Imaging Platform PhotoniCare Wins Top Prize at SPIE Startup Challenge at Photonics West
BELLINGHAM, Wash. and CARDIFF, Wales, Feb. 9, 2018 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- A technology company that uses optical coherence tomography as a non-invasive method of diagnosing ear infections won the top award of $15,000 at the 8th annual SPIE Startup Challenge at Photonics West on Wednesday, 31 January.
The PhotoniCare ClearView imaging platform, presented by PhotoniCare CEO Ryan Shelton, enables doctors to see through eardrum tissue.
"SPIE does great things for the Photonics industry," says Shelton. "They have gone above and beyond to support our industry from the time I was in grad school."
Shelton was one of six finalists vying for over $85,000 in cash, prizes and support provided by Challenge sponsors. In a fast-paced event that reflects industry expectations, the participants were scored on pitch delivery, competitive advantage, quality of financial cases, and company trajectories.
Chris Castel pitched CareWear Firefly, a wearable therapeutic light patch which uses printed LEDs and CFQD film to treat pain and accelerate recovery from soft-tissue injury, winning 2nd prize of $5,000.
Cather Simpson pitched Orbis: Point of Cow Diagnostics, which provides dairy farmers key data about cow health and bovine milk, winning 3rd prize of $2,500.
Other exciting technologies and commercialization plans included Vitrum3D, pitched by Dorothea Helmer, a company which creates specialty resins for 3D printing of transparent fused silica glass; C. Light, pitched by Christy Sheehy, a neuro-deficit eye-screening and therapy guidance tool; and Smart Baby Car Seat, pitched by Chukwunonso Arinze, a seat equipped with optic sensors that serves as an "Internet of Baby Things."
The SPIE Startup Challenge is supported by Founding Partner Jenoptik, Lead Sponsor Edmund Optics, and Supporting Sponsors Trumpf, Luminar, and the Luminate Accelerator. Jenoptik sponsors cash prizes including $10,000 for first place, $5,000 for second place, and $2,500 for third place. The first-place winner also receives $5,000 worth of Edmund Optics products. This year's panel of judges included venture capitalist and business development experts in photonics and related industries:
Jason Eichenholz, Luminar Technologies
Marc Himel, JENOPTIK Inc.
Andreas Popp, Trumpf GmbH
Sujatha Ramanujan, High Tech Rochester, Luminate
Jenny Rooke, Genoa Ventures
Samuel Sadoulet, Edmund Optics
Darius Sankey, Innovation Acceleration Capital
Homan Yuen, NewGen Capital
Since its 2011 inception, the goal of the SPIE Startup Challenge is to help new entrepreneurs refine their business case, analyze markets and develop a network of connections to help drive their new venture.
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