The SPIE Startup Challenge is held annually at the Photonics West. 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.
|Timeline for Events at Photonics West 2017
||information to be available soon
Structure of the Competition
All applicants will have their written application evaluated by a team of expert judges. Judges will select approximately 20 semi-final pitches that will enter the live pitch round of the competition from the initial pool of applicants.
The Semi-Final Round
The semi-finals will take place at Photonics West on Tuesday afternoon (16 February, 2016) and is structured exactly like the final round, but will not have a large audience. A panel of judges, different from the initial pool, will select the top 6 presenters from Tuesday who will go on to the final competition on Wednesday afternoon (17 February).
The Final Round
The final round will occur in public, with judges deciding the top 3 pitches and announcing the winners shortly after the last presenter has finished. The decisions of the judges are final.
Rules for the Pitch
Oral pitches for both rounds of the Startup Challenge can be no longer than FIVE (5) MINUTES each. You may use a maximum of FIVE (5) SLIDES. Extra time and additional materials are not allowed. Pitches must be made live and in person at Photonics West by the applicant or a team member named in the application.
Participation in the competition means that you agree to have your startup presentation evaluated publicly. Furthermore you allow SPIE to use your name, likeness, and the information provided in the Startup pitch to promote your product and this competition, in print and electronic communication means.