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2020 SPIE Startup Challenge and New 6-Day Entrepreneur Program

The SPIE Startup Challenge at Photonics West

The SPIE Startup Challenge is a high-stakes, global competition where entrepreneurs with light-enabled products have 5 minutes to pitch their businesses to a team of expert judges and vie for over $85,000 in cash, prizes, and promotion. The SPIE Startup Challenge is held annually at Photonics West in San Francisco; the largest research conference and trade show for lightbased products in North America with over 1,300 companies and 22,000 attendees.

New in 2020, we are holding a week full of training, panels, networking events for entrepreneurs, VCs, and the startup community.

Important Dates

Application opens
18 September

Registration opens
30 September

Application deadline
15 November

Who should join us in San Francisco in 2020

SPIE Startup Challenge Pitch

Business Teams

New in 2020: SPIE is holding a week full of training, panels, networking events for entrepreneurs, VCs, and the startup community. Be seen, learn, win.

Learn more
Be seen by SPIE Startup Challenge VCs from around the globe

Investors

Diversify your portfolio with US and international companies in quantum computing, medical devices, lasers, semiconductors, AR/VR, and imaging. Your next investment is here.

Learn moe

The high-stakes, global business plan competition for new entreprenuers

Sponsors and Prizes
Schedule and Rules
Judges
Tips and Training

2019 Finalists and Winners

Impressive teams of entrepreneurs

2019 Startup Challenge Semi-Finalists
 

2019 Semi-Finals

Lots of competition. See who was in the running.

 
2019 Startup Challenge Winners
 

2019 Winners

Lots of competition. See who was in the running.

...

2020 Sponsorship

Founding Partner View Website
Lead Sponsor View Website

Pitching your business plan

Participants must have an optics or photonics technology or application that they wish to publicly present as the basis for a viable new business. Established companies must be pre-revenue at the time of the written application. Pre-revenue in this case means revenue generated from products sold, not funding acquired through investors, grants, or other support. Learn more about the competition rules.

The application period for the 2020 competition will open in September 2019.


Questions or comments? Contact us at innovation@spie.org