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EPIC launches venture and finance workgroup

14 Oct 2014

New workgroup dedicated to the promotion of venture and finance activities among the association's members.

The Euorpean Photonics Industry Consortium EPIC is launching a new workgroup dedicated to the promotion of venture and finance activities among the association's members.

EPIC, the primary aim of which is to promote sustainable development of photonics organisations, is aiming to further improve business development opportunities of members through networking, information and partnering.

The new "Venture & Finance Workgroup" will take this a step further through a series of focused activities aimed at attracting investors to photonics, promoting trade investment among members, fostering SME development and cooperating with the public funding sector on the continuous improvement of financing conditions for photonics entrepreneurs.

Entrepreneurial

The workgroup chairmanship will be held by seasoned entrepreneur Kurt Weingarten, member of the EPIC Board of Directors. Kurt founded the Zurich-based laser systems company Time-Bandwidth Products, which was acquired by JDSU earlier this year. The coordinator of the EPIC Venture and Finance Workgroup will be James Cogan, senior analyst at PNO Innovation and coordinator of the European SME programme LightJumps.

Weingarten, now Managing Director of JDSU Ultrafast Lasers, commented, "EPIC's membership is mainly composed of small and young innovative companies, access to finance is crucial for scaling up their businesses and I am glad to be part of this initiative for taking concrete action to truly help.".

Among the first initiatives planned are a photonics venture event in April 2015 to be held in Rome, a drive to maximise photonics entrepreneurs' access of the new European Commission finance instruments and a partnering programme for increasing trade investment actions among members.

"We need to be out there pushing to attract finance to the photonics sector and improve business conditions for the entrepreneurs among EPIC's members. Photonics technologies are at the heart of the next industrial revolution and we can accelerate the pace of innovation by bringing more funds into the sector," said James Cogan, Senior Analyst at PNO Innovation NV and Coordinator of the EPIC Venture and Finance Workgroup.

And Carlos Lee, Director General of EPIC, added "EPIC already provides services for entrepreneurs, with access to market data, business consulting and workshops to explore new technology trends and opportunities. Addressing access to finance is a natural step in assisting our members in supporting them in expanding their business."

About the Author

Matthew Peach is a contributing editor to optics.org.

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