European tech firms to target more than €72 million at Invest in Photonics


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18 innovative companies selected for leading-edge applications in fast-growth cleantech, healthcare, and consumer-goods markets

Invest in Photonics 2012, a two-day international business partnering convention focused exclusively on photonics VC investment, today confirms the selection of 18 emerging technology companies from around Europe to participate in a special funding session at Invest in Photonics, December 12 - 13, 2012, in Bordeaux, France. The Bordeaux region is a growing industrial center for lasers, optics, and photonics. The selected companies, a pan-European group of firms from Belgium, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the UK and 11 companies from around France, will improve their chances of targeting a total investment of €72.2 million. Invest in Photonics is the only event of its kind in Europe designed to attract investors searching for the most innovative, credible, and profitable business ventures in photonics. The photonics industry is estimated at €300 billion [source: Horizon 2020: Research and Innovation in European Photonics, presentation on Photonics Europe 2012 Industry Programme]. "We are very impressed with the innovative quality of the companies selected for funding, their market ambitions, and the ingenuity of their projects," said Giorgio Anania, chairman of Invest in Photonics. "With fast-growth in the life sciences, cleantech, and consumer-products markets, as well as emerging markets, there's significantly more potential for high returns from investments in photonics." Led by an international panel of photonics industry experts and venture capitalists, the selection process required companies to meet the following criteria:

  • Technology uniqueness
  • Business model credibility
  • Cleary defined go to market' strategy
  • Market size/growth
  • Management experience/scalability
  • International development
The companies selected for the special funding session are: Ovizio Imaging Systems (BE), Actlight (CH), Medimaps (CH), Mach8 Lasers (NL), Smart Photonics (NL) and Holixica (UK), plus one unnamed firm. They include French companies: Argolight, Aurea Technology, Blue Industry and Science, Fibercryst, Image Guided Therapy, Lasar, μQUANS, Nethis, Prestodiag, Sunna Design and Vence Innovation. "I have regularly attended Invest in Photonics to look for investment opportunities and support the Bordeaux region's concerted effort to help small European companies prosper and create jobs in the photonics industry," said George N. Ugras, general partner, Adams Capital Management. "It'll be important for the companies selected for the special funding session to show some creativity in their plans to get to the product stage." Three double-digit growth markets: cleantech, healthcare, and consumer goods top this year's Invest in Photonics agenda. The emerging Asian market will also be a focus of the third edition. The presence of speakers from global brands Zeiss, Philips, and Samsung Ventures and their focus on the market are aimed at helping investors better spot opportunities. "Photonics is a very large sector covering many applications, including lighting, solar power, telecom, and healthcare. Invest in Photonics helps significantly to identify investment opportunities. It provides the most relevant and up-to-date market data, on top of pre-screening candidates," said Alessio Beverina, partner at Sofinnova. "We'll be paying close attention to the market size of each application, the particularity of the technology as well as the strength of management team behind each company seeking funding." This is the third biennial event, which has helped raise €37 million to date. Previous events took place in 2008 and 2010. Invest in Photonics