Luminate NY Innovation Finals Showcase Range and Depth of Photonic Innovation

Via Photonics Media
September 11, 2020

ROCHESTER, N.Y., Sept. 11, 2020 — For the first time, Luminate NY is holding its Innovation Finals Competition in a virtual format, at an event on the opening day of The Optical Society’s (OSA) Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science Conference (FiO + LS) Sept. 14-17. Finalists from 10 startups around the world will pitch their OPI-enabled applications and innovations to a digital audience whose members will be able to vote for their favorite technology. The competition marks the end of an accelerator program in which the finalists have participated, culminating with an award of up to $2 million going to the winner.

“This year’s cohort was forced to change their growth strategies rapidly,” said Sujatha Ramanujan, Luminate NY’s managing director. “It was impressive how quickly the teams adapted. Where this cohort differed from previous years was how they were forced to reimagine their business and execution as opposed to asking Luminate to further an existing business idea.”

For startups in the medical space, either in testing or parts manufacturing, access to hospitals and care facilities was restricted. For those in deep tech and clean energy, identifying and securing partners and connections without direct access to a base of customers was another, unavoidable obstacle.

“The impact on these emerging businesses was sharp and immediate,” Ramanujan said. “Several companies, particularly those in the medical space, shifted their capabilities and immediate offerings to serve needs created by COVID-19. Others shifted their product and sales methodology to utilize channels and approaches that required less in person contact.”

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