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SPIE Selects Finalists for 12th Annual Startup Challenge

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BELLINGHAM, Wash., Dec. 21, 2021 — SPIE has named the 10 startups that will compete for a $10,000 top prize at the 12th annual SPIE Startup Challenge, taking place at Photonics West on Jan. 25. The finalists will be vetted for their business case, financial case, and competitive advantages by a roster of judges that includes venture capitalists and business development experts.

The 2022 finalists will feature technological innovations in and beyond the areas of quantum computing, semiconductors, additive manufacturing, medical imaging, and displays.

The challenge is supported by founding partner Jenoptik; lead sponsors MKS Instruments, Hamamatsu, and Thorlabs; and strategic partners Aspire360 and NextCorps’ Luminate.

CEO of Senorics Ronny Timmreck, center, receives the first-place prize in the 2020 SPIE Startup Challenge from then-SPIE President John Greivenkamp, left, and Jenoptik Optical Systems President Jay Kumler. Courtesy of SPIE.
Senorics CEO Ronny Timmreck (center) receives the first-place prize in the 2020 SPIE Startup Challenge from then-SPIE President John Greivenkamp (left) and Jenoptik Optical Systems President Jay Kumler. Courtesy of SPIE.
In addition, five companies currently in the process of early-stage fundraising — Comptek Solutions Oy, Fastree3D, Raydiant Oximetry, Stratio Inc., and UbiQD — will present their new technologies to prospective investors.


The 2022 SPIE Startup Challenge finalists:

• Ascend Manufacturing, with a novel 3D-printing technology.

• LightCare, with a smart, effective, and safe medical optics technology for muscle-training physiology.

• Luminess, with Luminess Detectors, a versatile platform for safer, more sensitive, and more reliable x-ray medical imaging.

• Modendo Inc., with ultrathin endomicroscopes that provide high-resolution optical imaging and photo-stimulation for currently inaccessible brain regions.

• Nicslab, with XDAC, a multichannel power driver that controls the light in PICs.

• ORCA Computing, using room-temperature and photonic-quantum-computing systems to solve complex machine-learning workloads.

• Phaseform, with a new approach to adaptive optics.

• Quantopticon, with simulation software for quantum photonic hardware manufacturers who want to build optimized quantum photonic devices.

• Specto Photonics, with next-generation miniaturized spectrometers to measure fundamental mechanical properties for life sciences and sensing applications.

• VitreaLab, with a laser-lit chip for the 2D- and 3D-display market.

Published: December 2021
SPIESPIE Startup ChallengePhotonics WestBusinessStartup ChallengestartupfundingcompetitionSPIE Photonics West 2022

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