For our Startup Spotlights, Times of Entrepreneurship scouted the most successful startups that spun out of top university competitions and programs. The impact of such awards can be many years in the making, especially in the DeepTech space.
Interviewee: Dr. Jonas Zeuner, co-founder of VitreaLab
Which university challenge did you win and when? Or how are you affiliated to a university?
VitreaLab is a spin-off of the Vienna Center for Quantum Science and Technology, where we did our PhD on integrated optics for the use in quantum computation. We used a technology that allows us to implement tiny light channels in glass plates and had the idea to use this in display applications. In the beginning we used university laboratories at the Politecnico di Milano and University of Vienna, but in 2020 we moved to our own lab space in the south of Vienna.
What is your elevator pitch? Has it changed much since you started?
We bring laser light into displays, completely changing their behaviour and performance. Energy consumption can be dropped by 80% and much better 3D displays can be created. The pitch has not changed significantly but has been refined towards our light control capabilities, since this is our key strength and something that’s missing in current technology.
What should we know about you?
We can control light on an unprecedented level and distribute light from single laser diodes to millions of high quality laser beams. This is useful for making displays more efficient and colorful but also for creating completely new 3D displays with much higher resolution.
What are you looking for?
Currently we are looking for 3M€ funding to speed-up our prototyping workflow and go to higher pixel numbers. The round is expected to close in Q1 2022. We are also always interested in alternative possible uses of our technology, being it in LiDAR scanners or Microfluidic sensing. Get in touch with us if you want to learn more!
Why should someone invest in you?
The expertise the team has in the fabrication of the light channels is unique and not easily replicated. We have a strong patent portfolio and aim to disrupt the display sector, from 2D smartphone displays up to holographic TVs.
How much total funding have you raised so far and from which sources? We have raised 1.3M€ from Venture Capital sources with our most famous backer being Hermann Hauser. Additionally we have raised 1.5M€ from public grants.
How many employees work for your startup?
There are currently nine people working for VitreaLab.
Clear evidence of success you would like to share?
We have been featured on Forbes as one of the “spin-offs to watch 2021”. Additionally we have been invited to give a keynote address at the “Laser Display and Lighting Conference 2022”.
What is your startup’s superpower?
Our superpower is light control. Laser light can be much more easily controlled than normal light as can be seen when using a laser pointer. But we can create millions of high quality beams using a compact and cheap to manufacture glass plate. These beams can be interfaced with other optical components like diffractive optical elements to create completely new light patterns.
This story and others on New Builders Dispatch are made possible by a sponsorship from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation. The Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation is a private, nonpartisan foundation that provides access to opportunities that help people achieve financial stability, upward mobility, and economic prosperity – regardless of race, gender, or geography. The Kansas City, Mo.-based foundation uses its grantmaking, research, programs, and initiatives to support the start and growth of new businesses, a more prepared workforce, and stronger communities. For more information, visit www.kauffman.org and connect with www.twitter.com/kauffmanfdn and www.facebook.com/kauffmanfdn.