Ten finalists selected for Luminate accelerator program

Ten companies have been selected to take part in Round 4 of the Luminate NY accelerator program and competition.

Some 126 startups from 22 countries and 21 U.S. states applied 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. The 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 Rochester’s NextCorps, is provided through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

“Congratulations to the 10 entrepreneurial companies selected as finalists for Luminate NY’s fourth cohort,” said Empire State Development President and CEO-designate Eric Gertler. “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, health care, 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 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,” said Monroe County Executive Adam Bello. “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.”

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.

“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,” said Luminate NY Managing Director Sujatha Ramanujan.

Since its inception, Luminate has invested $7.15 million in 30 startups. The companies have raised an additional $26 million and share a net worth of $160 million, officials noted. Many of the 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.

“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,” said Finger Lakes Regional Economic Development Council Co-Chairs Bob Duffy and Denise Battles. “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.”

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