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Laser World of Photonics launches ‘Start-up World’

01 Apr 2015

Dedicated new company zone plus €50,000 prize competition at Munich expo aims to be “innovation platform” for young photonics companies.

A new addition to this year’s Laser World of Photonics will be a dedicated marketplace for “young up-and-coming companies”. The Laser expo will take place in Munich, Germany, between 22-25 June at the usual Messe München venue.

The new exhibition area, which will be called Start-up World, is being created in collaboration with nearby hi-tech aerospace hub Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO).

Prizes, which include financial awards, exhibition opportunities and marketing support (see below), will be awarded to the best ideas from the photonics competition. The jury chairman and sponsor of the initiative is Falk Strascheg, a successful company founder and experienced venture capitalist.

The proposed photonics competition being organized as part of Start-up World covers the entire range of optical technologies in two categories. Besides a general category including all aspects of the optical technologies sector, there is also 3D printing with its own dedicated prize category. The competition is open to national and international technology sector start-up companies that are not more than five years old.

The prerequisite is the presentation of products or prototypes ready for market, which are on the verge of, or are in, the market implementation phase. The registration deadline for potential entrants and partners is 7 April–10 May. Registration information is here.

’Superlative network’

A jury of experts is being appointed to select the winners. Falk Strascheg will chair the jury and support the initiative as its patron.

Laser WOP commented, “Strascheg possesses the best possible credentials for this role: as a successful company founder and very experienced venture capitalist, he is intimately acquainted with the specifics of the photonics industry and boasts a superlative investor network.”

Falk Strascheg said he welcomes this new assignment and emphasized the importance of the start-up platform: “After the founding phase, market access is a critical milestone for young companies. Laser World of Photonics is the ideal platform for such companies to develop an industry network and attract potential investors.

“Start-up companies are an important source of innovative ideas. There is a real transfer of knowledge on platforms such as these. Established photonics industry players also have the opportunity to meet highly talented, potential employees.”

Dr. Reinhard Pfeiffer, Deputy CEO, Messe München, is expecting Start-up World to be beneficial for partners, sponsors and the wider industrial community in Bavaria and beyond: “We first unveiled the start-up format at Munich’s Automatica show in 2014.

"Our objective now is to increase the innovative capability of technology trade fairs in Munich. As trade organizers we want to be pioneers and a source of stimulus. Transferring this concept to other Messe München events will further strengthen Bavaria as a technology location.”

Prize details - updated 8 April

The Photonics Award 2015 will reward the best product innovations in two categories. The prize pool has a total value of €50,000 including cash, exhibition space, visibility, marketing and business support.

Photonics Technology Award

1st Place

  • €5,000 grant
  • Free exhibition stand at Startup World 2015
  • Comprehensive marketing package provided by AZO and Messe München
  • Pitch at Awards Ceremony at LASER Forum
  • Coaching and business support

2nd and 3rd Places

  • Free exhibition stand at Startup World 2015
  • Pitch at Awards Ceremony at LASER Forum
  • Coaching and business support

3D Printing Award

1st Place

  • €5,000 grant
  • Free exhibition stand at Startup World 2015
  • Comprehensive marketing package provided by AZO and Messe München
  • Pitch at Awards Ceremony at LASER Forum
  • Coaching and business support

2nd and 3rd Places

  • Free exhibition stand at Startup World 2015
  • Pitch at Awards Ceremony at LASER Forum
  • Coaching and business support

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

EKSMA OPTICSDelta Optical Thin Film A/SAVANTES BVDiffraction InternationalBristol Instruments, Inc.Edmund OpticsBRD Optical Co., Ltd
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