Year-End Tech Trends & Forecasts: Luminate Advisors Weigh In

Luminate companies are at the forefront of tech, shaping the future of industries with their solutions. Our esteemed advisors are one step ahead of them, mentoring these innovators during their time in the accelerator and sharing their perspectives on what lies ahead that will impact their businesses. As we wrap up 2023, we spoke with some of them about the trends they’re interested in and what we all should be on the lookout for in the new year.

The Potential of AI

Artificial intelligence promises enhanced efficiency, precision, and innovation, paving the way for groundbreaking advancements across fields. Jay Kumler, President of Jenoptik Optical Systems, is especially interested in “[the] integration of AI into our design tools, manufacturing processes, and our products. We have just scratched the surface.

Mark Tolbert, President and CEO of TOPTICA Photonics, is similarly intrigued by the prospect of AI, calling it “a hotbed topic.” He’s also keen to see “the science part of the CHIPS and Science Act play out, as no money has moved into this aspect yet.”

The Implications of Precision Medicine

Mike Jackman, COO of Leidos Health Group, is paying particular attention to precision medicine, which uses genetic information to tailor treatments to the individual patient.

“This approach is based on the idea that people with the same disease may respond differently to the same treatment,” said Jackman. “Precision medicine is being used to develop new treatments for a variety of diseases, including cancer and heart disease. This is a game changer and can identify certain unique cases and diseases earlier.”

A Focus on Shared Experiences

“With the successful opening of Sphere in Las Vegas, we see a real desire for communal immersive experiences,” said Dr. Stu Elby, SVP of Advanced Engineering at Madison Square Garden Ventures. “VR headsets are isolating.”

“One important area of advancement will be AR, which will merge the ability to partake in a communal, immersive interactive experience while getting individualized information tied to that experience. This will require higher contrast, wider-field-of-view displays connected via ultra-wide band wireless communications for a cost below $100 so that they can be handed out to guests. Several component-level breakthroughs are necessary to achieve this.

Continued Fundraising Challenges

“Raising money is always a challenge for early-stage companies, and the current environment is especially difficult with investors looking for meaningful commercial traction, significant growth potential, and more realistic valuations than in the recent past,” said Don Golini, Founder of SANICA Ventures and Chairman of the Luminate Board.

“Having said that, companies with a strong leadership team, unique platform technology, and large market potential will have a much better chance with investors. As always, the focus for founders should be on building a world-class team, executing on your product, and demonstrating strong customer interest (e.g. early sales or funding).”

Wishing You a Prosperous 2024

The Luminate team is fortunate for our many connections to pioneers in optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI), and to have a front-row seat to the development of new, exciting technologies. If your team is working on OPI-enabled tech, we invite you to apply to cohort 7 of the accelerator and make 2024 your best year yet. Applications are due January 8, so don’t delay! Learn more and apply.

Happy New Year!