Luminate NY Set to Award $1M to Startup

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ROCHESTER, N.Y., June 27, 2019 — One startup company will have the opportunity to accelerate its optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI) businesses with a $1 million award from Luminate NY, to be presented June 27 at the Rochester International Jazz festival, which coincides with the Light and Sound Interactive conference. Vying for the top spot are Augmentiqs, Circle Optics, Lumedica, Mango teQ Ltd., Neurescence, Opalux Inc., ORC, Ovitz, and VPG Medical Inc.

Sujatha Ramanujan, managing director of Luminate NY, told Photonics Media the $1 million prize is “no gift,” but an investment. “[The winner will] have to prove their long-term viability by creating a solution to a real problem,” Ramanujan said. “They have to do something of gravity.”

In addition to the $1 million in funding, the winning company will receive access to comprehensive lab facilities for technology development, and business mentoring from the OPI (optics, photonics, and imaging) accelerator Luminate NY. “They go from this little startup to an actual business,” Ramanujan said. “It takes patience, and it takes knowledge of the ecosystem.”

Here are brief descriptions of the companies that are competing for the award:

Augmentiqs' pathology solution transforms the microscope into a smart and connected device. Causing no distortion of optical quality, Augmentiqs retrofits into existing microscopes, facilitating augmented reality within the eyepiece and live image capture of the slide sample.

Circle Optics has developed a parallax-free 360°camera that eliminates the need to stitch and instantly captures a perfect 360° representation of a scene.

Lumedica creates affordable light-based scientific and medical instruments that deliver accurate diagnostic results. Leveraging off-the-shelf and custom imaging components, Lumedica is able to make diagnostic devices cheaper, more durable, and easier to disseminate.

Mango teQ Ltd. is developing frontier technology for augmented reality hardware. Its initial focus is a retrofit head-up display (HUD) to fit onto helmets. REYEDR lets motorcyclists keep their eyes on the road with a true HUD and uses the latest holographic technology to display information at infinite focus in the line of sight.

Neurescence's Quartet enables functional imaging of the central nervous system at the level of neuronal microcircuits, and targets three significant markets: neuroscientists doing fundamental brain research; the drug development industry to help determine the effect of compounds on brain circuits; and surgeons, who could use it as a presurgical assessment tool.

Opalux Inc.’s MyImage embeds a person’s portrait and data into a color-shifting security feature that is virtually impossible to counterfeit, while being easy to verify.

ORC (Organic Robotics Corp.) is using technologies developed at Cornell University to develop haptic feedback devices to bring the virtual world to life. Its untethered, battery-powered glove will feel force with light haptic interactions mediated by stretchable optical waveguides.

Ovitz has developed individualized vision-enhancing solutions through a custom contact lens that significantly enhances patients’ vision quality. Ovitz uses state-of-the-art optical technology and its own proprietary software algorithms to diagnose individuals with abnormal corneas and provide prescription data for individualized contact lenses.

VPG Medical Inc., a digital health service company, has developed CardioGuard, a proprietary platform technology leveraging the cameras embedded in smart devices to monitor the cardiac activities of their user.

If you’re an OPI startup — from early stage to Series A funding — or a scientist or engineer who has a technology that’s moving from lab to market, join us for a free webinar on Sept. 5 to learn more about how you can qualify for the Luminate Business Accelerator program. Link here for more information.

Published: June 2019
The technology of generating and harnessing light and other forms of radiant energy whose quantum unit is the photon. The science includes light emission, transmission, deflection, amplification and detection by optical components and instruments, lasers and other light sources, fiber optics, electro-optical instrumentation, related hardware and electronics, and sophisticated systems. The range of applications of photonics extends from energy generation to detection to communications and...
Ophthalmology is a branch of medicine that focuses on the anatomy, physiology, and diseases of the eyes and visual system. Ophthalmologists are medical doctors who specialize in the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of eye disorders and diseases. They are trained to provide comprehensive eye care, including medical, surgical, and optical interventions. Key areas within ophthalmology include: General eye care: Ophthalmologists perform routine eye examinations to assess visual acuity,...
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