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Luminate, an optics accelerator, launched in Rochester, N.Y., USA, earlier this month.

An operation that bills itself as “the world’s largest startup accelerator for optics, photonics and imaging” has launched in Rochester, N.Y., USA. The accelerator, Luminate, which is open to applications through 15 September, seeks entrepreneurs and ventures focused on machine vision, inspection, biophotonics, security, surveillance, augmented and virtual reality and autonomous vehicles.

Luminate applicants must be incorporated and have full-time employees in addition to having proven a core technology, ideally with a working prototype. Upon admission, companies will receive financial assistance and other resources, like access to the Luminate Optical Lab, a prototyping lab from High Tech Rochester (a nonprofit that helped support Luminate) plus equipment and labs through local partners.

Each accepted applicant will receive a US$100,000 initial convertible note investment, with a chance to receive a portion of an additional US$2 million of funding that will be invested at a “demo day.” The top investment is expected to be US$1 million.

Also home to the AIM Photonics initiative, which earlier this summer announced new funding for its core testing, assembly and packaging facility, Rochester secured the new accelerator in part thanks to a US$5 million initiative from New York state governor Andrew Cuomo.