Exactly a year ago, SAFTRA photonics has been awarded the FutureNow Startup Awards 2017, the most prestigious Slovak early entrepreneur prize. It has been a great achievement and boost for the company potential. In the period prior to the final event, we experienced the boot camp – a weekend-long gathering of start-ups, mentors and investors. It brought new views on the business potential of our solution and opened unexpected directions of the business plan. Also, the experience of 3-minute pitching was first of its kind for us. The real scientists are not used to explain 25 years of technology development in just one slide ? The final event and months that followed were very special for us. Intense preparation and great solution were showcased on stage and the jury consisting of senior investors has fully accepted it! The interest raised by the awards was a test of our media preparedness and investment strategies. Now, we are about to sign a significant investment and still occupy the media attention. Moreover, thanks to sponsors and donations related to the main prize, we were able to address a new market in the USA – special thanks to Slovak-American Foundation for their $35 000 contribution and to SOVVA for their 10 000 EUR contribution used to support our product development efforts.