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Photonics startups come to Rochester for state competition


A competition in Rochester this week will decide who among more than two dozen startups will win state funding and get in on the ground floor of the region's photonics industry.

New York State is calling the initiative Luminate.  A panel of optics and photonics experts have chosen 26 finalists teams. Six are from Rochester and one is from as far away as the United Kingdom.

Managing director Sujatha Ramanjuthan said the startups were chosen by a panel of optics and photonics experts, based on the novelty of their products ranging from medical devices to lighting and virtual reality.  She said there are other important factors that were considered.

"This can't be somebody's hobby or project. You have to show me that you have staffed this program with people who can execute it. That is very, very critical because a company always comes down to the people."

Each of the teams will compete in a lightning round competition Wednesday that is open to the public. 

Ten winners will receive $100,000 to develop their startups, a spot in the High Tech Rochester accelerator, and a chance to compete for up to $2 million in additional funding.

"We also are bringing in other investors, other than New York State, to look at these companies throughout the process who will help financially support these companies,” said Rumanjuthan. “If we do this really well and knock it out of the ballpark, then in June, every company gets investment."

The public portion of the contest will be held Wednesday from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. at the Hyatt Regency Rochester.

The following companies have been named as finalists (in random order):

In the fields of Photonic Devices, Lasers, Materials and Display:

·       Arovia, Inc.                                         Houston, TX, US

·       Molecular Glasses, Inc.                      Rochester, NY, US

·       MagAssemble, LLC               Columbia, SC, US

·       Dimensional Energy                           Rochester, NY, US

·       Mosaic Microsystems LLC                Rochester, NY, US

·       Lumotune                                           Waterloo, Ontario, Canada

·       Chromacity                                         Edinburgh, United Kingdom

·       POSPEA                                             Rochester, NY, US

·       SelfArray                                            Troy, NY, US

·       POP Biotechnologies             Amherst, NY, US

In the fields of Spectroscopy and Medical Devices:

·       Multicore Photonics                           Oviedo, Florida

·       Visikol Inc                                          North Brunswick, NJ

·       Misceo Grand Technology, Inc          San Jose,CA

·       Intelon Optics, Inc.                             Boston, MA

·       Accuret LLC                                       Rochester, NY

·       Persistence Data Mining, Inc.            Mount Aurburn, IL

·       LighTopTech Corp.                            Rochester, NY

In Augmented and Virtual Reality, Sensors, Instrumentation, Image Recognition:

·       Bounce Imaging                                 Boston, MA, USA

·       SphereVis LLC                                   Philadelphia, PA, US

·       Double Helix LLC                              Boulder, CO, USA

·       Think Biosolution                              Dublin, Ireland

·       Maverick Photonics, LLC                  Rochester, NY, US

·       MotionSavvy                                      Rochester, NY, US

·       Positive Science                                 Rochester, NY, US

·       Tarsier Optics, Inc.                             Baltimore, MD, US

·       Lumenora                                           San Francisco, CA, US