The inaugural class of finalists for the Luminate NY accelerator competition include startups in the fields of optics, photonics and imaging. These businesses pitched their ideas to an advisory panel of industry experts at the Luminate NY Lighting Awards.

The competition received interest from more than 100 applicants from around the world during this first round, including teams from Canada, Switzerland, Ireland, Germany, Scotland, India, China, Russia, Qatar, Lebanon, Israel and the United States.

“Rochester is at the vanguard of photonics and imaging once again, building on a rich optics legacy,” said Lt. Gov. Kathleen Hochul, who spoke at the event. “The Luminate NY competition is evidence of the economic growth taking place. The region is quickly becoming a world hub in this arena due to a rich supply of workforce talent and potential, moving the ‘Finger Lakes Forward’ with great momentum.”

Each company will receive an initial investment of $100,000 and will be a part of the initiative’s first cohort, which will launch in January 2018 at the Sibley building in downtown Rochester. The six-month program will assist these teams with their ideas to accelerate their commercialization.

At the end of the program, the teams will compete on Demo Day, where they will vie for over $2 million in follow-on funding. Funding for the $10 million program is being provided through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative award, and is being administered by High Tech Rochester.

The Luminate NY initiative will support the selected innovators as they grow their ideas in Rochester with help from industry experts, businesses and local universities. The program aims to assist entrepreneurs who are interested in solving challenging industry problems, including, but not limited to: machine vision, inspection, biophotonics, security, surveillance, augmented and virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles.

The 10 selected finalists include:

Photonic Devices, Lasers, Materials and Display

  • Arovia Inc. – Houston, TX
  • Lumotune – Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  • Molecular Glasses Inc. – Rochester, NY

Spectroscopy and Medical Devices

  • LighTopTech Corp. – Rochester, NY
  • Intelon Optics Inc. – Boston, MA

Augmented and Virtual Reality, Sensors, Instrumentation, Image Recognition

  • Bounce Imaging – Boston, MA
  • Double Helix LLC – Philadelphia, PA
  • Think Biosolution – Dublin, Ireland
  • Positive Science – Rochester, NY
  • Tarsier Optics Inc. – Baltimore, MD