Applications open for 2024 SPIE Startup Challenge
BELLINGHAM, Washington, USA — Applications are now open for the 2024 SPIE Startup Challenge. The annual entrepreneurial pitch competition is held by SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, as part of SPIE Photonics West. In 2024, Photonics West will be held 27 January to 1 February in San Francisco's Moscone Center, with the SPIE Startup Challenge finals held 30 January.
The SPIE Startup Challenge is a competitive entrepreneurial platform for new businesses that utilize optics and photonics for innovative products or applications. Participating teams compete for sponsored prizes, in addition to gaining increased visibility with potential investors. Cash prizes of $10,000, $5,000, and $2,500, provided by Startup Challenge Founding Partner Jenoptik, will be awarded to the top three finalists.
Light-based technologies enable developments in a proliferating number of areas, from healthcare and high-speed communications to quantum computing, AR/VR/MR, and self-driving vehicles. The annual SPIE Startup Challenge — which will be celebrating its 14th year — provides a distinctive and vibrant platform for optics and photonics startups that are creating innovative products, applications, and technologies. Startup Challenge winners that have gone on to wider commercial success include Cellino Biotech, Double Helix Optics, PhotoniCare, C. Light Technologies, Circle Optics, and In A Blink.
The industry-judged competition will hear from teams of finalists pitching new products in photonics-enabled healthcare and deep tech. Competition judges include venture capitalists and business-development experts from the photonics industry who will vet applicants for their business case, financial case, and competitive advantages. Teams applying for the Startup Challenge will get feedback on their business and pitch from business-development experts and investors.
SPIE, the international society for optics and photonics, brings engineers, scientists, students, and business professionals together to advance light-based science and technology. The Society, founded in 1955, connects and engages with our global constituency through industry-leading conferences and exhibitions; publications of conference proceedings, books, and journals in the SPIE Digital Library; and career-building opportunities. Over the past five years, SPIE has contributed more than $22 million to the international optics community through our advocacy and support, including scholarships, educational resources, travel grants, endowed gifts, and public-policy development. www.spie.org.