On February 4, 2020, during SPIE Photonics West, 42 photonics business startups from 14 countries will participate in the 2020 SPIE Startup Challenge semifinals. Then, on February 5th, 12 finalists will compete for cash prizes from Jenoptik (Jena, Germany) as well as for business support from Challenge partners and sponsors. Prizes include $10,000 for first place as well as $5000 in products from Edmund Optics (Barrington, NJ); $5000 for second place; and $2500 for third place. In addition, Early Stage Entrepreneurship Travel Grants have been awarded to three of the semifinalists.
Now in its 10th year, the SPIE Startup Challenge showcases new businesses, products, and technologies that serve much-needed areas in photonics, and is enabled by Founding Partner Jenoptik; Strategic Partner LDV Capital (Mountain View, CA); Lead Sponsors Edmund Optics, MKS Instruments (Andover, MA), Hamamatsu (Bridgewater, NJ), and B&W Tek (Newark, DE) CEO Sean Wang; and Supporting Sponsors the National Science Foundation (Alexandria, VA) and the Luminate Accelerator (Rochester, NY). Judges include venture capitalists and business-development experts who vet the applicants for their business case, financial case, and competitive advantages. Transformational innovations for 2020 include neurologic therapies, single-cell imaging and printing, drug discovery, rapid cancer detection, advanced manufacturing, quantum computing, and hostile-environment communications.
Both the semifinals and finals of this exciting pitching competition are open to anyone with a free Photonics West exhibition registration. Semifinalists will also be demonstrating their products throughout the day on February 4th as part of the SPIE Venture Summit.
The semifinalists will cover four tracks: Pre-Seed Stage, Healthcare; Pre-Seed Stage, Deep Tech; Seed Stage, Healthcare; and Seed Stage, Deep Tech. The full list of semifinalists follows here (with descriptions of their entries in their own words):
Pre-Seed Stage, Healthcare
BioPixS aims to save in millions by reducing unnecessary clinical trials and ethical approval process, nurturing a new era in biophotonics standards.
Sanathana Konugolu Venkata Sekar
Conzeb develops ultrafast optical imaging technologies aimed at revolutionizing single-cell imaging assay for cancer screening and drug discovery.
Andy K. S. Lau
diapatch – a noninvasive, wearable patch that allows for better detection of high-risk biomarkers, leading to malignant gynecologic cancer health.
Digiteyez Technologies LLC
The future of global eyecare.
OPTIM (Optical Prediction of Time Interval to Metastasis) will predict cancer recurrence, optimal Rx, and personalized outcomes from the initial biopsy.
Kilo Medical Solutions
Brise-Solette is a system that attaches to incubators in the NICU and controls the light environment to improve health outcomes for premature infants.
Kashyap Venuthurupalli & Joshna Seelam
Commercializing nano- to micron-sized particle lasers with billions of spectral barcodes for massively multiplexed tagging and imaging of single cells.
McFocal Bioimaging offers a multiplexing confocal fluroescence lifetime imaging microscope for drug discovery as well as precision medicine.
Odin Technologies, LLC
Odin is developing a wearable diagnostic that assesses extremity hemodynamics, allowing caregivers to identify perfusion injuries and complications.
PediaMetrix enables parents to detect, monitor, and treat Flat Head Syndrome at the point of care using patented AI-enabled mobile application.
Summit Biomedical Imaging
Targeted Cancer Diagnostics
Pre-Seed Stage, Deep Tech
We sell a new way to produce bio-inspired antireflective glass with the use of laser light. We bring nature's ingenuity on surface engineering.
On a mission to save lives, Devali's Oumen Industrial recognizes pre-symptomatic heatstroke, gas exposure, and more from the comfort of a work boot.
Kosmik Energy, Inc.
We are focusing the sun’s rays into optical fiber to enable an increase in yield while mitigating production cost in vertical farming systems.
AI-automated, non-contact, single-cell micromanipulation system that is accessible to every biologist in the world.
Rich Zapata Rosas
Affordable custom optics. Rapidly delivered.
We reduce cost-per-bit of information for hyperscale datacenters by leveraging our opto-plasmonic technology for communications beyond 5G.
ORCA uses proprietary, optical fiber-based technology as a new approach towards cheaper, more scalable, and reconfigurable quantum computers.
QLM Technology Ltd
Natural gas leaks are a major source of global greenhouse gas. Quantum gas imagers to see the leaks will help save billions of dollars…and our planet.
Specto develops next-generation miniaturized spectrometers to measure fundamental mechanical properties for life sciences and sensing applications.
Vyir Inc's Optical Infrared Imager will result in the technological and commercial realization of truly low-cost, high-performance infrared cameras.
Seed Stage, Healthcare
Noninvasive, label-free detection and classification of pathogens on wounds in real time.
A reliable, smart, optical instrument for automated, affordable, field-compatible malaria detection. For quick and high quality malaria screening.
C. Light Technologies, Inc.
C. Light Technologies is an neurotech and AI company that has created a 10-second retinal eye-tracking scan that can objectively assess brain health.
Leave no seizure undetected.
iLoF - Intelligent Lab on Fiber
iLoF is enabling a new era of personalized medicine, by providing photonics and AI screening tools for the epidemic of our century: Alzheimer's.
In our optical Cochlea Implant, light stimulates neurons of the ear, allowing deaf to hear with a frequency resolution superior to the electrical CI.
Advanced laser technology for precise cells printing and regenerative medicine applications.
The Rubitect Assessment System (RAS) is an optical skin health and wellness tool for diagnosis and monitoring with an initial application to early pressure ulcer (bedsore) prevention.
SurgiVance aims to provide instant bedside diagnosis of skin cancer indistinguishable from standard pathology.
Seed Stage, Deep Tech
Hydra is setting a new standard for 360° content capture by making it as easy as a regular point-and-shoot camera.
Firefly Photonics LLC
Firefly Photonics’ mid-infrared LED microarrays are optimized for thermal scene generation supporting autonomous navigation testing and gas sensing.
Labby is a data company that is combining optical sensing with AI to help dairy farms become more profitable through real-time milk analysis.
Nicslab Pty Ltd
We create Xpow as a compact, scalable, and integrated photonic driver for faster internet.
Optomel enables photonics innovators to grow new markets through our precise, roll-to-roll optical filter technology
Owl Autonomous Imaging Inc.
Owl’s 3D thermal ranging camera operates day and night, in most weather, to classify pedestrians, animals, and vehicles for safe autonomous operation.
Monolithic Short-Wave Infrared Focal Plane Array
Making short-wave infrared technologies affordable for commercial machine vision and imaging markets with low-cost imaging arrays.
High-speed laser transceiver-based LiFi system enables 100,000x faster wireless data communication between underwater and underground devices.
Senorics builds low-cost, mobile, and robust spectroscopic systems which bring spectroscopy to the B2C mass market – detect. know. decide.
With an easy-to-use portable spectrometer, every person can test and obtain direct results for substances of concern in their home or the environment.
Precise, safe, and clean surface coating removal and preparation.
Touchless Automation GmbH
Levio is the first contactless die sorter. Contactless pick up, automatic inspection, and sorting. Perfect for MEMS and photonics.
For more information on the Challenge and to register for SPIE Photonics West 2020, please visit https://spie.org/pw.