4 Reasons to Apply to Luminate


Most of us share the goal of ending the year on a strong note. If you’ve spent 2021 developing an innovation that’s enabled by optics, photonics, or imaging, give yourself a gift by applying to Luminate before the year closes. Here’s a short list of how Luminate can propel your progress well into 2022:

  1. It could lead to big things. (Like $1 million in funding and greater brand awareness.)
  2. It’s a great way to get feedback on your technology and business. And the people you meet might be your next investors, partners, or employees. (Applications are reviewed by industry experts on our advisory board.)
  3. Even if you’re not accepted to cohort 5, your application could help you secure a spot in a future cohort. (Did you know our cohort 3 $1 million funding recipient was a runner-up in cohort 2?)
  4. An early application — which takes 30 minutes or less to complete — not only gives you a jumpstart on a productive 2022, but more time to enjoy the busy holiday season. Cheers to that!

If you’re still on the fence, sign up for a free info session. You can catch the recording of our November overview session, or join us for our upcoming panel with prior accelerator participants and a final session with our Director of Operations, Andy Simon.

Applications close on January 10, 2022. Apply soon!

Don Golini“An accelerator like Luminate is invaluable if you join at the right point in your company’s lifecycle, and for the right reasons. An accelerator can help an early-stage startup avoid a lot of mistakes up front. It can be an amazing learning opportunity, providing access to regional resources, capital, mentorship, domain specific curriculum, and peer-to-peer relationships. But if you’re only interested in the money, you’d be better off not applying.”

Don Golini, Chairman of the Luminate Advisory Board and Founder of SANICA Ventures

Mark Tolbert“When we think about accelerators, we too often think of the “things” of use in the accelerator. So much of the accelerator is about sharing ideas and the impacts of the activities within the “community,” not just locally but globally. They are great places to get help and better places to get big ideas. Concentrations of technology and adjacent technology are often major keys to growth.”

– Mark Tolbert, President of TOPTICA Photonics Inc.


A strong showing. The Tech Tribune recently released its list of the 2022 Best Tech Startups in Rochester (New York), and Luminate companies scored four out of 10 spots! That’s a hat trick for Circle Optics, listed on the 2020 and 2021 lists as well. Congrats to Circle, VPG Medical, Think Biosolution, and Ovitz, all from our second cohort.

Keep your eye on this nano imaging innovator. Double Helix Optics (cohort 1) earned a spot on ColoradoBiz Magazine’s Colorado Companies to Watch 2021: The Makers & Suppliers.

Mass(ive) win for a disruptive wearable maker. Dynocardia (cohort 4) took home a Mass Innovation Network 2021 Eddie (formerly New England Innovation Award) in the Life Sciences – Medical Devices category.

Success for soil health. Nordetect (cohort 3) was awarded $250,000 at the Grow-NY Food & Agriculture Competition earlier this month.

Double victory for thermal ranging. Owl Autonomous Imaging (cohort 4) won first place at a recent PitchForce A Round event and a 2021 AutoSens silver award for the Most Innovative Application or Deployment of Computer Vision.

Pedal to the metal towards next gen auto safety. PreAct Technologies (cohort 4) secured $13 million in Series A funding led by State Farm Ventures, adding momentum to its $1 million win at Luminate Finals 2021. Congratulations, PreAct!

An impressive first. Qunnect (cohort 4 regional participant) announced the sale of the world’s first commercial Quantum Memory.

Happy Holidays!