The Optical Society will sponsor Luminate NY’s Finals 2021 to bring the Rochester-based competition to an international stage. One Rochester-area firm will compete in the finals this year.
Last year, nearly 1500 people registered to join a worldwide audience as they watched 10 companies introduce emerging technologies and pitch for up to $2 million in follow-on funding from Empire State Development’s Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative.
The audience also had the opportunity to vote for their favorite team in the Audience Choice category, a distinction that comes with $10,000 in funding.
Finals 2021 will feature the same format, as well as bring attention to the unique needs of women and underrepresented entrepreneurs, officials said. The event will feature a Women and Diversity in Entrepreneurship discussion.
“There are many gaps that exist today for underserved or underrepresented founders. In 2019, Pitchbook reported that female-founded companies received only 2.7 percent of the total capital invested in venture-backed businesses in the U.S.,” said Luminate Managing Director Sujatha Ramanujan. “Luminate Finals provides an international platform to highlight how we can provide better support across a number of areas so that all founders have the same opportunities to fund and scale their companies.”
Luminate NY, administered through NextCorps, brings inventive entrepreneurs from around the world together with optics, photonics and imaging pioneers and qualified investors to speed innovation and time to market. The intensive six-month program provides mentoring, comprehensive training, capital and access to a vast OPI network to ensure these early-stage companies are better prepared to run and scale their businesses to serve global markets.
“We are excited to participate in Luminate NY’s Finals Competition as a sponsor,” said OSA CEO Elizabeth Rogan. “This is a vital program for the optics and photonics community and a key priority for us.”
Companies in Luminate’s fourth cohort who will pitch at the event include 2EyesVision, Madrid, Spain; Andluca Technologies, Princeton, N.J.; Dynocardia, Inc., Cambridge, Mass.; Infrascreen SA, Neuchatel, Switzerland; Layer Metrics Inc., Wilmington, Dela.; Mesodyne Inc., Somerville, Mass.; Momentum Optics, Longmont, Colo.; OSCPs Motion Sensing Inc., Montreal, Canada; Owl Autonomous Imaging, Rochester; and PreAct Technologies, Portland, Ore..
The free event will be held virtually via Zoom on Sept. 30.
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