Ovitz, a Rochester, New York-based company received top honors at Luminate NY’s “Light Tomorrow with Today” Demo Day competition, held in the main tent at the CGI 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. As required by the award, all winners of the competition will commit to establishing operations in Rochester for at least the next 18 months.
Lieutenant Governor Kathy Hochul joined Luminate Director, Sujatha Ramanujan and Tom Battley , Executive Director of New York Photonics to make today’s announcement. “Luminate NY is advancing technological innovation and lighting the path forward for the Finger Lakes region,” said Hochul.
Ovitz has developed an individualized, vision-enhancing contact lens innovation that significantly improves people’s vision quality: clarity, contrast, and depth perception.
- VPG Medical, also based in Rochester, was awarded the second-place prize of $500,000. VPG’s HealthKam® technology uses smart devices and laptops to enable effortless, seamless cardiac monitoring to deliver improved diagnoses and therapeutic strategies.
- Lumedica Vision, based in North Carolina, was named third place winner, securing $250,000 for its OQ EyeScope technology, which provides a medical instrument for diagnosing retina disease that is easy to acquire, transport, and use in all optometry offices.
- Another $250,000 went to fourth place finisher Circle Optics, based in New York City, for its proprietary technology that captures real-time, errorless, 360° video in 12K.
- The Audience Choice award for $10,000 went to Circle Optics.
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.
Luminate NY is the world’s largest optics, photonics and imaging (OPI) business accelerator for startups. The accelerator is based in Rochester and 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 III of the forward-thinking competition through September 23, 2019. 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. Interested companies can apply here.
The awards require all winners of the competition to commit to operations in Rochester for at least the next 18 months.