Luminate and Silicon Catalyst Form Partnership

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ROCHESTER, N.Y., Nov. 25, 2022 — Luminate NY, an accelerator for startups developing optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI-) enabled technologies, has formed a strategic partnership with Silicon Catalyst, an incubator focused on the advancement of semiconductor technology. Under the partnership, the two organizations will work together to recruit innovative early-stage startups into their accelerator programs to allow for concurrent participation.

“This partnership will help to close the development and manufacturing gaps that often exist when working across multiple technical disciplines to bring novel technologies to market,” said Sujatha Ramanujan, managing director of Luminate NY.

The partnership will also improve access to funding opportunities for early-stage companies. Startups developing OPI-based products receive $100,000 upon admission to Luminate and have the chance to compete for up to $2 million in follow-on funding to support their growth. Additionally, over the past eight years, Silicon Catalyst has enabled access to over $400 million in funding to its portfolio companies, as well as over $200 million derived from both in-kind services and grants.

Owl Autonomous Imaging, an early-stage company that earned a spot in the Silicon Catalyst’s 24-month accelerator in 2018, experienced this problem firsthand when it needed to integrate optics and imaging with machine learning and silicon chip design to deliver a monocular 3D thermal ranging solution to the autonomous vehicle industry. After it graduated Silicon Catalyst’s program, it was accepted into Luminate’s fourth cohort in 2021. During this time, the company had to execute an aggressive schedule for chip-level development, while simultaneously building a complete imaging automotive-grade system solution.

“Owl’s success helped Silicon Catalyst and Luminate validate the impact that a strategic partnership could have on the development trajectory of groundbreaking technologies,” said Silicon Catalyst partner Lance Bell.

By formalizing that relationship and working together, Bell continued, the accelerator programs will be able to screen and evaluate the potential of each startup more effectively and better pair cohort companies with mentors and resources.

Luminate is currently recruiting for Cohort 6.

Published: November 2022
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