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Rebellion Photonics Named ’WSJ Startup of the Year’

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Hyperspectral imaging camera maker Rebellion Photonics has won the Wall Street Journal's "Startup of the Year" inaugural competition, the newspaper announced this week.

Spun out of Rice University in 2010 by Allison Lami Sawyer and Robert Kester, Rebellion Photonics makes the Gas Cloud imaging camera. Based on the company's "snapshot" hyperspectral imaging technology, the camera takes real-time images of at least 20 types of gases for continuous monitoring of potential leaks at oil rigs and gas refineries. Rebellion began its first full-scale installation earlier this year, offering a monthly subscription service to oil and gas companies based on the number of cameras needed to cover a particular rig or refinery.

The company's ARROW, a hyperspectral imaging system used with microscope platforms to provide detailed spectral and spatial information for biomedical researchers, was a finalist for a 2011 Prism Award for photonics innovation in the Life Sciences and Biophotonics category from Photonics Media and SPIE. The system also received a 2012 R&D 100 Award from R&D Magazine.

Rebellion was one of 24 startups chosen by WSJ editors from more than 500 applications to participate in the competition, which was the focus of a five-month documentary that premiered in June. During the course of the documentary, the entrepreneurs were assessed "on the basis of their firm's scalability, long-term viability, originality and distinctiveness of their products and services, utility, and ability to perform tasks [the competition] set for them."

Journal editors paired the participating startups with more than 40 business leaders, entrepreneurs, venture capitalists and angel investors. Richard Branson, founder of Virgin Group Ltd.; Steve Case, co-founder and former chief executive of AOL Inc.; and Tory Burch, CEO and designer of Tory Burch LLC, were among the mentors and advisers providing guidance to the participating startups and editors.

Rebellion beat out fellow finalists SwipeSense Inc. of Evanston, Ill., which makes portable, trackable hand-sanitation devices; and Daily Muse Inc. of New York, which collects online job listings, career content and profiles from a range of companies for job seekers, the journal said.

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Photonics Spectra
Jan 2014
hyperspectral imaging
Methods for identifying and mapping materials through spectroscopic remote sensing. Also called imaging spectroscopy; ultraspectral imaging.
Allison Lami SawyerAmericasARROWbioimagingBiophotonicsBusinesscamerasGas Cloud imaging camerahyperspectral imagingimaginglight speedMicroscopyPhotonics MediaPrism AwardRebellion PhotonicsRichard BransonRobert KesterSensors & DetectorsspectroscopySPIESteve CaseTexasTory BurchWall Street JournalWSJ Startup of the Year

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