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, 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.
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).
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:
- Steps for successful grant seeking with Margit Brazda Poirier, GPC, M.S., Owner and Founder of Grants4Good LLC.
- Services available through the Rochester Public Library’s Business Insight Center (BIC) — including 10 proprietary databases for conducting market research — and the Carlson Center for Intellectual Property, an official Patent and Trademark Resource Center (PTRC), with Kate Meddaugh and Jennifer Byrnes.
- Developing consistent policies and effective employee handbooks with Janine Corea, VP of HR Total Solutions at HR Works.
- How to identify, compete for, and win government contracts, with Anna Vulaj Fitzsimmons, CCAS, CPP, Program Director of the Monroe County Finger Lakes Procurement Technical Assistance Center (MCFL PTAC); Denise Lee, SBIR/STTR Program Manager with the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL); and Ana Liss, Director of Planning and Development for Monroe County, New York.
- IP strategy with Dr. Darius Sankey, General Partner and Managing Director at Innovation Acceleration Capital and member of the Luminate advisory board.
- Patents and IP considerations with patent agent, Lou Horvath
- Developing a value proposition and turning insight into messaging, with NextCorps’ Marketing Director, Holly Barrett, and Digital Marketing Manager, Kate Leonard.
- How to grow as a manufacturer by tapping project support from the Manufacturing Extension Partnership (MEP) with Annette Brenner, Senior Business Advisor with NextCorps Growth Services, one of the top-ranked MEP centers in New York State.
Pictured above: Teams went through a two-part group workshop on IP strategy, plus one-on-ones with Dr. Darius Sankey.
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.
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.
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
For 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.