↵‡ Present address: Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica e Aerospaziale, Politecnico di Torino, Corso Duca degli Abruzzi 24, 10129 Torino, Italy. ↵§ Present address: Smart Bio-Interfaces Italian Institute of Technology, Viale Rinaldo Piaggio 34, 56025 Pontedera (PI), Italy. The control of stem and progenitor cell fate is emerging as a compelling urgency for regenerative medicine. Here, we propose a innovative strategy to gain optical control of endothelial colony-forming cell fate, which represents the only known truly endothelial precursor showing robust in vitro proliferation and overwhelming vessel formation in vivo. We combine conjugated polymers, used as photo-actuators, with the advantages offered by optical stimulation over current electromechanical and chemical stimulation approaches. Light modulation provides unprecedented spatial and temporal resolution, permitting at the same time lower invasiveness and higher selectivity. We demonstrate that polymer-mediated optical excitation induces a robust enhancement of proliferation and lumen formation in vitro. We identify the underlying biophysical pathway as due to light-induced activation of TRPV1 channel. Altogether, our r...