Applied Industrial Optics

26 July 2021 – 30 July 2021
Optica Virtual Event - Eastern Daylight/Summer Time (UTC - 04:00)

Panel: From Angels to Acquisition: Sowing the Seeds of Investment

Monday, 26 July 12:30 – 13:30


This panel will discuss investment options, as well as details on merger and acquisition processes, relevant to small optics-focused businesses.  The panelists will dive deep into the pros and cons of pushing beyond organic/boot-strapped growth, expansion and exit options.  Please join us for an exciting discussion with experts Anjul Loiacono, Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Double Helix Optics, Linda Smith, President of Ceres Technology Advisors, and Alex Fang, Managing Partner of Entrada Ventures.


Alex Fang, Entrada Ventures, USA

Anjul Loiacono, Double Helix Optics, USA

Linda Smith, Ceres Technology Advisors, USA


Alex Fang, Entrada Ventures, USA

Alex is an entrepreneur with a track record of building teams that take ideas from the research laboratory through commercialization. He is a co–founder and Managing Partner of Entrada Ventures, an early stage VC firm on the California central coast. Alex was a co-founder, the CEO, and Board Director of Aurrion from 2008 – 2016 which was a fabless semiconductor company that developed photonic integrated circuits for use in data center networking applications. The business was acquired by Juniper Networks. Alex worked for IBM, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, and Intel Prior to founding Aurrion. Alex has authored/coauthored over 80 papers in the field, co-authored 3 book chapters and has filed/been granted 18 patents. Dr. Fang earned his B.S. Electrical Engineering with minors in Math and Physics from San Jose State University (03) and M.S & Ph.D. from the University of California, Santa Barbara (05, 08). He is an alumnus of the Harvard Business School (HBS) Owner/President Management Program (OPM) and is a member of the Young Presidents Organization (YPO). 

Anjul Loiacono, Double Helix Optics, USA

Dr. Anjul Loiacono is the Senior Director of Sales and Marketing at Double Helix Optics (DHO). In her current role, Anjul is responsible for driving sales and awareness of DHO’s Light Engineering technology. She joined Double Helix Optics in the Fall of 2020. Prior to joining DHO, Anjul spent 12 years at Thorlabs where she held leading roles in Product Management, Strategic Marketing, and Corporate Development. During her time at Thorlabs, she oversaw the development and release of their OCT product line, led tradeshows, social media, and technical support, developed corporate strategies, managed strategic partnerships, and completed several acquisitions around the world. Anjul has a BE from Vanderbilt University, MS from University of Rochester, and Ph.D. from Duke University, all in the field of Biomedical Engineering with a concentration in Biomedical Optics. She is passionate about creating connections that will strengthen photonics technologies and the community, over-all. Currently she serves on the OSA OIDA Council and has participated as a judge and coach for several business Start Up competitions.

Linda Smith, Ceres Technology Advisors, USA

As President of Ceres Technology Advisors, Linda Smith provides merger and acquisition advisory services to photonics companies. She is well-known for her role in identifying opportunities in optics and laser markets. She held founding and leadership roles at early stage, venture capital financed companies commercializing photonics technologies, as well as marketing and sales management positions at Thermo Electron/Spectra Physics and LINOS Photonics/Qioptiq. She is an Accredited Senior Appraiser (ASA) in business valuation and passed FINRA Series 79 Registered Investment Banking Representative exam. Linda Smith holds a BS in Optics and Mathematics from the University of Rochester and MBA from Babson College. 


Professional Development Event: Resilience- Career Growth and Insights

Tuesday, 27 July 12:30 – 13:30

Description: You were uniquely made for such a time as this. Sometimes we get lost in the throws of life- work, family, school, children, deadlines, deliverables, milestones, pregnancies, death, life. And while “life” is happening, we somehow believe we are “in-control”. In an instant, this sense of control can be shaken to its core by a death, tragedy, job loss or other life “shift”. March 2020 marked a shift in the way we lived and did business. While countries gave it various names- Shelter-inplace, Lockdown, Quarantine - the world saw a change in the way we lived our daily lives. People went from going to work every day to work-at-home, or in many cases, job shifts, furloughs or job loss. There are many items that are important in times like these – health and wellness (in all aspects of your being), safety, security, shelter, clothing, nourishment (to name a few). It can certainly feel like the carpet has been ripped from under you when circumstances change. Whether you are feeling the impact of COVID-19, a change at work or home, or you are getting ready to make a change, this workshop is designed to help you understand that you were made for such a time as this.

This session will provide you with frameworks to use as you continue in your current role, and/or transition to your next opportunity and/or move to the next phase in your life. Each person’s transition is different, and we will provide you with tools to assist you in this moment in time, as well as reference material to assist you during your transition. Ultimately, you will walk away understanding that there is a purpose behind your path, and guidelines as to how to maximize it.

Speaker Information: Karen I. Matthews, Purpose-Driven Consulting (PDC), USA

Karen Matthews, a native of Baltimore, MD, began her academic career at the US Naval Academy, received a BS in Electrical Engineering from Morgan State University and a MEng and PhD in Electrical Engineering and an MBA, all from Cornell University. Karen is the Founder & CEO of Purpose-Driven Consulting (PDC). Prior to PDC, she held senior positions in Corning Incorporated’s Science & Technology Division in opto-electronic packaging as a research and then senior research scientist, most recently working in early innovation stage markets and technologies for the optical communications sector to identify and help implement new growth opportunities in both wired (fiber, cable and connectivity) and wireless. Her focus on moving concepts through to commercialization remains, with a current emphasis on Agile Technology Transfer, Digital Transformation, 5G, the Internet of Things and Industry 4.0 Innovation. Dr. Matthews has authored numerous publications and patents and is a member of several technical and professional organizations. She has served as an Executive Board member of Georgia Tech’s Center for the Development and Application of Internet of Things Technologies (CDAIT) – sitting on the Research Work Group and leading the Thought Leadership Work Group therein. Most recently, she has been invited as keynote speaker, moderator, panelist and open forum discussion leader at various 5G, Internet of Things and smart manufacturing conferences. She has Chaired the OFC 2020 N5 Market Watch, developing the programming for Market Watch, Network Operators Summit and Data Center Summit, and continues as an active subcommittee member for 2021, as well as co-chair of the 2021 IEEE World Forum track on Communications and Networking. She is an Executive Board member of The Upskill Foundation, a non-profit focusing on upskilling underrepresented groups in data science and an Executive Advisory Board member of the Transform Insights User Group, an engaged and informed community, focused on connecting business leaders who have experience in spearheading digital transformation strategies, innovation through technology and enterprise change management.


Town Hall with Tom: Post-pandemic Update—The Applied Industrial Optics Market and Opportunities

Thursday, 29 July 12:15 – 13:15

Description: This session will review how the market for applied industrial optics at this point in the pandemic, looking at where we’ve come, where we’re at, and what to expect going forward. It will also examine some upcoming hot topics and opportunities in industrial optics and photonics. The emphasis of this session will be on the update and a discussion with attendees about what excites them (and what may concern them) about the market opportunities in this field.

Speaker: Tom Hausken, Optica, USA

With over 40 years in optoelectronics, Tom Hausken focuses on industry content at Optica—as Senior Industry Advisor. For 13 years until 2012, Dr. Hausken led market research and strategy consulting for lasers, image sensors, and a range of other photonic products at Strategies Unlimited. He was also a telecom policy analyst at the U.S. Congressional Office of Technology Assessment, and held R&D and production positions at Alcatel and Texas Instruments in photonics and electronics. He has a PhD from the University of California at Santa Barbara, in optoelectronics.