Molecular Glasses Outshines Competition
NEXUS-NY portfolio company, Molecular Glasses, receives $100,000 investment; Selected for new Luminate NY Accelerator
Molecular Glasses was among ten photonics, imaging and optics companies chosen to participate in the inaugural Luminate NY accelerator program. Selected from over 100 applicants from around the world, Molecular Glasses will now receive a $100,000 investment to help commercialize its organic semiconductor technology.
Molecular Glasses is a Rochester-based company that has developed materials for the manufacture of Organic Light Emitting Diode, or OLED, displays on devices such as smartphones, tablets and flat screen televisions.
“The timing could not have been any better. We had targeted 2018 as the year for our big push toward commercialization,” said Mike Molaire, CEO and Founder of Molecular Glasses. “Being part of Luminate will only accelerate that push. In 2015 the NEXUS-NY program similarly accelerated our customer discovery process. Timing is everything.”
Revolutionizing OLED manufacturing
OLEDs have become ubiquitous in small display applications, but their adoption has been hampered in large display and lighting. Molecular Glasses has created a new class of OLED materials that allow OEM’s to manufacture OLEDs with longer life, higher light output, lower power consumption, and reduced manufacturing costs.
After graduating from the NEXUS-NY Clean Energy Accelerator in 2015, Molecular Glasses has hit its stride, and is now poised to revolutionize the manufacture and applications of OLED materials.
Last month, Molecular Glasses expanded its operations into a larger laboratory and office space within the Eastman Business Park. Additionally the company has added critical team members to accelerate ongoing development and commercial activities. New hires include Mark Sperry, Dr. Rajarshi Chakraborty, and Dr. Daniel Clark.
“We continue to assemble a world class commercial and technical team,” said Molaire. “We will be increasing market engagement activities in the immediate term and our staffing accordingly. We are also expanding our technical capabilities in material synthesis and purification, as well as our photophysical characterization capabilities.
Among the team’s many accomplishments, Molecular Glasses was one of only five companies in New York state to receive funding this year to spur M/WBE innovation, entrepreneurship and job creation. The company also received seed funding from Excell Partners, a venture capital firm located in Rochester.
Molecular Glasses is currently capable of supplying customers for early evaluation, and has identified several partners that can scale its materials for early development support, and later provide manufacturing quantities. Molecular Glasses will derive revenue both from the licensing of patents and the sale of materials.
From Innovation Comes Growth and Promise
Fueled by its legacy of Eastman Kodak Co., Bausch+Lomb and others, Rochester has been recognized as the optics and photonics capital of the world for decades. Luminate NY will now harness this rich infrastructure, making Rochester the prime location to help these companies achieve bright futures in industries such as machine vision, biophotonics, security, augmented and virtual reality and autonomous vehicles.
Luminate NY is supported by High Tech Rochester (HTR) and Empire State Development. The idea of the program is to assist entrepreneurs interested in solving challenging industry problems, as well as bring more businesses and jobs to the area. To assist, HTR will provide the finalists with resources including expert mentorship, legal support, prototype development and connections to supply chain manufacturers – all located within the Finger Lakes region.
“We’re so pleased to be able to work with these amazing companies,” said Sujatha Ramanujan, Luminate NY managing director. “With the creativity, energy, and capabilities of these startups and the guidance and support of the optics industry in Rochester, we expect great success from the first Luminate NY cohort.”
What’s next for Molecular Glasses?
Starting in January, Molecular Glasses and the other nine finalists will begin a six-month accelerator program at High Tech Rochester’s new incubator space in the Sibley Building downtown. Come June, these startups will once again compete for their cut of $2 million in additional funding.
Molecular Glasses was also selected for the SPIE Startup Challenge at the Photonics West Symposium in San Francisco. This competitive event invites entrepreneurs to pitch their light-based technology business plans to a team of corporate development experts and venture capitalists. Founder are selected to attend a week-long entrepreneur boot camp to refine their business case, analyze markets, and develop a network of connections to drive their ventures. The best pitches receive cash prizes.