Luminate startups to make pitches before global audience this year

Via the Rochester Business Journal
July 8, 2020

A Rochester-based accelerator program focused on helping entrepreneurs bring their optics, photonics and imaging-enabled technologies to market has partnered with a well known industry event that will allow the startups to share their business ideas with an international audience.

The 10 companies currently working with Luminate will discuss their business ventures, and compete for additional funds, at the OSA Frontiers in Optics + Laser Science APS/DLS, which will be held Sept. 14 through 17.

Normally an in-person conference, the program has changed this year to an all virtual web-conference format due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Sujatha Ramanujan, Luminate’s managing director, says the platform is ideal for the companies affiliated with Luminate.

“Holding our finals pitch event during OSA’s conference provides a global stage for our cohort companies at an internationally recognized annual event,” Ramanujan says. “This improved visibility could introduce our companies to potential partners, investors and customers to help further accelerate their growth, and the commercialization and availability of new technologies in the market.”

Luminate is a $25 million, five-year program funded by Empire State Development’s Finger Lakes Forward Initiative. The program is administered by NextCorps, a nonprofit catalyst for entrepreneurship in the region, and supported by a host of participating partners.

Accepted companies take part in the six month intensive accelerator program that brings in outside experts, industry leaders, and its advisory board to help scale startups working in the fields of optics, photonics and imaging-enabled technologies.

Read the full story