercialization Grant Competition FAQ

Application

The competition is intended for pre-revenue manufacturing and technology companies.

The application period opens on August 2, 2021 and closes August 31, 2021 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.

The Commercialization Competition will be held as part of New York State Innovation Summit, November 8 & 9, 2021 at Turning Stone Resort, in Verona, New York. Finalists (or a designated company team member) will be expected to pitch in-person during the scheduled pitch sessions.

  • August 2: Application period opens.
  • August 31: Application period closes.
  • September-October: Application Review and Finalist selection. Applicants will be notified of their status, and the competition finalists will be announced.
  • October-November:  Finalists will work with pitch coach and/or commercialization mentor.
  • Early-November: Finalists will pitch their prototype to a panel of competition judges.

Yes, companies must be located in New York State. Please see guidelines for full details.

NAICS was designed and documented in such a way to allow business establishments to self-code. There are a number of tools and references available to help you to determine the most appropriate NAICS code for your business: You can use this Search Tool to find any NAICS code quickly and easily.

 

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

Software products and software services including, but not limited to: mobile applications, big data, and SaaS platform services; proof-of-concept (theories/hypotheses that have not been tested to show promise); and new product launch for any established company with total revenue in excess of $100,000 are excluded from this competition.

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. Applications that do not include all required items may be deemed incomplete and may be rejected without further review. A complete application includes the following uploads: Confirmation of Business Status, Commercialization Summary PowerPoint slide deck, and a video upload documenting the working prototype (video duration: maximum of five minutes). Allow enough time to answer all of the application questions and to upload all required files before the deadline.

Each applicant must upload a video (3-5 minutes) to address the following three tasks:

  1. Demonstrate the existing tangible prototype;
  2. Describe what stage the prototype is in (alpha test, ready to show customers, etc.); and
  3. Explain the features that were developed based on customer discovery.

The video should not be longer than five minutes in length. For proposals where a physical prototype cannot be produced, the applicant must upload supporting material to document that the product/technology has been proven. Note: videos and supporting material must be uploaded in .mp4, .png, .jpg, .jpeg, .pdf, or YouTube format. Applicants are restricted to two separate uploads.

Keep in mind that large video files can take longer to upload and download, so try not to upload more than 1000MB.

There is a $50 fee for each submitted application.

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 31, 2021 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.

Each application will be evaluated based on the following criteria:

  • Business Challenge/Problem
  • Technology Innovation/ Solution
  • Intellectual Property
  • Market Summary
  • Sales & Marketing Strategy
  • Production & Distribution
  • Team
  • Scope of Work
  • Impacts
  • Financial Snapshot

Please review the competition guidelines for specific details on each scoring criteria.

Yes, applicants must provide a project budget ($50,000) within the SurveyMonkey Apply application portal. The Project Budget must clearly detail how the applicant intends to expend the FuzeHub funds.

Applicants may include costs for expenses that define the design of the product, including its features and performance, customer discovery meetings, or prototyping expenses (supplies, materials, tool-time, engineering, etc.) in order to iterate on the Minimum Viable Product (MVP).

 

Applicants may not include costs for marketing. FuzeHub will not reimburse for efforts used to promote or sell the final product, after it is already designed, for the purpose of attaining sales. 

For example, purchasing a ticket to attend a conference to conduct customer discovery interviews is allowable; however, purchasing an exhibitor booth and associated collateral is not allowable.

As a condition to receiving any award proceeds, competition winners will be required to enter into a Simple Agreement for Future Equity (SAFE) agreement with FuzeHub. A template of the SAFE agreement is available here.

 

FuzeHub does not take equity right away, but we have the right to take equity under certain circumstances. These circumstances are outlined in the SAFE.

Funding is awarded to the company on a reimbursement basis upon executing an award agreement and will be expended according to an approved project budget.

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. 

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.

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 portal, from the menu Pages, CC Resources, Application Step-by-Step Guide. If you have a technical question or problem, call 518-768-7030 or email the Innovation Fund at fund@fuzehub.com or Patty Rechberger, Program Specialist at patty@fuzehub.com.

 

It is strongly recommended that competition applicants familiarize themselves with the SurveyMonkey Apply platform well in advance of the application closing deadline to avoid any submission issues. Applications will not be accepted after the closing date of 4:00PM EST on August 31, 2021.

Semifinals/ Finals

Once an applicant has made it through due diligence processing, there are two rounds of judging:  application via SurveyMonkey Apply that includes a Commercialization Summary Slide deck and video submission, and a competition pitch presentation.

Top applicants will be considered “finalists” and invited to “pitch” to a panel of judges at the Commercialization Competition which will be held during the New York State Innovation Summit, November 8 & 9, 2021 at Turning Stone Resort, in Verona, New York. Event details are subject to change.

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.

  • Awards will be announced following the pitch sessions on November 9, 2021. Information regarding the awarded companies will be available on the FuzeHub website in December 2021.

Competition History

The Commercialization Competition has awarded $1.15 million in funding to twenty-one 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, to name a few.

Several examples of previous prototype projects that have been funded include: smart insole with a proprietary embedded graphene sensing system, sensor for accurate sensing of airborne particles, portable electric vehicle charging station, reusable urinary catheter, and hands-free shoe. You can view all of the prior awardees at https://fuzehub.com/commercialization-competition/.

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