At Photonics West, which opens today in San Francisco, California (US), over 20,000 people will gather to learn about the latest research, trends, new products and innovation in light technologies. Not all companies at Photonics West have long-standing history in the industry, however. Many are just launching their business and the Start-Up Challenge offers them the opportunity to pitch their light-based technology products to a team of business development experts and venture capitalists in the Semi-Finals, held today, Tuesday 31 January from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Park Central Hotel, Franciscan I & II, Stanford Room. Here the semi-finalists, divided into three tracks, will compete for the six spots in the final.
The three tracks are BioPhotonics, Point of Care; Imaging, Displays, Lasers, Semiconductors; and Sensors, Wearables, IoT.
The semi-finalists are as follows:
Track 1: BioPhotonics, Point of Care
An optoacoustic guide with augmented reality technique for precision breast conserving surgery. Lu Lan, Purdue University
CancerView: Helping surgeons perform better breast cancer surgery
There's a need for better tools to help surgeons to remove all cancer tissue in a single surgery, and CancerView is a product that can help. Erik Schartner, Centre for Nanoscale BioPhotonics, The University of Adelaide
d'Biomager: 4D Microscope Camera
The world’s first true 4D microscope camera that can be attached to any existing light microscope. Rachel Wang, d'Optron Pte Ltd
EarID/Computational Ear Imaging
Computational ear imaging for accurate detection of ear infections. Anshuman Das, MIT
Lumedica "OQ" EyeScope
The Lumedica OQ EyeScope is a medical technology that is simple, accurate and affordable. Scott Whitney, Lumedica Inc.
Nanodevices for cellular therapy
Using lasers and nanotechnology to cure any viral or genetic disease that affects the blood. Nabiha Saklayen, Harvard University
NU-RISE has innovative technologies for breast and prostate cancer. Luis Moutinho, University of Aveiro, and NU-RISE
Raydiant Oximetry, Inc.
Noninvasive fetal oximetry during labor and delivery. Nicole Hlava, Raydiant Oximetry, Inc.
Track 2: Imaging, Display, Laser
Faster 3D vision with a LIDAR system on chip. Claude Florin, Fastree3D
LightOn's processors address the issues of scalability and sustainability of Artificial Intelligence. We use light to build the future of computing. Laurent Daudet, LightOn
Low cost method for increasing resolution on a traditional optical microscope without resorting to complicated methods like NSOM or STED. It is compatible with any microscope, taking up no space, and without altering lab procedures. Vasily Astratov, UNC-Charlotte
Nanolayered GRIN Optical Lenses
GRIN polymer lenses offer high contrast, color corrected, wide field of view (+30°) while simultaneously decreasing optical system weight of glass configurations by 30 – 60%. Adin Pfeuffer, Peak Nano Optics
Portable Precision Profilometer
A group from MIT is developing portable high precision 3D scanners with a low-cost to bridge the current commercial scanner market gaps. Renjie Zhou, Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Real time Display of Several Depths
Real time multiple OCT slicer. Adrian Podoleanu, University of Kent/Optopod Ltd
RGB Laser Light Module for AR/VR
Ultra-compact RGB MEMS laser scanner for AR and VR applications. Joerg Reitterer, TriLite Technologies GmbH
Track 3: Sensors, Wearables, IOT
Ensuring quality for food. Koen Nickmans, Fresh Strips
Allows blind or visually impaired people to “see” by translation of visual information captured by a camera to spatial tactile stimulation of their cornea. Zeev Zalevsky, Bar Ilan University, and IC Touch
An optical wireless communication middleware for Internet of Things in connected cars market. Gloria Eisman, Lightbee SL
A "smoke detector" for drinking water. LiqWiz is an in-line IoT based spectrophotometer and analysis platform for automatic detection of EPA-specified chemicals and contaminants in drinking water. Ivan Maleev, LiqWiz LLC
The nutrition expert in healthy and scientific breastfeeding management for every mom and baby. Qiaochu Li, Sensii, Inc
QuasaR - the world's first camera powered multi-parameter fitness tracker. Koushik Kumar Nundy, Think Biosolution Limited
Your personal sun protection expert. Enjoy the sun. Safely. Larisa Kryuchkova, uvisio
And the winners are...
On Wednesday 1 February from 3:30 to 6 p.m. in room 103 in the Moscone Center (South), judges will select the top six pitches from the semi-final round. The top six presenters compete for $10,000 from Jenoptik and $5,000 in products from Edmund Optics.