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SPIE Startup Challenge Sponsors and Prizes

The SPIE Startup Challenge would not be possible without the continuing and generous support for early-stage entrepreneurs from individuals and our sponsors.

We would like to recognize and thank Sean Wang who, on behalf of the PBM Institute, donated at the Lead Sponsor level to fund three Startup Challenge Early Stage Entrepreneur Awards this year.

2020 Startup Challenge Sponsors

Founding Partner View Website
Strategic Partner View Website
Lead Sponsor View Website
Lead Sponsor View Website
Lead Sponsor View Website
Lead Sponsor MKS Instruments Logo View Website
Supporting Sponsor View Website
Supporting Sponsor View Website

2020 Startup Challenge Prizes

With over $85,000 in cash, prizes, promotion, and training, this is your chance to be seen, learn, and win!

Healthcare Track:

Winner: $10,000 from JENOPTIK + $5,000 in products from Edmund Optics
2nd Place: $5,000 from JENOPTIK
3rd Place: $2,500 from JENOPTIK

Deep Tech Track:

Winner: $10,000 from JENOPTIK + $5,000 in products from Edmund Optics
2nd Place: $5,000 from JENOPTIK
3rd Place: $2,500 from JENOPTIK

Top 3 also receive:

Promotion on optics.org, SPIE.org, social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), press releases, and the Photonics West Show Daily
Opportunities to return to the Startup Challenge stage for updates on your company in the coming years

All Semi-Finalists receive:

Additional training opportunity with NSF I-Corps instructors (and may qualify for I-Corps funding)
Promotion on optics.org, SPIE.org, social media sites (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter), press releases, and Photonics West Show Daily
a $1750 value to each semi-finalist

All Startup Challenge Applicants receive:

Expert feedback on their technology and business model from photonics industry leaders based on their answers in the application
Access to online professional training courses in entrepreneurship
Invitation to participate in SPIE's online space for entrepreneurship mentoring in Slack
a $2,500 value to each applicant


NOTE: Three semi-finalists can win a "Early Stage Travel Award" (travel reimbursement and a full registration to the Photonics West conference), a $2,500 value. Early stage travel award winners will be selected by the judges of the written applications.