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Start-up World

Start-up companies offer a glimpse into the great potential of the many light technologies industries. It’s here where young minds innovate, take risks and move technologies from the lab to the marketplace. For the first time at Laser World of Photonics, a special exhibition area is devoted to start-up companies. Start-up World can be found in Hall B3 Stands 325 and 528.

In addition to offering exhibit space where visitors can learn about new companies and products, the Start-up World Forum offers an opportunity for the new companies to offer their insights into such topics as what it takes to be a successful entrepreneur in the competitive field of light technologies. It also brings together young companies, support networks and industry leaders to host talks and presentations. And ultimately, it provides a stage where the six awards finalists will pitch their innovative, new products. See the full program here.


The Start-up World competition awards prizes in the categories of Photonics Technology and 3D Printing. The six finalists were chosen from a broad field of nominees. The prerequisites are that the start-up company must be less than five years old, that the products or prototypes are ready for market, or that the products are already in the market implementation phase.

And the finalists are…

Photonics Technology

Nanolive, based in Ecublens (Switzerland), is nominated for the 3D Cell Explorer. This is a high speed, high resolution and non-invasive tool that can look deep inside biological systems.


It allows the user to record what the company calls “stunning” 3D images of entire cells in just seconds and they state that it is with “a higher resolution than any conventional microscope on the market." With the 3D Cell Explorer, researchers, students and medical doctors can directly experience what happens inside the living cell – in real time.

Norlase ApS, based in Roskilde (Denmark), is nominated for its ultra-compact AuroraOne laser.


The AuroraOne delivers high-brightness and low noise in wavelengths including 465, 488, 515 and 532nm, designed for applications such as microscopy, high-throughput DNA sequencing and holography.

8Tree, based in Englewood, Colorado (US), is nominated for dentCHECK, which analyzes surface deformation problems. Whether it is a dent, a bump or general surface waviness, the company reports that dentCHECK delivers clear, accurate and instantly actionable analysis.


Existing configurations of the dentCHECK product platform are tailored to addressing chronic problems across several industries, including Aerospace, Automotive, Oil & Gas infrastructure and White-Goods.

3D Printing Award

Femtoprint, based in Muzzano (Switzerland), is nominated for the Femtoprint technology that is integrated in a table-top 3D printer to produce glass microsystems with nano-scale features. It applies an ultrafast low power femtosecond laser to fused silica or other transparent substrates.


The laser, focused inside glass, locally modifies the refractive index of the material (typical variation of 5.10-3) and increases the etching rate. The result is the possibility of creating 3D optical waveguides or 3D micro–nano pattern with a maskless process.

Swisslitho AG, based in Zurich (Switzerland), is nominated for the NanoFrazor explore, which is a tool for rapid-prototyping of nanostructures and nanodevices. 


It has been developed for researchers who want to have easy and quick access to high-resolution nanometer sized geometries of arbitrary kinds. Swisslitho AG reports that even 3D nanopatterns can be fabricated in a single step and with unmatched precision.

SandMade, based in Krakow (Poland), is nominated for the Sand Made LS ONE, which is an additive manufacturing technique that uses a laser as the power source to sinter powdered material.


It aims the laser automatically at points in space defined by a 3D model, binding the material together to create a solid structure. The device uses high power CO2 laser and precise scanning galvanometer head to create objects from materials such as foundry sand, wax and more. 


The Photonics Award 2015 will rewarded for the best product innovations in the two categories—Photonics Technology and 3D Printing. The prize pool has a total value of EUR 50,000 including cash, exhibition space, visibility, marketing and business support. First prize winners receive a grant of EUR 5000. All winners receive free exhibit space, a marketing package provided by AZO and Messe München, a pitch at Awards Ceremony at Laser Forum, coaching and business support.

Also exhibiting in Start-up World is Sphere Ultrafast Photonics’ with its new product, the D-Scan Single Shot, which is a compact device for measuring multi-cycle (from 10 to 50 fs) ultrashort laser pulses typically delivered by Ti:Sapphire laser amplifiers. The same D-Scan system can measure from MHz repetition rates down to single-shot.

Jury of experts

Award winners are decided by a jury of experts, chaired by Falk Strascheg, a successful company founder and very experienced venture capitalist. He is well-acquainted with the photonics industry and has a strong investor network.  Mr. Strascheg emphasized the importance of the start-up platform: “After the founding phase, market access is a critical milestone for young companies. The Laser World of Photonics is the ideal platform for such companies to develop an industry network and attract potential investors.”

The awards ceremony takes place on Wednesday at 10:30 a.m. in Hall A2 at the Optical Meteorology & Imaging Forum. Novus Light will bring you the results as soon as they are announced.

Start-up World is created in collaboration with Anwendungszentrum GmbH Oberpfaffenhofen (AZO).

Written by Anne Fischer, Managing Editor, Novus Light Technologies Today

See who won the Start-up World Awards: Laser World of Photonics 2015--Start-up World Award Winners

Labels: Start-up World,Laser World of Photonics 2015,photonic technologies,3D printing,awards

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