Startup Life at Luminate: Advantages of an Optics-Specific Accelerator from the Cohort’s Point of View

Apr 30, 2020
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About This Webinar
What are the advantages of participating in an accelerator dedicated to optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI) technology?

This webinar will provide an inside look at Luminate through the perspectives of four startups in the accelerator’s current cohort — from their January 2020 start in Rochester, N.Y., through the move to virtual workshops in response to COVID-19. If you’re an OPI startup — from early stage to Series A funding — or a scientist or engineer with technology that’s moving from lab to market, learn how Luminate can provide the funding and resources to launch a successful OPI business and speed commercialization.

Webinar attendees will understand how:
  • Current Luminate startups are progressing their business plans, products, and networks through their experience at the accelerator so far.

  • Luminate’s location in the optics capital of the world provides unique connections to OPI investors, manufacturers, and supply chain partners.

  • Luminate has adapted its coursework and mentoring to keep startups on track through COVID-19 challenges.

  • To assess if participation in a future cohort is right for your company.
About the presenters:
Sean Higgins, Ph.D., CEO, ExPrimary.Sean Higgins, Ph.D., is president and CEO of ExPrimary, a Luminate cohort III company. Higgins is a cell and molecular biologist with 20-plus years of industry experience commercializing bioanalytic instruments and assay content (Meso Scale Discovery and Luminex) as well as directing studies in late-stage human clinical trials for large-molecule therapeutics and biomarker-based subject stratification.

Keenan Pinto, co-founder and CEO of Nordetect.Keenan Pinto is co-founder and CEO of Nordetect, a Luminate cohort III company. Pinto has a background in biotechnology engineering with an M.S. in plant genetics and molecular biology. He has a diverse background with experience in developing IoT systems for the hydroponics industry as well as sales and application development for optical laboratory instruments.

Sanna Gaspard, Ph.D., is CEO of Rubitection.Sanna Gaspard, Ph.D., is CEO of Rubitection, a Luminate cohort III company. Gaspard received a Ph.D. in 2011 and an M.S. in 2005 in biomedical engineering from Carnegie Mellon University with a specialization in medical device development. Upon graduating, she founded Rubitection where she oversees the commercialization of the Rubitect Assessment System as a global standard tool for early bedsore detection. Her work has been recognized by the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) and Lemelson Foundation (Invention Ambassador, 2017), NACD (1st place, 2017), UpPrize (2nd place, 2017), Medical Capital Innovation (2nd place, 2017), AlphaLab (Regional Hardware Cup, 1st place, 2017), and SPIE (Startup Challenge Photonics West, Finalist, 2016), among others.

Michael Wilson, Ph.D., COO, SIM.Michael P. Wilson, Ph.D., is chief operating officer at Simulated Inanimate Models (SIM), a Luminate cohort III company. Wilson earned a Ph.D. in pathology at the University of Rochester in 2015, where he studied gene regulation in acute myeloid leukemia, with a focus on translational research. Beginning in late 2016, Wilson focused his career on the biotechnology startup and technology transfer space, specifically on the successful transfer of biotechnology from the research lab to the marketplace. In preparation for his operational role with SIM, he has completed numerous business and entrepreneurial training programs. He has handled daily operations and long-term expansion planning and execution for the first 1.5 years of SIM’s impressive early expansion.

Sujatha Ramanujan, Ph.D., Managing Director, LuminateSujatha Ramanujan, Ph.D., is the managing director of Luminate. Ramanujan is a serial entrepreneur, having started and grown three startup businesses in cardiac surgical equipment, optical communications, and nanomaterials. As CTO and product line manager of Mammography CAD and Pediatric Businesses within Kodak and Carestream, her team developed and launched clinical equipment and Clinical IT on every continent. Ramanujan has held scientific, technical leadership, and laboratory head positions in Chrysler Corp., GE, Kodak, Carestream, and Intrinsiq Materials. She holds 28 issued U.S. patents, and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Michigan. 

Andrew Simon, Operations Manager, Luminate.Andrew Simon is operations director of Luminate. Simon oversees both the Luminate accelerator and incubation programs at NextCorps, identifying new clients and ensuring their success in the programs. His extensive background includes being the founder of Dogways Inc., a venture-backed mobile app startup; serving as president of Toontrack Music USA, a Swedish music software firm he launched in the U.S. and led to No. 1 in the world in sales; leading XLN Audio of Sweden to 15× sales growth; launching the digital platform for Brixy Inc., a 150-plus baby store association; launching Brannland Cider of Sweden in the U.S.; and working with Andrea Arden, celebrity pet trainer, on numerous digital and business projects. 

Who should attend:
Founders of startups with optics-, photonics-, and imaging-enabled applications; scientists or engineers who are interested in learning more about technology acceleration and programs that are available; product development teams that are looking at emerging technologies in biophotonics, virtual and augmented reality, transportation, security, machine vision, and other areas.

About Luminate:
Luminate is the world’s only startup accelerator for optics, photonics, and imaging technologies. The competitive cohort program provides startups with $100,000 in funding at acceptance, the chance to compete for up to $2 million in follow-on funding, mentorship, and access to the global OPI ecosystem. 

Research & TechnologyeducationAmericasLuminateNextCorpsincubatorbusiness acceleratorOpticsphotonicsImagingOPI technologiesoptics startupBusinessWebinarsLight SourcesLasersoptoelectronicsmachine visionautonomous vehiclestransportationBiophotonicsvirtual realityaugmented realitySujatha Ramanujan
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