The Luminate accelerator names managing director and advisory board

The Luminate optics, photonics, and imaging accelerator has named Sujatha Ramanujan its managing director.

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The Luminate optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI) accelerator (Rochester, NY) has named business executive and entrepreneur, Sujatha Ramanujan, as its managing director. Luminate also announced its advisory board consisting of a group of nationally recognized OPI entrepreneurs, innovators, business executives, and investors.

“Our original vision behind the Luminate accelerator was to provide OPI enabled startups across the country with a truly unique experience that would improve their chance of succeeding in the marketplace. With firsthand experience in her own startups, her deep network, and passion for helping early stage companies, Sujatha will make this vision a reality,” says Jim Senall, President, High Tech Rochester, which manages Luminate.

Sujatha began her career by first working for an early stage company and then launching an optics-related startup out of her garage with other graduate students. She relocated to Rochester and joined the Kodak R&D team as a research scientist. Eventually she became director of strategic alliances, and then moved to Carestream Health where she held titles of CTO of Mammography CAD and Worldwide Product line manager.

In 2011, for the third time, Sujatha caught the startup bug and joined the executive team of a very early stage nanoparticle company, Intrinsiq Materials, as COO and VP. At Intrinsiq she was responsible for setting up U.S. operations, working with VCs and investors, overseeing global sales and marketing, IP strategy, and strategic planning. “I am truly delighted to have the opportunity to lead this high impact program with potential to change the OPI landscape for years to come. I started my professional career in the field of optics, and it’s only fitting that I can once again immerse myself in this exciting and enabling field as the Managing Director of Luminate,” Ramanujan says.

Announced in July, Luminate is a $5 million per year accelerator for OPI enabled startups. The organization is formally accepting applications from prospective companies solving challenging problems including but not limited to: machine vision, inspection, biophotonics, security, surveillance, augmented & virtual reality, and autonomous vehicles. Teams will be competing for one of ten available slots in the first cohort, guaranteeing them a minimum investment of $100,000, and potentially as much as $1 million. Luminate applicants must be incorporated, have a full-time team, should have proven their core technology, and preferably developed a working prototype.

Luminate has also announced its advisory board, consisting of a group of nationally recognized OPI entrepreneurs, innovators, business executives, and investors:

Eugene Arthurs – CEO, SPIE
Milton Chang – Managing Director, Incubic Management
Stuart Elby – SVP, Data Center Business Group, Infinera
Stephen D. Fantone – Founder & President, Optikos Corporation
Mike Foley – Managing Director, Artemis Capital Partners, L.P.
Chair, Don Golini – Founder, QED Technologies
Jay Kumler – President, Jenoptik Optical Systems
Michael Liehr – CEO, AIM Photonics
Duncan Moore – Vice Provost for Entrepreneurship, University of Rochester
Ryne Raffaelle – VP for Research and Associate Provost, Rochester Institute of Technology
Darius Sankey – CEO, 3Discovered
Jim Senall – President, High Tech Rochester

“The addition of this group of world-class advisors will help improve the chances of Luminate companies ultimately succeeding. The board will participate in the recruitment, selection, coaching, networking and mentoring of the cohort. Each member of the advisory board has a passion for helping new entrepreneurs, and a wealth of knowledge that will guide our startups to spend their time avoiding mistakes, rather than fixing them. That kind of assistance is simply invaluable,” says Don Golini, Advisory Board Chair.

Source and to apply: Luminate www.luminate.org.

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