Luminate’s Year in Review


It’s been a year of growth, firsts, and in-person fun. (Finally!) Here are just a few of our 2022 highlights:

  • We added the expertise of Finance Analyst, Anjali Boriya, and now can’t imagine the team without her.
  • We officially secured funding from New York State for four more consecutive years. (Thank you, Governor Hochul, Finger Lakes Forward, and Empire State Development!) 
  • We were thrilled to be able to celebrate the culmination of cohort 5 IRL at Finals 2022, while reaching our startup teams’ fans around the world with the livestream. 
  • We had our first exits. Neurescence (Luminate cohort 2) was acquired by Bruker Corporation, and the team at Think Outside (cohort 3) is joining Mitta.
  • We solidified a strategic partnership with Silicon Catalyst, the world’s only incubator focused on accelerating semiconductor solutions.

Now we’re counting down to cohort 6. We’re looking forward to reviewing applications and seeing what amazing solutions will change the world next.

Did you get your application in yet? There’s still time, but don’t delay. Applications are due by 11:59 PM EDT on Monday, January 9. Apply soon.

If you still have questions about Luminate and whether it’s right for your company, check out our info sessions. Recordings are available for the first two sessions, or you can register to join our last session, taking place next Wednesday, January 4 with Operations Director, Andy Simon.

Happy New Year from all of us at Luminate!

Happy New Year from Luminate

Portfolio Updates

Triple the good luck wishes. Congratulations to Neurescence, Qunnect, and Stratio, Inc., all 2023 Prism Finalists! Neurescence is a finalist in the category of cameras and imaging, Qunnect in quantum tech, and Stratio in sensors. We’ll find out who goes home a winner at the Prism Awards — the “Oscars of Photonics” — on February 1 during SPIE Photonics West. 

Diabetes management goes remote. Alertgy scored coverage in Digital Journal for its work developing the world’s first non-invasive, wearable glucometer.

Rising to the ag challenge. EmGenisys is a semi-finalist in this year’s Farm Bureau Ag Innovation Challenge, the first national business competition to focus on U.S. startups developing solutions that address challenges facing America’s farmers, ranchers, and rural communities. EmGenisys will compete for the title of Ag Innovation Challenge Winner and $50,000 in startup funds in early January.

New name, more milestones. Organic Robotics Corporation is now LLUME. Shortly before the rebrand announcement, the team was invited on the StarTalk podcast to talk about soft robotics and its LightLace™ wearable technology with host Neil deGrasse Tyson and co-hosts Chuck Nice and Gary O’Reilly. Most recently, LLUME CTO and Co-Founder, Dr. Rob Shepherd, gained attention for his work at Cornell developing soft robots that can detect damage and heal.

Solid way to end the year. Circle Optics was named one of the 2022 Pepperdine Graziadio Business School’s Most Fundable Companies. More than 4,000 early-stage U.S. startups from across all 50 states vied for just 16 spaces on the list. Circle is now raising a community round on Wefunder.

How Optica Plays Matchmaker

How Optica Plays Matchmaker - Podcast thumbnailDr. Jose Pozo talks with Luminate’s Dr. Sujatha Ramanujan about what he’s seeing in entrepreneurship and emerging technologies around the world through his work as CTO of Optica. He shares how he’s finding ways to facilitate connections across a global industry network, what trends he’s excited about — including the booming field of silicon photonics and its many applications — and also what changes are needed in industry, like more education for startups and investors alike on realistic time to market. Listen here.

Fresh Startup Jobs

New year, new gig at an awesome startup? Our growing portfolio is made up of growing companies that need talented, hardworking individuals. Bookmark Luminate’s job board so you never miss an update.

See You at Photonics West

Luminate is proud to be a sponsor of SPIE Photonics West this year. We’ll be exhibiting, so stop by booth 243 (NextCorps) if you’re in San Francisco for the show!

SPIE Photonics West Intro to Optics with Damon DiehlAre you looking for an approachable, hands-on intro to optics? Luminate’s own Dr. Damon Diehl is leading a class at Photonics West that will help you develop an intuitive understanding of core optical principles rather than relying on mathematics. Damon’s slogan: “Photons don’t do calculus, and neither should you!” Register before the course fills up.

Happy New Year