Luminate Photonics Start-up Accelerator. Only in New York’s Finger Lakes.

Winners announced in the final competition.

Double Helix Optics was the winner of the first round of the Luminate NY competition. The Boulder, Colorado-based company received top honors at Luminate NY’s inaugural “Light Tomorrow with Today” Demo Day competition, held in the main tent at the Xerox International Jazz Festival in Downtown Rochester. The company will receive $1 million in follow-on funding from New York State through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative and, as required by the award, Double Helix will commit to establishing operations in Rochester for at least the next 18 months.

Double Helix Optics garnered the grand prize for its Light Engineering (TM) technology. As 3D information is increasingly incorporated into real-world applications, a major challenge has been integrating depth information with increased resolution. The company’s technology overcomes these limitations, providing improvement in depth resolution where current technologies fail. Its SPINDLE (R). Their 3D nano-imaging module seamlessly integrates with existing microscopes, cameras, and other optical instruments to turn 2D imaging into 3D information capture.

Intelon Optics Inc. was awarded the second-place prize of $500,000 for their Brillouin Optical Scanner System (BOSS), which uses laser light to measure the biomechanics, or stiffness, of tissues inside the body.

Positive Science was named third place winner securing $250,000 for their head-mounted eye tracking and behavioral analysis systems. 

Fourth place was awarded to Think Biosolution, who received $250,000 for their wearable devices and software platforms using QuasaR (TM) technology to measure the user’s heart rate, respiratory rate, blood oxygen saturation, heart rate variability, temperature, movement and location.

Investments today were presented after a panel of judges from the OPI industry and venture capitalist community scored Luminate NY companies based on their business pitches. The more than 600 attendees at the event also had an opportunity to vote for their favorite company. The Audience Choice award for $10,000 went to Molecular Glasses, Inc. for their creation of a new class of materials capable of reducing power consumption in mobile applications, providing higher display resolution, and reducing costs by enabling lower-cost manufacturing processes.

Luminate NY, which is administered by NextCorps, is the world’s largest business accelerator for startup firms in the optics, photonics and imaging OPI industries. The accelerator, located in Rochester, selects ten promising companies each year and provides comprehensive training and resources to advance their technologies and businesses. Applications are now being accepted for round II of the forward-thinking competition through Sept. 24, 2018. Companies earning one of the ten available slots in the next cohort will receive a minimum investment of $100,000 and major investments of up to $1 million.

Dr. Sujatha Ramanujan, Managing Director, Luminate NY said, “Luminate NY is at the forefront of promoting entrepreneurial endeavors to further grow the Finger Lakes region’s technological and financial ecosystem. The startups today and those that will follow will change how OPI innovations can be applied to solve significant challenges.”

Leslie Kimerling, Co-founder and CEO of Double Helix said, “We are honored to be selected as the winner amongst such an amazing group of companies. Thank you to Luminate, New York State and Finger Lakes Forward for their support and for enabling Double Helix Optics to expand our market reach and build our team.”

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New York Photonics is a not-for-profit organization founded to promote and enhance the New York State optics, photonics and imaging industry by fostering the cooperation of business, academia and government.


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