Estonian deep technology company received a prestigious award.

LightCode Photonics, a deep tech start-up that grew out of a research project of the University of Tartu, won the main prize of the prestigious MIT Enterprise Forum Greece program for technology companies, in Greece.

Deep tech start-up LightCode photonics' ambition is to change how robots see the world. The start-up, created by Estonian scientists, is developing novel LIDAR cameras with underlying technology ascending to the new standard of 3D imaging.

LightCode photonics has scored both the overall win and the win in the transportation category in the MIT Enterprise Forum competition for technology start-ups. 26 start-ups from Central and Eastern Europe were selected to participate in the five-month program, and the ten best companies made it to the finals.

“The journey to victory was long and intense, and a very large part of our team was involved in the program so that every specialist in the field can make the most of the knowledge and experience offered. Our team's growth and ability to develop novel technology have exceeded expectations, and new experiences and contacts to further increase our ambition to develop a solution for 3D cameras. We have been assured that we are in the right place with our technology and at the right time,” commented Terje Eichelmann, CCO of LightCode photonics.

In addition to practical experience, LightCode photonics received €10,000 in prize money as the first-place winner and the opportunity to continue working with global mentors from companies such as EY Greece and Korn ferry. In addition, the Estonian technology company also receives intellectual property consultations from top specialists in the area.

Vaido Mikheim, Head of deep Technology at Startup Estonia, pointed out that for the Estonian start-up sector it is a significant recognition.

“LightCode photonics is a great example of the commercialisation of science, and I very much hope that the courage and international recognition of four scientists from the University of Tartu will also give a boost to other Estonian scientists to turn their discoveries and knowledge into companies operating in international markets. The goal of the Estonian state, Startup Estonia, and also the Community of start-ups is to increase the value of science. We see great potential in this and the opportunity to finally bring us to the next level in the development of the local start-up sector,” said Mikheim.

LightCode Photonics is a deep tech company that grew out of the University of Tartu's research project and was founded in 2020 by four passionate and award-winning physics doctorates. LightCode Photonics develops novel LIDAR cameras, and the proprietary technology created by the start-up makes it possible to 100-fold improve the vision of robots by improving the sensors available in the market and adding a 3D dimension to them using LightCoded Zoom technology.

LightCode Photonics is today raising three million euros in funding from investors to bring the first 100 cameras to market. In the spring, the start-up also embarked on a comprehensive pilot program in warehouse robotics and last-mile solutions. Estonian technology companies such as Cleveron Mobility and Milrem Robotics and several external partners from the United States to South Africa have joined the pilot program.

MIT Enterprise Forum CEE is an accelerator set up by the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the United States for start-ups in Central and Eastern Europe. The five-month programme has been set up for tech start-ups, with the development of participants supported by experienced international mentors. The focus topics of the program included strategy, HR, legal bases, marketing and communication, negotiating skills and the ideal pitch.

*Article published by Postimees group news - see original in Estonian here.