search.noResults

search.searching

dataCollection.invalidEmail
note.createNoteMessage

search.noResults

search.searching

orderForm.title

orderForm.productCode
orderForm.description
orderForm.quantity
orderForm.itemPrice
orderForm.price
orderForm.totalPrice
orderForm.deliveryDetails.billingAddress
orderForm.deliveryDetails.deliveryAddress
orderForm.noItems
START-UPS


Start-up class of 2020 continues to innovate


Greg Blackman asks Sujatha Ramanujan, managing director of the Luminate business accelerator, how its most recent cohort of young companies is coping during Covid-19


L


uminate has invested $1m in Boston, US-based SunDensity for its photonics coating technology that improves the


energy efficiency of solar panels. SunDensity is one of the latest cohort of optics, photonics and imaging start- ups participating in Luminate’s business accelerator programme in Rochester, New York.


Te accelerator is a six- to nine-month


scheme providing mentoring, training, capital – Luminate places an initial investment of $100,000 in each company it accepts, taking 10 companies per year – and access to the optics and photonics network in Rochester, so these early-stage companies can scale their businesses. Luminate announced its investment


plans during Te Optical Society’s (OSA) Frontiers in Optics and Laser Science virtual conference in September, where all of Luminate’s latest cohort of 10 start-ups showcased their technologies. Te Optical Society’s CEO, Elizabeth


Rogan, said: ‘Supporting and nurturing innovative start-ups willing to push the envelope of discovery is vital for our scientific community,’ adding that ‘the partnership with Luminate is a powerful reminder of one of OSA’s core values, innovation.’ Covid-19 has had an impact on the


Luminate programme this year, as it has had on everything, although Dr Sujatha Ramanujan, managing director of the accelerator, told Imaging and Machine Vision Europe that the response from the companies following lockdown has been really positive. Until Covid-19 hit, the main criteria for


selecting companies for the accelerator were: is the start-up the correct type of


Sujatha Ramanujan


‘We saw a lot of stress in CEOs and entrepreneurs; it’s a hard enough job as it is’


business?; can Luminate assist in its development?; and can the team move to and work in Rochester for six months? Luminate, established in 2018, has 30


companies on its books. Tese include its first cohort winner, Double Helix Optics, which makes phase masks for high- resolution 3D imaging, potentially for industrial inspection; Bounce Imaging, producers of a 360º camera; and Circle Optics, another 360º imaging company. Its current cohort includes: Akknatek, a German firm that makes an optical imaging system for inspecting intraocular lenses; and Haqean, which has developed an anti- counterfeiting solution for pharmaceutical manufacturers. When lockdowns started happening, many companies working with Luminate


20 IMAGING AND MACHINE VISION EUROPE VISION YEARBOOK 2020/21


in Rochester decided to return home. Ramanujan said: ‘I was worried. I thought, did we just put $100,000 into a company that just scampered off into the sunset?’ Ramanujan found that the teams were


really engaged, possibly because they had more time during lockdown, but also because they wanted to get the most out of the programme. ‘[Lockdown] is a difficult environment for companies to raise money and build a network,’ Ramanujan said, because online meetings don’t necessarily lead to the large investments needed to advance a business, or to find manufacturing partners when the lab is off limits. Luminate was able to give the companies help here, which made the programme click harder, she said. With the initial investment of $100,000


in place, Luminate works with the start- ups on a business plan, a financial model with a good customer discovery plan and execution model, as well as a marketing plan and other aspects. At the end of that period, Luminate makes an additional $1m to $2m worth of investment in some of the companies, although it is limited to how much follow-on work it can do. It also g


@imveurope | www.imveurope.com


Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44