SPIE Welcomes Applicants for Its 2020 Startup Challenge

The international pitching competition is held during SPIE Photonics West

25 September 2019

2019 SPIE Startup Challenge's Winning Line-up

ULTIMATE CHALLENGE: 2019's winning line-up

BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA and CARDIFF, UK - Applications are open for the 2020 SPIE Startup Challenge. The annual entrepreneurial pitching competition is held by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, in conjunction with Photonics West.

The SPIE Startup Challenge is a competitive platform — winning teams share from more than $85,000 in cash and other prizes — for new businesses that are utilizing optics and photonics for innovative products or applications. As well as the industry-judged competition, in this, the Challenge's 10th year, SPIE will be offering a six-day entrepreneurial-training program. This will include networking events for the Challenge applicants and venture investors, as well as expert-directed workshops.

In addition, the inaugural SPIE Venture Summit will showcase the complete range of the Startup participants' pitches and an engaging line-up of industry panels and speakers. Summit attendees will receive an investor-focused view of the latest trends in optics and photonics, from hot technology markets to the mergers and acquisitions that are reshaping industries. Today, light-based technologies enable a proliferating number of areas, from healthcare and high-speed communications, to quantum computing, AR/VR, and self-driving vehicles.

The SPIE Startup Challenge finals — featuring two tracks, photonics-enabled healthcare and deep technology — will be held Wednesday, February 5.

The SPIE Startup Challenge is enabled by Founding Partner Jenoptik; Lead Sponsors Edmund Optics, Hamamatsu, MKS Instruments, and B&W Tek CEO Sean Wang; Strategic Partner LDV Capital; and Supporting Sponsors Trumpf, the Luminate Accelerator, and the National Science Foundation. Competition judges include venture capitalists and business-development experts from the photonics industry who vet applicants for their business case, financial case, and competitive advantages.

Most of the Challenge-related events will be held in San Francisco's Moscone West and require a paid conference badge. Saturday afternoon and Wednesday events are free and open to the public.

Learn more about the competition, and apply here.

About SPIE

SPIE is the international society for optics and photonics, an educational not-for-profit organization founded in 1955 to advance light-based science, engineering, and technology. The Society serves 257,000 constituents from 173 countries, offering conferences and their published proceedings, continuing education, books, journals, and the SPIE Digital Library. In 2018, SPIE provided more than $4 million in community support including scholarships and awards, outreach and advocacy programs, travel grants, public policy, and educational resources. www.spie.org.

Daneet Steffens
Public Relations Manager
+1 360 685 5478