SPIE Startup Challenge semi-finalists named for 2014 event

Jan. 15, 2014
Bellingham, WA--SPIE has named the two-dozen aspiring entrepreneurs that are semi-finalists in the 2014 SPIE Startup Challenge.

IMAGE: Semi-finalists for the 2014 SPIE Startup Challenge are vying for the top honor won last year by 8tree. Arun Chhabra, co-founder of 8tree, is pictured above after last year's finals. (Image credit: SPIE)

Bellingham, WA--SPIE has named the two-dozen aspiring entrepreneurs who are out to change the world through photonics and build careers in the process as semi-finalists in the 2014 SPIE Startup Challenge (see http://spie.org/x103824.xml#start). The semi-finalists will compete in a pitch contest before a panel of business development experts and venture capitalists at SPIE Photonics West 2014 in San Francisco in February. Winners will be announced at the event.

Top prize is $10,000 plus $5,000 in credit toward equipment from Edmund Optics. The second-place finisher will win $5,000, and the third $2,500. Cash prizes are funded by Founding Sponsor Jenoptik with additional support from Trumpf, Open Photonics, and Knobbe Martens. SPIE will provide support for winners to attend a week-long entrepreneur "boot camp" for further help in refining their ideas.

This year's semi-finalists include:

  • Amos Danielli, MagBiosense
  • Ryan Shelton, PhotoniCare
  • Eric Wandel, Innovative Photonics Technologies
  • Lars Rindorf, OptoRobotix
  • Brian Cummins, Glucid Innovations
  • Ramin Rafiei, University of Western Australia
  • Garrett Cole, Crystalline Mirror Solutions
  • Babak Shadgan, Pathonix Innovation
  • Tamas Haidegger, HandInScan
  • Jarkko Antila, Spectral Engines
  • Natan Shaked, Tel Aviv University
  • Zeev Zalevsky, Bar Ilan University; Z-square
  • Anders Hansen, Fotonik, DTU
  • Christian Weedbrook, QKD
  • Matthew Muller, Swept Image
  • Nicholas Durr, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
  • Jannick Rolland, LighTopTech
  • Robert McLaughlin, University of Western Australia
  • Dan Gareau, Rockefeller University
  • Hoi Wai Choi, University of Hong Kong
  • Boris Lamontagne, Actishade-NRC
  • Thomas Ditto, 3DeWitt LLC
  • Sanaz Alali, University of Toronto; Pollux Devices
  • Boris Mizaikoff, University of Ulm
  • Hossein Alisafaee, University of North Carolina, Charlotte

Live finals will be held at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday 5 February in the Moscone Center. Registration to attend is free of charge.

Also at Photonics West, Arun Chhabra, co-founder of 2013 SPIE Startup Challenge winner 8tree, will introduce a panel discussion on "What Startups Need to be Successful." The panel, moderated by Andrea Belz of Belz Consulting, will be held on Monday 3 February at 2:30 p.m., and is accessible with free registration.

The Startup Challenge and other industry events focused on photonics commercialization complement a new virtual technical symposium on Translational Research chaired by Bruce Tromberg, director of the Beckman Laser Institute and Medical Center. The Translational Research program highlights papers from the BiOS symposium that address the latest photonics technologies, tools, and devices that have high potential for clinical use.

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, a not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based technologies. The Society serves nearly 235,000 constituents from approximately 155 countries, offering conferences, continuing education, books, journals, and a digital library in support of interdisciplinary information exchange, professional networking, and patent precedent. SPIE provided $3.2 million in support of education and outreach programs in 2013.

SOURCE: SPIE; http://spie.org/x105168.xml

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