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Commercialization Grant Competition FAQ


Who can apply for the competition?

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

When can I apply for the competition?

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.

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, 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.

What does the 2021 application timeline look like?
  • August 2: Application period opens.
  • August 31: Application period closes.
  • SeptemberOctober: 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.
Does my startup need to be located in New York to receive investment?

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

How do I get a NAICS code and/or DUNS number for my application?

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, or update it online at

What types of products/prototypes are excluded from this competition?

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.

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. 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.

Are there requirements for the video upload?

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.

Is there a cost to apply?

There is a $50 fee for each submitted application.

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 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.

What criteria will judges use to score my application?

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.

Do applicants need to submit a project budget for the Commercialization Competition?

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.

Can an applicant include costs for customer discovery efforts?

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.

Does FuzeHub take equity in my startup if I am one of the winners?

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.

Does FuzeHub provide the funding once the company is awarded?

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.

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 Prize), 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 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 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 [email protected] or Patty Rechberger, Program Specialist at [email protected].


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

How many rounds of judging are there?

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.

When does the pitch event occur?

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.

Who are the judges for the Commercialization Competition?

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 November 9, 2021. Information regarding the awarded companies will be available on the FuzeHub website in December 2021.

Competition History

What does the Commercialization Competition portfolio look like?

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.

What types of prototype products are in the FuzeHub portfolio?

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

Exhibitor Inquiry

Attendee Request Form: 2023 Hardware Prototyping Workshop
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