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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 light-based products in North America with over 1,300 companies and 22,000 attendees.

New in 2020, we are providing an Entrepreneur Program—holding a week full of training, panels, networking events for entrepreneurs, VCs, and the startup community. Learn more below.

Entrepreneur Program offers networking and training

Network and learn at the new Entrepreneur Program

The new, 6-day Entrepreneur Program takes place at SPIE Photonics West and
includes training, panels, and networking events for entrepreneurs,
venture capitalists, and the startup community. 

Learn more about the Entrepreneur Program  ›


SPIE Photonics West paid registraion required.
Get registration details and see what is included

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


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 more

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

Sponsors and Prizes
Schedule and Rules
Tips and Training

Join the Startup Challenge Community

Business strategy, pitch reviews, and competition logistics are all discussed on the SPIE Startup Challenge channel on Slack. Send an email to innovation@spie.org to be added to the discussion space.

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