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ESD Announces 10 Finalists Selected to Take Part in Round 4 of Luminate NY Accelerator Competition In Rochester

$25 Million Luminate NY Initiative Continues to Bring the Best Startups with Optics, Photonics, and Imaging Technologies to the Finger Lakes Region to Tap World Class Resources and Grow the Economy

The Competition is Supported by “Finger Lakes Forward” – The Region’s Comprehensive Strategy to Revitalize Communities and Grow the Economy

Empire State Development (ESD) today announced the 10 companies selected to take part in Round 4 of the Luminate NY accelerator program and competition. A total of 126 startups from 22 countries and 21 U.S. states applied for consideration to be a part of the world’s largest accelerator for startups with optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI) enabled applications. The companies were selected after pitching their innovative ideas to an advisory panel comprised of industry experts. Each finalist will receive an initial investment of $100,000 and will have the chance to compete for up to $2 million in follow-on funding upon completion of the accelerator program. This fourth cohort of Luminate NY will begin on April 5, 2021. The six-month program will help the companies speed the commercialization of their technologies and business. Funding for the $25 million program, which is administered by NextCorps, is provided through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

Empire State Development President & CEO-designate Eric Gertler said, “Congratulations to the 10 entrepreneurial companies selected as finalists for Luminate NY’s fourth cohort. No doubt the cutting-edge ideas from these optics, photonics, and imaging startups will continue to drive innovation and opportunity in the Finger Lakes Region and throughout New York State.”

Luminate NY supports innovators as they further develop their technologies in Rochester with help from industry experts, businesses, and local universities. This cohort is solving challenges within a number of industries, including, but not limited to: augmented and virtual reality, healthcare, agtech, architecture/buildings, optics, and autonomous systems, imaging, and vehicles. The accelerator competition will require that the winners commit to establishing operations in Rochester for at least 18 months.

The 10 selected startups include:

  • Andluca Technologies—UV-solar-powered smart glass for improving the energy efficiency of buildings
  • Dynocardia Inc.—First non-invasive blood pressure (NIBP) method that measures BP continuously and with accuracy compared to the gold standard
  • Infrascreen SA—Nanotech solutions for better climate control in greenhouses
  • Layer Metrics Inc.—Monitoring system that enables intelligent 3D printing
  • Mesodyne—Ultra-high, energy-density compact power generators that increase the endurance of small autonomous systems by 10x over batteries alone
  • Momentum Optics—High-quality, affordable, and rapidly delivered custom optics
  • OSCPs Motion Sensing Inc.—Inertial navigation sensors for autonomous vehicles
  • Owl Autonomous Imaging— World’s only 3D Thermal Ranger™, providing HD imaging and precision ranging that is a 150x improvement in resolution and cloud density of LiDAR
  • PreAct Technologies—Sensors and software that make it possible to angle car seats away, deploy airbags earlier, and raise the car suspension before the impact of a crash occurs to save lives
  • 2EyesVision—First technology that allows people to quickly and accurately compare the different corrections available for presbyopia

Additional companies will take part in the program out of the finalist structure. Far UV Technologies, Inc., Qunnect, and Intelon Optics are joining the accelerator to gain access to regional resources, and XR Nanotech and IRIS Light Technology will be auditing the program to help prepare and advance their businesses for applying to accelerator programs in the future.

Luminate NY Managing Director Sujatha Ramanujan said, “The companies selected have the potential to truly disrupt their categories. With access to our renowned regional resources, mentors, and investor network, we’ll help them speed the commercialization of their offerings so that they can have a meaningful impact on our world and on our regional community.”

Since its inception, Luminate has invested $7.15 million in 30 startups. The companies in the portfolio have raised an additional $26 million and now share a net worth of $160 million. Many of companies that have taken part in previous rounds of the competition have established U.S. operations or some aspect of research and manufacturing in the Rochester region—which continues to be the epicenter of the OPI industry in North America. This has resulted in the creation of 80 new jobs in the region, and an additional 25 jobs supported through contract manufacturing.

Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs, Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Bob Duffy and SUNY Geneseo President Denise Battles said, “Congratulations to these innovative teams on their selection to take part in the fourth round of the groundbreaking Luminate NY accelerator program, which is working to further grow the optics, photonics, and imaging industry in Rochester. This unique competition is helping the entire region to further establish itself as the global leader in the light-based products and services industry, helping to move the Finger Lakes forward for years to come.”

State Senator Jeremy Cooney said, “Innovation is critical for economic growth and progress in our region. Programs like the Luminate Accelerator at NextCorps bring resources and opportunity to entrepreneurs doing the work to solve problems in new and creative ways. I look forward to hearing more about these startups and the positive impact they can make in Rochester and the world.”

Assembly Member Harry Bronson said, “Congratulations to the 10 finalists selected for Round 4 of the Luminate New York accelerator competition. I know their entrepreneurial spirit will create projects that will provide the future of job and economic growth for our state and nation. Each of these projects are forward facing and will help build a brighter future for our families.”

Monroe County Executive Adam Bello said, “The Luminate NY Initiative is a crucial part of drawing attention to the optics, photonics and imaging industry which thrives in our region. As Monroe County continues to diversify from its roots as a manufacturing community, the stage we put our blossoming industries on is of similar importance to the industries themselves. I commend the work Empire State Development is doing to shine a light on what our region has to offer for entrepreneurs and established firms alike. I would also like to offer congratulations to the final 10 companies in the Luminate NY accelerator program on the work they have done in their respective fields to be in consideration.”

Mayor Lovely A. Warren said, “I want to congratulate all the fourth-round finalists in the Luminate NY accelerator competition and wish them luck in this next, exciting phase of their development as Rochester job creators. These companies are already winners in this unique program to support and encourage innovation in optics, photonics, and imaging around the world. I remain grateful to Governor Cuomo and Empire State Development for bringing these 21st century innovators to Rochester through Finger Lakes Forward and helping us achieve our goals of creating more jobs; safer, more vibrant neighborhoods; and better educational opportunities for our citizens.”

For additional information about the Luminate NY accelerator, visit https://luminate.org/

For additional information about Nextcorps, visit  https://nextcorps.org/

Accelerating Finger Lakes Forward 

Today’s announcement complements “Finger Lakes Forward,” the region’s comprehensive blueprint to generate robust economic growth and community development. The State has already invested more than $8.07 billion in the region since 2012 to lay the groundwork for the plan—investing in key industries including photonics, agriculture‎ and food production, and advanced manufacturing. Now, the region is accelerating Finger Lakes Forward with a $500 million State investment through the Upstate Revitalization Initiative, announced by Governor Cuomo in December 2015. The State’s $500 million investment will incentivize private business to invest well over $2.5 billion—and the region’s plan, as submitted, projects up to 8,200 new jobs. More information is available here.


Shari Voorhees-Vincent | [email protected] | (585) 399-7055

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