Call for Applications: Pilot Photonics Business Bootcamp

Call for Applications

Pilot Photonics - Business Bootcamp

June 03 – 05, 2019


A pilot service offered by ENRICH in the USA.

Call closes:  May 22, 2019 – 23h59 CET 


  1. Services offered in this specific call

ENRICH in the USA is launching the Photonics Business Bootcamp to assist European Union and EU-affiliate headquartered, high-growth startups and Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs) with the pursuit of US-based business opportunities. This Photonics Business Bootcamp, located at the NextCorps incubator in Rochester, New York, is the first of its kind of photonics entrepreneur support center in the United States. The entire Bootcamp provides hyper-focused programming, connections, and services designed to help identify appropriate US market opportunities, execute on said US market entry, and ensure a sustainable presence of the company within the bustling photonics market of Rochester.

It was built as ideal for EU-based entrepreneurs in particular, because the path to market for photonics developed in either continent is so similar. The Photonics Business Bootcamp was made for entrepreneurs with a photonics product which needs to be demonstrated, scaled up and/or regulated for US market traction, with relevant customers and partners. At the conclusion of the bootcamp each participant will have a better understanding of the market entry and dynamics for their particular sector in the U.S., ample connections to a local network in the United States through the New York Photonics Cluster, and be better prepared to consider a satellite presence within the region to be closer to critical stakeholders. Additionally, participants will be automatically considered for the Luminate Accelerator, a globally competitive 6-month seed accelerator program that invests $100,000 initially in selected applicants, and the ability to obtain nearly $2M in follow-on funding by the end of the program.

The region of Rochester, New York is steeped in advanced technology and manufacturing prowess, having been home to Eastman Kodak, Xerox and Bausch & Lomb for well over 100 years each. Today, the region is a major hub within the US for the entire supply chain of the photonics industry, hosting 150 world-renowned optics, photonics and imaging corporations which result in over $3 billion in annual sales (according to the New York Photonics; for a complete listing of notable players, visit:

NextCorps, a 40,000 ft2 incubator dedicated to assisting and recruiting innovative photonics companies to connect and grow within the region, is the ideal host for the Bootcamp. The incubator, which is at the heart of the ENRICH in the USA’s Photonics Landing Hub, is staffed by photonics business and manufacturing experts with a collective 220 years of relevant experience in commercializing and producing photonics devices across a number of markets. NextCorps’ Board of Directors also comes with deep rooted ties to the large corporate and US federal government photonics end users. As the nation’s most dense concentration of photonics expertise, the incubator is surrounded by investors with the exact industry knowledge necessary to evaluate these small businesses, although earlier stage and therefore high risk, based mostly on their technical abilities and promising assets.

This first pilot offering will be focusing on biomedical applications of photonics so that EU companies traveling to the BIO conference can first take part in this bootcamp. Therefore, an additional component of this bootcamp will take place onsite at the Buffalo Niagara Medical Campus. The Buffalo and Niagara Falls region, after making over $20.5B in public/private investments like the development of the Medical Campus, enables a resource-laden, yet affordable business landscape. The Medical Campus hosts over 60 healthcare related organizations, including 6 large hospital systems who have consented to working with early stage companies based upon the same campus. All of this influenced to anoint Buffalo, NY as the 2nd “most booming startup ecosystem”, supporting biomedical applicable product developers to fast-track to patient bedside adoption. Furthermore, through an additional partnership with the Council of the Great Lakes Region, participants will listen to speakers and receive 1:1 coaching on bi-national regulatory advice to pursue patient adoption in the US and Canada. This will enable participants interested in further Soft Landing opportunities, the ability to conduct business in two countries at the same time. The first cohort will be hosted June 03 – 05, 2019, but subsequent annual Bootcamps will be available in mid-October in a consecutive 5-weekday span of 2019 and each year after.


  1. Target Group of this Call

Individual EU Member States/Associated Countries high-growth startup and SME founders who are interested in exploring the US market as a short to middle term vehicle for commercialising deep tech products and services in optical, photonic, and/or imaging (OPI) applications such as but not limited to: augmented and virtual reality, autonomous vehicles, machine vision, biophotonics, and other fields. EU R&I actors who are highly interested in introducing/exposing their OPI products and/or innovations to US vendors for customer deal flow, investors for feedback, potential opportunistic partnerships, and also as a long-term vehicle for commercializing their works/products in the US, may include:

  • Startup and SME founders or executives, who must be either responsible for technical sales and/or have invented and is responsible for the future development and scale up of the product.
  • Researchers seeking to commercialize their product, though it must have or be in the process of receiving intellectual property protection, and have been demonstrated beyond lab scale.


  1. Eligibility Criteria

In order to qualify for the provided services, applicants have to meet the following requirements:

  • If an individual, researcher applicant must be a tax payer in an EU MS/AC AND/OR be an EU MS/AC passport holder
  • Be able to communicate (read and speak) in English
  • If incorporated, applicant must pay taxes in an EU MS/AC AND/OR have as the majority of shareholders EU MS/AC passport holders

Additionally, eligible incorporated companies must have at least two of the four criteria:

  • Should have already secured €100,000 in revenues over the past 12 month period.
  • The company should have some track record in their own markets, and where it has been tested that the solution/technology is ready and working.
  • The company must have some form of “tangible assets” – have secured at least one piece of intellectual property (either internally generated or licensed from another entity) and have a clear product road map.
  • The company should have an established place of business where products/services are developed.


  1. Funding Principle

Participants are asked to pay €450 at the time of selection. Participants will have to cover the costs for flights to and from the United States, their accommodations, as well as other costs not mentioned above (e.g. ESTA/VISA application costs, health insurance, etc.) by themselves.


  1. Submission Procedure

All applicants must register at the electronic submission tool F6S under

To submit your interest in the ENRICH in the USA Business Bootcamp, please provide the following information in F6S

  • Name of Company (or organization you are affiliated with if individual researcher)
  • Your Name, Title, and Brief Bio of Engagement with the Company- Brief Description (less than 100 words) about OPI product/service
  • Location of Company (city and country)- Website of Company (if available) 
  • Please confirm you meet the eligibility listed above (explain 2 or more of the 4 mandatory criteria in 50 words or less per criteria:

a. Have you secured €100,000 in revenues over the past 12 month period? If Yes, please describe your clients (you do not need to provide names), what amount of revenues you have secured in total over the last 12 months, and method you received payment (i.e. cash, purchase order, etc.)

b. Describe briefly, how and where your product/service has already been tested by a potential customer/partner and provide at least a piece of marketing collateral on the demonstration and/or the product’s actual performance data (please email a 10MB or less file)

c. Have you secured (or are in the process of securing) at least one piece of intellectual property (i.e. patent, copyright, etc.)? If Yes, please list registration numbers, countries you are pursuing the protection, and a very brief description of what the intellectual property protects?

d. Do you have an established place of business where products/services are developed? If Yes, please write out your full business address with a brief description of your facility’s assets, proximity to business logistics (i.e. customers, airport, rail, etc.), and other onsite capabilities.

For additional information please email Andrea at or call +1(407)353-3469


  1. Evaluation and Selection Procedure

The fundamental principles governing the evaluation of the applications are:

  • Transparency: The process for selecting applicants will be clearly described and made available to any interested party.
  • Fairness and Equality of treatment: All applications shall be treated alike, irrespective of where they originate or the identity of the applicants.
  • Ethical and Legal considerations: Any application that contravenes ethical principles and legal regulations may be excluded from being evaluated and rejected at any time.

The evaluation process is straightforward.

Eligibility Check: Will be done by the ENRICH in the USA staff following the criteria defined in section 2.

If interested eligible applicants are found to meet the listed criteria, the applicant will receive confirmation within 3 business days of acceptance to the Bootcamp. Upon acceptance, the applicant will be asked to pay the participant fee and once that is received, NextCorps and other ENRICH in the USA staff will work with the company leading up to the Bootcamp.


Time Schedule

May 06, 2019Call opens
May 22, 2019
(at 23h59 CET)
Submission of application and call closes
May 24, 2019Final applicant notifications will be made
May 24, 2019Final applicants accepted will be provided with pertinent information
May 31, 2019Final day for pre-departure assistance to incoming participants
June 03, 2019Start date of Photonics Business Bootcamp
June 05, 2019Bootcamp concludes



For questions regarding the Photonics Business Bootcamp event, please contact:

NameContact Details


Photonics Business Bootcamp Itinerary


[1] See
As of 01 January 2017, the following countries are associated to Horizon 2020: Iceland, Norway, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Montenegro, Serbia, Turkey, Israel, Moldova, Switzerland, Faroe Islands, Ukraine, Tunisia, Georgia, Armenia.