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Luminate Opens Applications to Businesses working with Optics, Photonics, and Imaging

Startups that are working on a technology or application enabled by optics, photonics, or imaging (OPI) can find financial assistance and technical support through Luminate, a Rochester-based global business accelerator, and investment fund.

FuzeHub and NYSTAR (Empire State Development’s Division of Science, Technology, and Innovation) are joining with NextCorps, which administers the Luminate program, to encourage startups in New York State and across the globe to pursue this opportunity to accelerate their growth.

Luminate is the world’s largest business accelerator for startups that are working to solve challenges through the use of optics, photonics, or imaging within their technology. The program, which is now accepting applications for its next cohort, funds companies from around the world, and from almost every industry (such as autonomous vehicles, quantum, semiconductor, LiDAR, satellite communications, etc.), to participate in its comprehensive programming each year. Participation is primarily virtual, with select weeks in person in Rochester, NY.

Selected companies receive:

  • $100,000 investment at program acceptance, plus a chance to compete for up to $2 million in follow-on funding.
  • Access to investors, a world-class advisory board, and industry experts that can help scale their business.
  • Mentoring, lab facilities, and resources that provide specific business and technical support.

The Rochester and Finger Lakes region in particular offers a high concentration of optics and imaging resources, which are ideal for launching a business. The region has more than 150 OPI companies generating $3 billion in annual sales and employing 17,000 residents. It is also home to the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics (which produces 60 percent of the optics PhDs in the nation), the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM Photonics), and the Rochester Institute of Technology’s Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science. This industry is also growing beyond the Finger Lakes region in communities across New York State.

Luminate is funded by Empire State Development’s Finger Lakes Forward Initiative and administered by NextCorps, a member of the NYSTAR network.

The application deadline is January 9, 2023.

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