Ten finalists, and 3 runners-up in a competition that involves high-tech start-ups have now arrived in Rochester. They are all part of a state sponsored contest called Luminate NY which is designed to help startup companies in the optics, photonics and imaging industries in Rochester.
Vincent Esposito is regional director for Empire State Development. He says the idea is to help these companies ramp up their operations and eventually contribute to the local economy.
“Building from the ground up, developing our farm team, and that’s the start-up companies that are based here, based on the technology and ideas that are at places like the university of Rochester and RIT, and then spinoffs from people that used to work at bigger companies; and help them cultivate those ideas into products and businesses of tomorrow,” Esposito told WXXI News.
The 10 finalists have already secured $100,000 in funding through the state competition, and they will now compete for a piece of another $2 million in state funding.
Esposito says while the prize money for the finalists certainly helps these early-stage companies, what is really helpful is the advice and networking they get while in Rochester.
“The real value of this is to bring them together, allow them to work together, and with experts in Rochester to expose them to the assets Rochester has, the potential Rochester has, and allow them to be able to build their companies and ideas.”
The companies are now part of a business accelerator program housed at the Sibley Building downtown.