The SPIE Startup Challenge for photonics technology is held annually at the Photonics West conference in San Francisco. This competitive event invites new entrepreneurs to pitch their light-based technology business plan to a team of business development experts and venture capitalists. Applicants selected to pitch at Photonics West are invited to attend an entrepreneur boot camp for training, networking, and refining their business plan. The best pitch presenters receive cash prizes and are provided support to attend additional entrepreneurship training to continue refining ideas and make further contacts with experts.

Tentative Timeline

  • Written Applications Open – 5 October, 2015
  • Written Applications Close – 20 November, 2015
  • Semi-Finalists Notified – 5 January, 2016
  • Pitch Clinic at Photonics West – 15 February, 2016
  • Semi-Finalists pitch and Finalists selected – 16 February, 2016
  • Startup Challenge Finals and Winners selected – 17 February, 2016

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