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Oculi Takes Top Prize as Governor Hochul Announces Round Six Winners of Luminate NY Accelerator Competition

September 29, 2023

Governor Kathy Hochul announced the winner of Round Six of the Luminate NY optics, photonics, and imaging startup accelerator competition on Wednesday, September 27th. Baltimore, Maryland-based Oculi received the “Company of the Year” Award at Luminate Finals 2023, which was held live at Innovation Square in downtown Rochester. The company will receive $1 million in investment from New York State through the Finger Lakes Forward Upstate Revitalization Initiative. Oculi will use the follow-on funding to move its headquarters to Rochester, and to scale operations for mass production, expanding sales, and for developing advanced versions of its products.

Luminate NY, which is administered by Greater Rochester Chamber member NextCorps, is the world’s largest business accelerator for emerging companies that have technologies enabled by optics, photonics, and imaging. The Finals event marks the completion of the sixth year of the cohort-based program, which now has over 50 companies in its portfolio. As required by the award, all winners of the competition will commit to establishing operations in the Greater Rochester region for at least the next 18 months. Greater Rochester Chamber of Commerce is proud to support Luminate as a program partner and help uplift startups and cutting edge businesses in the Greater Rochester region.

“Thanks to Luminate NY, our state will continue to lead the nation on cutting-edge technological research,” Governor Hochul said. “The winners of the competition’s Round Six represent some of world’s most innovative businesses that are bringing transformative products in optics, photonics, and the imaging supply chain to market. I congratulate this year’s winners, and remain committed to supporting the fast-growing, high-tech businesses and industries that will move New York forward.”

Five other companies also received awards at the event on Wednesday:

The Luminate NY accelerator, based in Rochester, selects 10 to 12 promising companies each year to participate in its hybrid, six-month program. During this time, companies are provided with more than 200 hours of instruction, along with the resources to advance their technologies and businesses. Applications are now being accepted for Round Seven through January 8, 2024. Teams will receive $100,000 in funding upon program start in April 2024, with the expectation that $50,000 will be used to engage resources in the Finger Lakes region. Teams are expected to come to Rochester for select weeks and to also participate virtually during their time in the accelerator.


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