Diving into IP, Sales, and the Summer


Cohort 5 had a busy month of seminars, advisor meetings, facility tours, and balancing business as usual with their involvement in the accelerator. But all work and no play isn’t the Luminate way, especially with so much happening in downtown Rochester in the summer. The teams’ recent visit coincided with the Rochester International Jazz Festival, which had been postponed four times due to the pandemic. In between learning and networking, our entrepreneurs could join the fans — an all-time record-setting attendance of 210,000 — right across from our headquarters in the heart of downtown Rochester.

Here’s a look back at other highlights from cohort 5’s latest visit:

Chad Stark of Optica and cohort 5 in front of Optimax
Cohort 5 at Hedges on Lake Ontario

Chad Stark, Executive Director at the Optica Foundation, talked with cohort 5 startups about Optica’s 23,000+ international members, its many networking opportunities, and the potential to connect with student and early-career talent. Luminate’s Managing Director, Dr. Sujatha Ramanujan, chimed in on the important partnership between our accelerator and Optica: “It’s been a big part of my professional development, and I cannot run this program or know what’s going on in the industry without Optica.”

Chad joined the group for a tour of Optimax, America’s largest optics prototype manufacturer, before we took in the views of expansive Lake Ontario during dinner at Hedges.

Cohort 5 June 2022 party

Scattered rain brought our rooftop party indoors, but it didn’t dampen the fun. Cohort 5 mingled with prior cohort members and other friends of Luminate (and the pool sharks came out).

JP Couderc of VPG Medical
We brought together medtech teams from Luminate’s current and past cohorts for a Patient Point of Care summit, where we were joined by Steven Feldon of the University of Rochester’s Office of Biomedical Research Development and Gene Morse of the University of Buffalo’s Center for Integrated Global Biomedical Sciences. Pictured above: Dr. Jean-Philippe Couderc, Co-Founder and CEO at VPG Medical.

This past month of training also included instruction on:

Dr. Darius Sankey works with cohort 5Pictured above: Teams went through a two-part group workshop on IP strategy, plus one-on-ones with Dr. Darius Sankey.

Portfolio Updates

Finding fertile ground. Circle Optics’ CEO, Zak Niazi, spoke with Syracuse.com about effective leadership and the business accelerator experience in Central New York that was critical to his company’s success.

New digs and double the wins. Mesodyne celebrated the grand opening of its new facility in Somerville, MA earlier this month, followed up by a $200K MassVentures’ Stage 2 START award. The team also took home a first place win at the Eurosatory Start-Up Competition for its patented LightCell™ power generator that converts any fuel into electricity via light.

Mesodyne new facility announcement and Eurosatory win

Two sensor technology leaders. Owl Autonomous Imaging and PreAct Technologies — two companies from Luminate’s fourth cohort — were selected as finalists for Questex’s Sensors Converge 2022 Best of Sensors Awards. Congratulations to PreAct for securing the win in the Automotive/Autonomous Technologies category! PreAct also scored coverage in Design World for its T30P Flash LiDAR, the industry’s first sensor designed to be software-definable and easily integrated into a complete autonomous driving system stack.

Delivering the next generation of space domain awareness services. SCOUT Inc., a space tech company, was selected for a NASA SBIR award to make relative navigation more resilient and enable more autonomous rendezvous, proximity operations, and docking. SCOUT also recently announced a collaboration with LEOcloud Inc., a company offering a scalable space-based, multi-cloud Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS); and earned coverage in SpaceNews for securing its first commercial customer.

Startup Job Opportunities

Our job board keeps growing! Check out the many opportunities to work with companies in the Luminate portfolio — from engineering and lab tech positions, to project management and research roles.

Don’t see a fit? Bookmark the page, as we’re frequently adding new positions to support our companies’ hiring goals.

Welcome, Anjali!

Welcome Anjali Boriya

Luminate is proud to welcome Anjali Boriya to the team as Finance Analyst. Anjali has spent the past six months interning at the accelerator and recently completed her Masters in Finance from the University of Rochester’s Simon Business School. Kickstarting her dream career in the Venture Capital industry, Anjali will support Luminate through data sourcing and mining investible deals and potential investors, and consulting with our portfolio of companies on financial reporting procedures and standards.

Save the Date for Luminate Finals 2022

Optica FiO LSFor the third year in a row, we’re partnering with Optica to bring Luminate Finals to an international audience. This year’s event will be streamed live from Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science (FiO LS) at the Rochester Riverside Convention Center on Wednesday, October 19, 2022. Stay tuned for more details.

See You Next Month!