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Luminate NY Accepting Applications for Round II

Photonics Handbook
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo announced that the world's largest business accelerator for startup firms in the optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI) industries, Luminate NY, is accepting applications for Round II of the competition.

The Luminate NY accelerator helps promising optics and photonics companies advance their technologies and businesses through a community of resources, including financial support. Funding for the $10 million Luminate NY program is being provided through the transformative Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative.

"The Luminate NY accelerator extends the region's reputation as an imaging and optics epicenter and complements New York's strategic investments in photonics and advanced manufacturing to support commercialization capabilities," Cuomo said. "These investments are fostering new business growth [and] enhancing the region's talent, job opportunities, and economy as we continue to move the Finger Lakes forward."

The recruitment for new OPI-enabled technologies comes just days before Luminate's first cohort of companies competes for $2 million in follow-on funding.

The free Light Tomorrow with Today Demo Day event will be held on June 28, 2018, at the Big Tent at the Rochester International Jazz Festival. One company will be awarded $1 million, with three other companies splitting the additional $1 million.

The Luminate NY initiative — administered by NextCorps — is looking for entrepreneurs from around the globe who are interested in solving challenges in optics, photonics, and imaging, including, but not limited to, machine vision, inspection, biophotonics, security, surveillance, augmented and virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles. Teams will be competing for one of 10 available slots in the second cohort, guaranteeing them a minimum investment of $100,000 and major investments of up to $1 million.

Applicants for Luminate NY must be incorporated, have a full-time team, and should have proven their core technology, preferably having developed a working prototype. Once admitted, companies will receive assistance with capital, technology development, and business mentoring. Each member will receive a $100,000 initial convertible note investment, with a chance for follow-on funding at the end of the rigorous six-month entrepreneurship training program. Applications will be accepted through September 24 on a rolling acceptance basis.

For more information on Luminate NY, go to LuminateNY.

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