PhotoniCare Wins First Place in 2018 SPIE Startup Challenge

By February 1, 2018 News

SPIE Startup Challenge Winner Presentation. Photo credit: SPIE

PhotoniCare, Inc. was announced as the winner of the 2018 SPIE Startup Challenge on January 31, 2018 in San Francisco, California. The SPIE Startup Challenge is held annually at Photonics West, the world’s most comprehensive technical conference and exhibition spanning biophotonics for brain research and healthcare, lasers for research and advanced manufacturing, sensors and camera systems, imagining and displays, communications and optoelectronics, plus the core optical components that enable many of today’s consumer products.

This competitive event invited new entrepreneurs to pitch their light-based technology business plan to a team of corporate development experts and venture capitalists. The challenge featured 24 semi-finalists in total, divided into the following three categories:

  • Track 1: Biophotonics and point of care
  • Track 2: Imaging, displays, lasers, and semiconductors
  • Track 3: Sensors, wearables, and internet of things

PhotoniCare competed in the Biophotonics and point of care track, consisting of 10 startups from across the world. Ryan Shelton, co-founder and CEO, pitched at the presentation. As winner of the best pitch, PhotoniCare was awarded with a $10,000 cash prize in addition to a week-long entrepreneur bootcamp training, numerous promotion opportunities, and reimbursement for travel expenses.

SPIE Startup Challenge Winner Badge“SPIE is doing fantastic work with this competition,” said Ryan Shelton. “There were some amazing technologies and entrepreneurs. The quality of the innovations coming out of the photonics industry is very exciting! We are honored to have been chosen as the winner of the contest. Thanks to SPIE, JenOptik, Edmund, and all of the other sponsors of this event. Thanks for supporting our mission to improve the lives of children across the world!”

PhotoniCare is a medical device company developing a handheld, low-cost imaging platform for the front-lines of medicine. The ClearViewTM, the first product on the platform will fundamentally change the way physicians manage middle ear infections, one of the most common diseases in the world. Founded out of Dr. Stephen Boppart’s bioengineering research lab at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), PhotoniCare continues its relationship with UIUC as an EnterpriseWorks incubator company. For more information about PhotoniCare visit or connect with PhotoniCare on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.