Why ROC: Luminate NY accelerator

ROCHESTER, NY (WROC-TV) - Our Greater Rochester Enterprise Why ROC conversation cast a spotlight on the Luminate NY accelerator Wednesday during News 8 at Sunrise.

Jim Senall, President of High Tech Rochester, discussed the incentive program. His company will oversee its implementation.

In January, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced $10 million in funding to support the effort to grow the Photonics industry in Rochester, as outlined in the Finger Lakes Forward regional economic development plan.

Senall explained how the Luminate NY accelerator will enable to process. "The Luminate accelerator is a large-scale program focused on launching and growing startup companies that are in the optics, imaging, and photonics sector," he said. "It's based on national best practices, and essentially we are looking for startup companies in that space that we'll attract, come to Rochester, build their companies in Rochester. They'll get investment. They'll get coaching and mentoring, and at the end of the program hopefully additional investment to grow their businesses here."

Senall said the funding competition is open to companies around the world. He believes Rochester will prove to have strong draw. "Because of the fact that we are in Rochester, and have that optics and imaging expertise, we think that there will be a very large applicant pool. So we have now put together a national advisory group that's going to help do the selection process. Applications will be due through mid-September, and we'll have an application process using these experts, and the network that we've got, to really pick the highest potential companies. And we expect a lot of applications will be from our region because of the strength here, but the ultimate goal is to pick 20 semi-finalists who will come to Rochester early in November, and we'll whittle that down to 10 that get selected for the program."

The program will be built on the strengths of the Rochester region. "Most people know that Rochester is the capital for optics and imaging technologies and expertise, and so bringing those companies here, they're going to get investment, they're going to get connections, but really the reason that they should be here is because the assets here will increase their odds of having a successful company," Senall said. "And so while they're here - even the semi-finalists - we're going to expose them to all of the resources that we've got, the universities, the Eastman Business Park, AIM Photonics Institute, all of the other companies in the cluster, and we hope that even the ones that don't get selected for the program will see that and even decide this is the place to build their company."

For individuals or companies that want to learn more about the Luminate NY accelerator, a website has been established to guide them, click here.

For more information about Greater Rochester Enterprise, click here.






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