What Happened at the Summit? Here’s What You May Have Missed.

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Images showing what you didn't get to see at the Innovation Summit in 2021 if you didn't attend.

View photos and video from the 2021 NYS Innovation Summit HERE

The 2021 New York State Innovation Summit is in the books – and the record books. Earlier this week, 500+ attendees and 100 exhibitors gathered for this two-day, in-person event at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, New York. For many who attended, this was the first chance in months to make new connections and catch-up with colleagues face-to-face instead of through a webcam.

Hosted by NYSTAR and FuzeHub, the Summit featured four keynote addresses and celebrated seven Commercialization Competition winners. In all, more than 50 speakers covered challenges and advances in economic development, national trends, and disruptive technologies – proving once again that New York State is the place for cutting-edge innovation.

Day 1 highlights included keynote addresses from Guha Bala, the president of Velan Studios, who spoke about the need for greater diversity in the gaming industry. A keynote address from Joshua Ness of Verizon Labs then explained how 5G will make us less dependent on our smartphones than we are now.

From there it was off to breakout sessions and booth visits with exhibitors ranging from startups participating in the Commercialization Competition to Ducted Wind Turbines, which displayed a fully-operational 12-ft. wide wind turbine high above the tradeshow floor. During the 12 breakout sessions, 12 companies pitched for a shot at $50,000 through the Jeff Lawrence Innovation Fund.

Day 2 began with a keynote address from Adam Milton, Director of Operations at the Mohawk Valley Fab for Wolfspeed (formerly Cree). Milton described the continuing progress on construction of Wolfspeed’s new facility in Marcy, New York, and explained how 50% of the factory’s electricity will come from carbon-free or low-carbon sources.

A CEO roundtable then provided perspectives on the bioscience, energy, and software industries, including NYS programs that are assisting companies and helping to train tomorrow’s workforce. The afternoon’s keynote address came from Plug Power’s George McNamee, who painted a picture of a world fueled by green hydrogen.

The 2021 New York Innovation Summit finished in style when seven worthy companies became Commercialization Competition awardees. Here is the list of winners.

The Summit also featured New York State style entertainment and fun with two live performances. To kick-off the event, attendees enjoyed a Summit-styled rendition of Alice Keys’ “Empire State of Mind” as performed by Capital Region vocalist Kelly Bird. At the end of Day 2, the Westmoreland High School Marching Band played and paraded through the exhibit hall as a final innovation celebration.

Don’t miss next year’s event and your opportunity to be part of where innovation happens.


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