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  • OIDA Forecasts Growth Markets
Oct 2005
WASHINGTON, Oct. 21 -- Growth in the optoelectronics market and opportunities for startups were forecast by Optoelectronics Industry Development Association (OIDA) Executive Director Michael Lebby, a speaker at ECOC 2005 (32nd European Conference and Exhibition on Optical Communication Conference), held last month in Glasgow, Scotland. Lebby forecast strong growth in consumer entertainment and computers and provided guidance to companies seeking venture capital support.

"At OIDA, we see that the optoelectronics market is still vibrant and growing, with many opportunities for startup companies to succeed," said Lebby. "One of our primary goals is to help nurture this growth by guiding companies toward the areas with the strongest potential and by helping them achieve financing by calibrating them to venture capital expectations."

"Startups can leverage existing technology -- that was primarily developed from the communications market -- and apply it toward emerging applications," Lebby said. "They can also take advantage of the current over-capacity of manufacturers to outsource fabrication."

He said OIDA's research in this market reports increasing interest in the use of optoelectronics components in low-cost flat panel displays (FPDs) for computers and TV, small displays in mobile handheld devices, high-brightness LEDs, image sensors in digital camera and camera phones and diode lasers in optical storage.

High-brightness LEDs (HB LEDs) and image sensors displayed the greatest amount of growth in 2004, growing by 37 percent and 34 percent, respectively," said Lebby. "HB LEDs are now used in mobile appliances, signs, displays, automotive applications and other illumination applications. Image sensors also are penetrating into new markets, such as security, aerospace, shipboard, wells; and power and pipe line applications."

When funding new ventures in today's economy, Lebby said, venture capitalists are looking for startups that can truly differentiate themselves. He suggests startups have a strong technology platform ready for engineering; evidence of a large, attractive market with sustainable revenue and profitability; evidence of demand (such as purchase orders); and a seasoned management team.

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