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BL Photonics

One Line Pitch:  BL Photonics (BLP) has invented a cheaper and more efficient method of measuring and testing parameters associated with the wine industry.

Business Summary:  Wine making requires testing to determine how the wine is progressing.  Winemakers measure various elements of the wine’s characteristics.  These characteristics are known as “parameters”.  BLP’s technology uses a UV-VIS-NIR spectrophotometer which enables paramters to be tested in-house, without technical staff for less money and high accuracy. 

Management:  Marshall Ring, interim CEO.  CEO of a nationally recognized technology incubator.  Experienced technology executive and investor.

Dr. Eugene Gussakovsky, CTO.  40+ years’ experience in optical UV-VIS-NIR spectroscopy and imaging in biochemistry, biomedicine, agriculture in USSR, Israel, and Canada.

Phil Gussakovsky, COO.  Over 20 years of business experience as a business owner, president and CEO of number of companies in Israel and Canada. Phil has extensive experience in development of start-up companies.

Marc Caron, CIO.  Successfully founded and exited two IT companies. 

Customer Problem:  Wine needs to be tested throughout its evolution. Wineries spend ~$500 per hectare in testing. Present wine testing techniques are very expensive, not accurate and evoke high labor costs during testing. 

Product / Services:   BLP’s wine analyzer can test all current wine parameters with high accuracy, lower cost, and less time.  This test can also be done in the winery and does not require specialized space or skills.  

Market Value Propositions: 

  • Accuracy – Higher quality of wine with less spillage.
  • Cost Effective – Testing can be done for approximately $200 per hectare.
  • Time – Results in 5 minutes, as opposed to 30 minutes with current wine analyzers. BLP does not require a trained technician and is able to test multiple parameters with the same sample.

Target Market and size:  Wine makers/Vineyards.  Annually $5 billion is spent on wine testing.

Sales/Marketing Strategy:  Direct sale channel.

Business Model:  Razor-blade.  Primary device cost will be low margin, but profits will be realized through sales on the consumeables (cuvettes) required for each test. 

Competitors:  FOSS, Wine Scan, and HANNA

Competitive Advantage: 

  • Higher accuracy in parameter testing
  • Lower cost of test performance and analyzing results
  • Wine parameters which are unavailable on existing market devices
  • Smaller device size

Accomplishments:Prototype validated by Wine Maker of the Year 1999 and a beta customers secured.

Next Steps:Test device with betas, make product improvements, go to market.


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