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SPIE announces applications are open for 2024 Startup Challenge

13 Sep 2023

Annual competition invites firms leveraging photonics technologies to take part.

Applications are now open for the 2024 SPIE Startup Challenge. The annual entrepreneurial pitch competition is held by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, as part of SPIE Photonics West. Photonics West will be held 27 January to 1 February 2024 in San Francisco's Moscone Center, with the SPIE Startup Challenge finals taking place 30 January.

The SPIE Startup Challenge is a competitive entrepreneurial platform for new businesses that utilize optics and photonics for innovative products or applications.

Participating teams compete for sponsored prizes, in addition to gaining increased visibility with potential investors. Cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500, provided by Startup Challenge Founding Partner Jenoptik, will be awarded to the top three finalists.

Light-based technologies enable developments in a proliferating number of areas, from healthcare and high-speed communications to quantum computing, AR/VR/MR, and self-driving vehicles.

Picking winners

The annual Startup Challenge — which will be celebrating its 14th year — provides a distinctive and vibrant platform for optics and photonics startups that are creating innovative products, applications, and technologies.

Startup Challenge winners that have gone on to wider commercial success include Cellino Biotech, Double Helix Optics, PhotoniCare, C. Light Technologies, Circle Optics, and In A Blink.

The industry-judged competition will hear from teams of finalists pitching new products in photonics-enabled healthcare and deep tech. Competition judges include venture capitalists and business-development experts from the photonics industry who will vet applicants for their business case, financial case, and competitive advantages.

Teams applying for the Startup Challenge will get feedback on their business and pitch from business-development experts and investors. The SPIE Startup Challenge application deadline is 16 October, 2023. Learn more about the competition, and apply here.

LaCroix Precision OpticsMad City Labs, Inc.SPECTROGON ABHyperion OpticsHÜBNER PhotonicsLASEROPTIK GmbHAlluxa
© 2024 SPIE Europe
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