Oculi awarded $1 million at Luminate Finals competition
Oculi was named “Company of the Year” and winner of Luminate Finals 2023. The award includes an investment of $1 million, which comes from New York State and the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative.
Held live at Innovation Square in downtown Rochester and online, the event included highlights from the 10 finalists who competed.
With the honor, Oculi will move its headquarters to Rochester. Oculi plans advanced versions of its products and will expand operations for mass production, and build on sales.
The Oculi SPUTM is the world’s first smart programmable vision sensor, combining the speed of machines and the efficiency of the human eye. This innovative chip has the power to operate 30 times faster than current options while still ensuring security and privacy. It will be implemented in smart devices in offices, homes, and vehicles.
Other awards were granted during the presentation. The Outstanding Graduate Award and $400,000 was given to Digiteyez. This Washington, DC based company is digitizing the vision industry with Clear, a quick online eye test that customers can take anywhere.
Three companies tied for the Distinguished Graduate Award and each will receive $200,000. The companies include NanoPattern Technologies (Chicago), Quantune Technologies (Germany), and Swave Photonics (Belgium). These startups are working on emerging technologies in the realm of display manufacturing, spectroscopy, and virtual reality. A Rochester-based company, Photonect Interconnect Solutions, earned an Honorable Achievement Award of $50,000 for its work creating photonic chip connections with laser technology instead of traditional glue.
The awards were presented after a panel of judges from the venture capitalist community and the optics, photonics, and imaging industry scored the participating companies. Input for the honors was based on business pitches and due diligence completed during the six-month accelerator program.
Applications are now being accepted for Luminate NY Round 7. As part of this sixth-month program, participants gain 200 hours of instruction and resources to advance their businesses. In addition, the teams receive $100,000 at the start of the program.
Luminate NY, which is administered by NextCorps, is the world’s largest business accelerator for emerging companies that have technologies enabled by optics, photonics, and imaging. It includes more than 50 companies in its portfolio with a net worth of more than $650 million.
Alexis Arnold, formerly of 13WHAM ABC, served as emcee for the event.