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SPIE names Startup Challenge 2023 finalists

08 Dec 2022

Photonics West showcase for innovative photonics technologies in healthcare and deep tech.

Ten early-stage startup companies from six countries have been selected to compete for a top prize of $10,000 at the 13th annual SPIE Startup Challenge at Photonics West 2023.

The SPIE Startup Challenge is an entrepreneurial pitch competition for new businesses that utilize optics and photonics to create innovative products, applications, and technologies. Transformational innovations this year include healthcare and deep tech innovations in medical diagnostics, medical imaging, food safety, and display technology.

The annual competition is supported by founding partner Jenoptik; lead sponsors Edmund Optics, Hamamatsu, MKS Instruments, and Thorlabs; and supporting sponsors NextCorps Luminate and Photonics Media.

Judges include venture capitalists and business-development experts who vet the applicants for their business case, financial case, and competitive advantages.

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

The ten 2023 SPIE Startup Challenge finalists are:

  • Actoprobe, with a non-spectroscopy probe for advanced manufacturing and life science.
  • FlulDect GmbH, with sensor technology combining the effects of whispering-gallery-modes (WGM) with functionalized fluorescent beads to detect pathogens in applications including food safety.
  • KostaCLOUD Inc., with a cloud-based optical design and simulation tool enabling real-time, optical-mechanical design collaboration, dramatically improving design-optimization times.
  • Lighthanded Enterprises, with LasEar Laser Otoscope, to improve diagnosis of common causes of childhood-hearing loss.
  • PatenSee, with an innovative combination of machine learning and imaging technology for dialysis patients.
  • PhoMedics Limited, with a histological imaging microscope offering real-time status during cancer surgery.
  • Phosio, with nanoimprintable, high-refractive index transparent coatings, a critical tool for expanding optical designs in AR.
  • PhosPrint P.C., with a novel technology that repairs in vivo human tissue during surgery.
  • QART Medical, utilizing biophotonics and data for 3D analysis of sperm cells during IVF.
  • Swave Photonics, enabling display-makers and content-creators with immersive holographic displays.

The full list of SPIE Startup Challenge finalists can also be found here.

In addition, four companies currently in the process of early-stage fundraising — Scinvivo, Comptek Solutions, Scantinel Photonics, and Nicslab — will be presenting their new technologies to prospective investors.

ECOPTIKCeNing Optics Co LtdAlluxaHÜBNER PhotonicsTRIOPTICS GmbHBerkeley Nucleonics CorporationLASEROPTIK GmbH
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