Last Call for Startups to Apply to Luminate NY Competition and Business Accelerator

Applications Due Jan. 9 for Accelerator Offering Immediate Funding and the Chance to Compete for up to $2 Million in Follow-On Investment

ROCHESTER, New York, Jan. 04, 2023 — NextCorps today issued a reminder that the deadline is just days away to apply for cohort 6 of Luminate NY — the world’s largest business accelerator and investment fund for early-stage companies working on solutions that are enabled by optics, photonics, or imaging (OPI). Application submission is due by 11:59 PM EST on January 9, 2023. Participation in the Rochester, NY based accelerator is mostly remote, with select weeks in person for pitches to investor groups.

Any startup, regardless of its location or industry, is encouraged to apply if it is developing a new application that leverages some aspect of OPI, such as a cell phone camera for photos and video, machine or computer vision, light, or sensors that can help detect characteristics like location, motion, damage, and facial recognition. Companies accepted into Luminate’s portfolio in the past have been from diverse industries, including autonomous vehicles, augmented reality/virtual reality, climate tech, communications, defense, entertainment, medical device, quantum computing, security, and more. Under a recently announced strategic partnership, participating startups will now be able to attend Luminate and Silicon Catalyst’s incubator program currently. Silicon Catalyst is the only incubator focused on accelerating semiconductor solutions.

Luminate provides significant support to startups, including an immediate investment of $100,000 upon acceptance, expert mentorship, and access to investors, lab facilities, and comprehensive curriculum. Upon graduation from the six-month program, the companies compete for a portion of $2 million in follow-on funding provided through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

“One of the biggest challenges our company was facing was how to miniaturize our technology and make it more commercially viable,” said Mohan Thanikachalam, MD, Founder & CEO, Dynocardia (and Luminate cohort 4 member). “Luminate was extremely helpful in showing us the path from R&D to product development to commercialization. Three minutes with one of the mentors Luminate provided saved us three months of work.”

Startups applying to Luminate NY, which is a program of NextCorps, must be incorporated, have at least two people working full-time on the business, and should have proven their core technology, preferably having developed a working prototype. Luminate will select a total of 10 companies from the applicant pool for cohort 6, which begins April 2023 and concludes in September 2023.

“Startups today need more than just a good invention—they need a strong business in order to attract the funding needed to grow, commercialize their offerings, and scale their staff and operations. Luminate can help them with immediate funding, support, and access to the rich resources that exist here in Rochester, NY—the imaging capital of the world,” said Sujatha Ramanujan, PhD, Managing Director, Luminate.

The rigorous accelerator program also provides customized curriculum to guide startups through actionable business planning that is focused on commercializing and scaling their businesses. Members also benefit from working alongside peer OPI startups in the program, leveraging best practices, and helping each other toward success.

To apply to Luminate, go here. For more information about Luminate NY, go to Luminate.org.

For additional information about NextCorps, visit NextCorps.org.

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Shannon Wojcik
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