Workers in an optics, imaging and photonics lab.

Luminate NY: OPI Business Accelerator is Open for Applications

Wanted: Entrepreneurs from around New York State, and around the world, who want to solve challenging problems in the optics, photonics and imaging (OPI) industries.

The reward? One of 10 slots in the first cohort of Luminate NY, a $10 million Rochester-based business accelerator – the world’s largest – for photonics-focused startups.  

Luminate NY is looking for entrepreneurial problem-solvers with particular interest in areas including:  biophotonics, security, surveillance, augmented and virtual reality and autonomous vehicles.

The launch of Luminate NY applications was announced earlier this month by Governor Cuomo. Applications, available here, are being accepted on a rolling basis through Sept. 15—those who are interested are encouraged to apply as soon as possible.

Applicants to Luminate NY must already be incorporated, have a full-time team, and they must have proven their core technology – preferably through a working prototype.

Selected companies will receive assistance both with capital and a community of resources, with each of the 10 teams guaranteed a minimum investment of $100,000 and major investments of up to $1 million.

Rochester, a global optics and imaging capital, has the resources, workforce and technology base to best grow and support OPI businesses. The city is home to more than 100 local OPI companies, to the University of Rochester’s Institute of Optics, Rochester Institute of Technology and to the American Institute for Manufacturing Integrated Photonics (AIM) facility based at Eastman Business Park. The AIM Photonics Manufacturing facility will be used to test, assemble and package chips that use photons instead of electrons for increased performance of semiconductor circuits.

Luminate NY has named a managing director and an advisory board, whose members are industry leaders in optics, photonics and imaging. The program is funded through Upstate Revitalization Award given to Finger Lakes Forward, the region’s comprehensive blueprint for generating economic growth and community development, including a focus on the photonics industry.

Click here to read the full announcement about Luminate NY applications.