Get Ready for Brilliance


Something brilliant is coming to our handheld devices and waterways. Our clinics, research labs, and farms. Witness what’s in store on the stage in Downtown Rochester at Luminate Finals 2023! We’re just days away and we can’t wait to showcase the startups of Luminate’s cohort 6.

Come to the event on September 27 and see for yourself how these trailblazers are tackling big challenges with novel technologies — from the world’s first digital eye test, to a quantum dot ink that can make smart devices last for 30 days on a single charge.

Watch as we unveil the winners of $2 million in follow-on funding, including the grand prize of $1 million to Company of the Year. Plus, cast your vote live during the show (in person or online) to determine who goes home with the Audience Choice Award and $10,000 cash! Get your tickets to Luminate Finals 2023.

Who Will Win Your Vote?

Here’s the lineup of contenders and the brilliant inventions of Luminate’s cohort 6:

AquaRealTime is advancing global water sustainability with its AlgaeTracker, a simple, scalable solution for critical early warning and monitoring of harmful algae blooms and pollutants in vast water assets.

Digiteyez is delivering eyecare on demand with Clear, a quick and easy online eye test that customers can take anywhere, from any device.

NanoPattern Technologies is empowering display manufacturers to create high-resolution screens with enhanced sustainability, catering to the needs of smartphones, wearables, and AR/VR applications.

Norcon Technologies is building a better, more scalable solution to depth imaging, used in applications from mapping interior spaces, to in-cabin monitoring in cars, to facial recognition and industrial security.

Oculi is making computer vision faster and more efficient with the world’s first smart programmable vision sensor, the OCULI SPU™ (Sensing and Processing Unit).

Photonect Interconnect Solutions is reshaping the future of optical fiber to photonic chip connections with its innovative technique that replaces traditional glue with lasers, which can significantly lower data centers’ power consumption.

PlanOpSim is helping R&D teams solve complicated design and integration problems by providing a single workflow design software for planar and meta-optics.

QART Medical is advancing the practice of IVF (In Vitro Fertilization) by providing embryologists with deep, objective, and quantitative information into individual sperm cells.

Quantune is commercializing the world’s first chip-sized laser spectrometer, technology that miniaturizes large laboratory equipment for molecular analysis into a compact, accessible module that allows for novel applications beyond the confines of a lab.

Swave Photonics is revolutionizing the world of augmented reality with its Holographic eXtended Reality (HXR) technology, designed to deliver lifelike, high-resolution 3D images that are viewable with the naked eye without the constraints of prior applications.

Your Startup Could Light Up the Stage Next Year

Are you working on new technology that uses optics, photonics, or imaging? Applications are now open for cohort 7!

Attend a free info session to learn more about how Luminate can help your business scale. Apply by January 8, 2024.

Wednesday, 11/16/23
1:00 PM EDT
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Wednesday, 12/6/23
1:00 PM EDT
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Thursday, 1/4/24
1:00 PM EDT
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Portfolio Wins

SunDensity is preparing for the grand opening of its new R&D lab in the Sibley Building in Downtown Rochester after two years of testing and validation. This is a major milestone for Luminate’s Company of the Year 2020, and we wish them continued success in the quest to enhance the energy output of solar panels by 20% while reducing energy production costs. Congratulations, SunDensity!

Save the date! SunDensity’s ribbon-cutting ceremony is October 24 at 10:00 AM in the Sibley Building (260 East Main Street, Rochester, NY).

SCOUT has been awarded an AFWERX Phase II SBIR to develop a flight software suite for critical space missions with autonomous sensor-driven multi-agent guidance and navigation capabilities.

PreAct Technologies announced the availability of its Mojave LiDAR, a high-performance, low-cost sensor solution to address a variety of applications including smart cities, robotics, cargo monitoring, building monitoring, patient monitoring, agricultural, and more. The PreAct Mojave LiDAR is now distributed globally by DigiKey Electronics and Amazon.

AquaRealTime announced the release of the TurbiTracker™, a new option for water quality monitoring that focuses on measuring turbidity and the most important related variables. Congrats, ART!

Circle Optics announced the successful completion of its project, Discovery, backed by an AFWERX grant of $750,000. This project created the technology to take multiple high-resolution images and combine them into a single panoramic image.

Congratulations, Dr. Alexis Vogt!

Alexis Vogt Educator of the YearDr. Alexis Vogt was recently recognized by SPIE as the Maria J. Yzuel Educator of the Year for excellence in optics-technician and associates-degree education and training, and for being a superb strategic educator in addressing the needs of an underserved market. Congratulations to this long-time friend of Luminate and the optics community! 

Podcast throwback: Luminate’s Dr. Damon Diehl talks with Dr. Vogt about her efforts to grow Monroe Community College’s Optical Systems Technology Program, the only program in the world awarding associate degrees in precision optics. Listen here.

See You Next Month!