Luminate - Cohort 4 application


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Location (s):

  • United States of America
Rochester, New York


Luminate is a startup accelerator focused on advancing next-generation optics-, photonics-, and imaging-enabled companies. We’re looking for companies that are using optics, photonics, or imaging enabled technologies to solve challenges in Augmented and Virtual Reality, Autonomous Vehicles, Healthcare, Machine Vision, and much more. If that sounds like you, apply to be part of cohort 4 by January 7, 2021.


Jumpstart your business at the world’s largest accelerator for optics, photonics, and imaging technology.

  • $3,000,000 Per Year 
    Receive $100,000 to attend 6-month program (10 startups selected per year); up to $2,000,000 in follow-on funding invested at Finals.
  • Optics Specific Expertise 
    Attend structured workshops on design for manufacturing, managing complex supply chains, product pricing, and more.
  • Experienced Industry Mentoring
    Work with world’s top optics, photonics, and imaging CEOs and industry veterans to advance your business.
  • R&D Optics Lab
    Access an on-site, full-featured laboratory that includes: vibration-isolation tables, an interferometer, and other industry-standard equipment supported by an optics technician.

Luminate is the only international startup accelerator focused solely on next-generation optics, photonics, and imaging (OPI). Located in the world capital of imaging—Rochester, New York—Luminate is bringing visionary entrepreneurs from around the globe together with OPI pioneers and qualified investors to speed innovation and time to market. It’s also providing early-stage companies with the capital necessary to further develop their technologies, including $100,000 upon program acceptance, and a chance to win up to $2 million in follow-on funding.

You’ve identified the market need and have demonstrated proof-of-concept. Now you need help bringing your product to market. That’s where Luminate comes in. We help you succeed with capital, connections, and a community of resources. Each accepted company will receive a $100,000 convertible note and is eligible for follow-on investments. Our team will work closely with you to help make your company a success. We’ll connect you with our world-class advisors and partners so you can take advantage of their expertise and networks.

We’ll help you identify and get in front of customers and make introductions to the vast network of suppliers and potential partners within the Rochester, NY region. You’ll become a part of the Rochester optics and imaging community, and the entrepreneurial community at Sibley Square. Each program participant will be provided with working space, as well as access to the Luminate Optical Lab, NextCorps Prototyping Lab, and equipment and labs through local partners. We’ll also hold community and networking events, so you can grow your network. Throughout the program, we’ll be providing you with the resources, knowledge, and connections you need to succeed, as well as giving you opportunities to hone your story. At the end of the program, participants will pitch at Demo Day and will compete for a portion of $2 million in follow-on funding.


  • September–Jan. 7: Applications accepted
  • February 20: Semi-finalists selected; pitch for spot
  • April: Teams begin accelerator program
  • October: Finals competition and follow-on funding awarded

Opportunity is About:


Candidates should be from:

Description of Ideal Candidate:

We support teams with transformative ideas regardless of the nationality of the founders. However, you must be eligible to work in the U.S.

To qualify for Luminate’s highly competitive, cohort-based program:

  • Your company must be incorporated
  • You must have proven your optics, photonics, or imaging enabled technology at least at the lab scale
  • You must have a team of at least two members working on the business full-time
  • You must have C-level team members able to locate in Rochester or participate virtually for 6 months


Deadline: January 07, 2021

Cost/funding for participants:

Receive $100,000 to attend 6-month program (10 startups selected per year); up to $2,000,000 in follow-on funding invested at Finals.

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