Jumpstart your business at the world’s largest accelerator for optics, photonics, and imaging-enabled applications

What is Luminate?

Luminate is the only international startup accelerator focused solely on next-generation optics, photonics and imaging (OPI). Located in the world capital of imaging—Rochester, New York—Luminate is bringing visionary entrepreneurs from around the globe together with OPI pioneers and qualified investors to speed innovation and time to market. It’s also providing early-stage companies with the capital necessary to further develop their technologies, including $100,000 upon program acceptance, and a chance to win up to $1 million in follow-on funding.

Advantages to Accelerating with Luminate:

Exposure to the Global OPI Network
Connect with OPI influencers from across the global OPI ecosystem to build awareness for your company, along with your operational, personal and strategic network.

Mentors Matched to Your Needs
Get paired with mentors proven in your area who can help set your pace for development, within the program itself and in scaling your business.

Customized, Structured Curriculum
Curriculum is delivered over six months, giving you time to transfer knowledge into actionable business plans while you’re working on your prototype. Cohort participants also can recommend education topics, ensuring Luminate covers what is imperative to your business, such as international trade laws. After Demo Day, you can stay in Luminate’s incubation space for an additional six months to use equipment and further refine your business.

Growth through Collaboration
By keeping each cohort to 10 companies, interactions are highly collaborative. While instructors teach cohorts, the cohorts also learn from each other through sharing their experiences.

Superior Financial Support
Companies selected to participate in Luminate each receive a $100,000 convertible note investment at the beginning of the program that culminates in Demo Day, where one team will receive $1 million in follow-on funding, with an additional $1 million available to other competition finalists.

Key Program Dates:


  • June 1 – Application opens
  • September 24  – Application closes
  • October – Applications reviewed and 20 semi-finalists selected
  • November  – Demo Day, where an additional $2M will be invested in the most promising teams, with additional corporate and venture partner opportunities.


  • January –10 teams begin accelerator program at Luminate incubation space
  • June – Awarding of $2 million in follow-on funding with possible additional investments from corporate and venture partners


Luminate allowed me to do something more for my business that I couldn’t do myself.

Jason Babcock

CEO, Positive Science

Three-month programs aren’t sufficient. Luminate gave us more time, along with the business tools and 1:1 coaching to bring all the pieces together.

Leslie Kimerling

CEO, DoubleHelix

Luminate gave us an honest look at what we’re going to have to deal with. But it also gave us an ecosystem for figuring it out.

Shourjya Sanyal

CEO, Think Biosolution

How To Apply:
Applications open in June 2018 for Cohort 2!


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