$17,500 up for grabs in photonics entrepreneurs competition

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A total of $17,500 will be awarded to the top three competitors in the 2013 SPIE Startup Challenge, a live photonics business pitch competition.

Preliminary judging has begun, and winners will be announced during SPIE Photonics West in February at the Moscone Center, San Francisco. Ten finalists will receive sponsorship to attend entrepreneurship training organised by the University of California, Davis.

The 10 finalists will present three-minute pitches to a panel of judges, followed by the announcement of the winners and a reception with presenters, judges and sponsors. The finalist presentation is open to the public with free registration.

Pitches will showcase photonics technologies or applications that would be the basis for a viable new businesses. The focus is on new businesses and potential start-ups, so established companies must be pre-revenue at the time of the competition.

As well as the sponsorship opportunity for all finalists, first prize is $10,000, second prize $5,000, and third prize $2,500.

'The SPIE Startup Challenge has become an annual opportunity to see early-stage innovation in progress,' said Jay Kumler, President of Jenoptik Optical Systems. 'Partnering with SPIE as lead sponsor for the past two years is one tool that Jenoptik uses to encourage entrepreneurship in our company and in our industry. The event fits our values and our culture.'