Commercialization Competition

New: August 22, 2017




About the Fund

The Manufacturing Innovation Fund supports a set of activities designed to spur technology development and commercialization across New York State.  The Fund is named for Jeff Lawrence, a champion of the New York manufacturing and entrepreneurial communities who passed away in 2015. During his more than 20 years at the Center for Economic Growth, the Manufacturing Extension Partnership affiliate in the Capital Region where he served as executive vice president, Jeff directed programs of direct assistance to manufacturers and technology companies to increase their competitiveness. He is remembered for being an invaluable and generous mentor to many in the area’s business community and a tireless advocate for manufacturing innovation throughout New York.

Lawrence Jeff 2As part of the Jeff Lawrence Manufacturing Innovation Fund, FuzeHub will hold a New York State Commercialization Competition with Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology and Innovation (NYSTAR) innovation assets and partners on November 15-16, 2017. Companies will compete in person to demonstrate the commercialization potential of their technology and win up to $50,000. Award funds must be used to produce, or improve upon, a working prototype or beta phase to enable the applicant to pursue additional investment and customers, leading to the commercialization of their product concept.


Companies apply directly to participate in the competition, but to be eligible, a letter of recommendation is required from a funded NYSTAR innovation asset or partner. Innovation assets should recommend the most promising companies or entrepreneurs that have the potential to have a high economic impact and involve innovative or new technologies.

Companies are eligible to apply to participate in the competition if they meet the following criteria

  • Company must have a letter of recommendation from a NYSTAR innovation asset or partner.
  • Company must have plans to commercialize a new technology and clearly define a “project” in which it would use award funds to advance these plans.
  • Company must be formally incorporated.
  • Company must be at the pre-revenue stage.
    • Grants are not counted as revenue;
    • SBIR Phase 1 awardees are still considered pre-revenue, and eligible; and
    • Seed funding and or Angel investment are also acceptable and not counted as revenue.
  • Company must be located in New York State and planning to grow and remain in New York State.

NYSTAR innovation assets and partners may only provide a letter of recommendation to one applicant company. These innovation assets and partners are the following: Centers for Advanced Technology (CATs); Centers of Excellence (COEs); Digital Gaming Hubs; High Performance Computing Consortium members; Innovation Hot Spots & New York State Certified Business Incubators; Regional New York Manufacturing Extension Partnership Centers (NY MEP); Matching Grants Leverage Program centers; Science + Technology Law Center; SUNY Research Foundation (RF SUNY may provide letters of recommendation for up to three applicant companies); Buffalo Manufacturing Works; Workforce Development Institute; and others as deemed appropriate and approved by FuzeHub prior to the application deadline.

Awards are intended to benefit New York State companies. Any partners that would receive any portion of the award funding to assist the company with commercialization must also be located in New York State. Please review the Commercialization Competition Guidelines for complete eligibility criteria.

Eligible Uses

Award funds shall be used to produce, or improve upon, a working prototype or beta phase to enable the applicant to pursue additional investment and customers, leading to the commercialization of their product concept.

The project should be clearly defined and ready to be undertaken. Project work should not begin prior to award announcements and any project costs that were incurred prior to the grant agreement date are ineligible for reimbursement. Projects must be completed within one year of an award, and smaller projects may require earlier completion.



Award Details

Up to $250,000 in prize money is available, and FuzeHub anticipates making at least four awards of up to $50,000 each. The remainder of the available prize funds may be allocated to one or more runners-up. FuzeHub maintains the right to award less than is being requested for any given project.

As a condition to receiving any grant proceeds, competition winners will be required to enter into a warrant agreement with FuzeHub. A template of the warrant agreement is available here. The warrant will give FuzeHub the option to participate in any sale or other exit event of the grant recipient for a period of ten (10) years from the date the award was made.


The application period is now closed.



Please be sure to review the competition grant guidelines thoroughly. Should you have additional questions, you can email them to