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Rochester Accelerator Launches

Photonics.com
Jul 2017
ROCHESTER, N.Y., July 19, 2017 — The Luminate accelerator, a yearly, $5 million initiative recently announced by New York State Governor Andrew Cuomo, has officially launched with a new name and website, and is now accepting expressions of interest from startup companies, mentors, venture capitalists and corporate partners.

A national advisory board is being assembled and a managing director is being hired, with a goal of opening the startup application window in late July. Teams will be competing for one of 10 available slots in the first cohort, guaranteeing them a minimum investment of $100,000 and potentially as much as $1 million.

In January, Gov. Cuomo and Empire State Development announced the creation of the program for optics-, photonics- and imaging-enabled companies. Luminate seeks visionary entrepreneurs solving challenging problems including but not limited to machine vision, inspection, biophotonics, security, surveillance, augmented and virtual reality, biophotonics, security, surveillance, and autonomous vehicles.

Luminate applicants must be incorporated, have a full-time team, should have proven their core technology, and preferably developed a working prototype. Once admitted, companies will receive assistance with capital and a community of resources. Each member of the cohort will receive a $100,000 initial convertible note investment with a chance to receive a portion of an additional $2 million of funding. The top investment is expected to be $1 million.

“High Tech Rochester has been in the business of growing startup companies for 30 years, and our programs and facilities have evolved over time to rival the top accelerator programs in the country,” said James Senall, president of High Tech Rochester. “The timing of the launch of the Luminate accelerator couldn’t be better, as we will be opening our brand-new downtown location at the Sibley building just as our first Luminate cohort kicks off.”

High Tech Rochester is a nonprofit that helps technology entrepreneurs launch successful companies and businesses to increase revenues and profits.

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