Speakers

Innovation School Speakers

 

Your 2020 Team of Experts

Facilitator

Eric Koester

Georgetown University, USA

Facilitator

The Innovation School will be facilitated by Eric Koester, serial entrepreneur and “entrepreneur-in-residence” at Georgetown University, USA. Eric will lead attendees through a series of lectures focused on the lean canvas business model, key tools for innovation exploration, customer discovery, experimentation with minimum viable products (MVP’s) and prototypes, and applying the methodologies of innovation as an entrepreneur or intrapreneur.

The Innovation School will be facilitated by Eric Koester, serial entrepreneur and “entrepreneur-in-residence” at Georgetown University, USA. Eric will lead attendees through a series of lectures...

About the Speaker

He has spent much of his career building companies, working with entrepreneurs and writing and teaching around topics of customer discovery, lean, entrepreneurship and innovation. Eric is currently the founder of Main Street Genome, a new technology startup developing tools for the small business economy. Previously, Eric was a co-founder of Zaarly, a marketplace to locate local small businesses and service providers, named by Fast Company as one of the Fifty Most Innovative Companies in the World. He was also an executive at Appature Inc., a cloud-based relationship marketing software company acquired by IMS in 2013; a founder of Learn that Name, acquired by Blackberry in 2010; and a founder/manager of other companies in the environmental consultancy and web development sectors. Eric was recently named one of Washington DC’s “40 under 40” and has written several books on startups and technology, including The Green Entrepreneur Handbook (CRC Press 2011) and Starting a High Tech Business Venture (Taylor & Francis 2010). Eric also devotes considerable time to building the startup community, including as a board member of UP Global and Startup Weekend and the DC co-chair of Enstitute. Eric began his entrepreneurial career as a corporate securities attorney at Cooley LLP, focusing on high-growth startups, venture funds, private equity and technology companies.

He has spent much of his career building companies, working with entrepreneurs and writing and teaching around topics of customer discovery, lean, entrepreneurship and innovation. Eric is currently...

Keynote Presentation and Guest Mentors

Top industry leaders will support the program by offering lectures on their experiences as innovators and entrepreneurs. Additionally, they will be on-hand to help hone concepts, validate assumptions, question conclusions and guide you toward a successful pitch.

Peter de Groot

Executive Director of R&D, Zygo Corporation, USA

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

Peter is a physics PhD specializing in interferometry for displacement measurement, 3D form measurement, and surface texture analysis. He is the Executive Director of R&D at Zygo Corporation, where he heads the Zygo Innovations Group, tasked with solving challenging problems in optical metrology using creativity and a focus on customer needs. Peter is passionate about the invention process, holds 135 US patents for optical instruments and methods, and has extensive experience in the commercialization of new ideas. He is equally passionate about engagement in education and the optical community, as an honorary professor and adjunct professor, a professional short course instructor, and as a supporter, Fellow and contributor to professional societies such as the OSA

Peter is a physics PhD specializing in interferometry for displacement measurement, 3D form measurement, and surface texture analysis. He is the Executive Director of R&D at Zygo Corporation, where...

Ruth Houbertz

CEO & Managing Director, Multiphoton Optics GmbH, Germany

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

Cofounder of Multiphoton Optics GmbH, founded in September 2013. Current function as CEO from August 2014. From 2013 to July 2014, she was CTO of MPO. From 2000 to 2012, she held different technical and management positions at Fraunhofer ISC, where she focussed on materials, processes, and technology/equipment development for photonic and biomedical applications. From 1999 to 2000, she worked at Sandia Nat.’l Labs, Livermore, CA (USA). She invented more than 90 patents and has received many awards and nominations, amongst which are the Finalist in the Prism Award 2015, the Cowin Award for Entrepreneurship 2014, the Green Photonics Award 2013, the Joseph von Fraunhofer Award 2007

Cofounder of Multiphoton Optics GmbH, founded in September 2013. Current function as CEO from August 2014. From 2013 to July 2014, she was CTO of MPO. From 2000 to 2012, she held different...

Mary Lou Jepsen

Founder & CEO, Openwater, USA

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

Mary Lou Jepsen creates bold visions of the future. She invents novel hardware/software systems on the hairy edge of what the physics will do, builds the team and product, and delivers this to mass production. She is acclaimed for her work at Google [x], Facebook, Oculus, and One Laptop per Child in consumer electronics, computers, TV, VR, wearables, healthcare and software. Her startup CEO experience includes the world’s only fabless display screen company which was based in Taipei. She was also a professor at MIT and RMIT. She holds a PhD in Optical Physics (Photonics) and an Sc.B in Electrical Engineering both from Brown University as well as an Sc.M. in Computational Holography from the MIT Media Lab. She is an inventor of over 200 published or issued patents.

Mary Lou Jepsen creates bold visions of the future. She invents novel hardware/software systems on the hairy edge of what the physics will do, builds the team and product, and delivers this to mass...

Zak Niazi

Founder, Circle Optics, USA

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

Zak Niazi has designed optical innovations for various institutions such as the worlds thinnest scanning fiber endoscope for Harvard Medical School and a system to assess aberration in protective eyewear for the University of New South Wales and International Standards Organization.Creators of the world's first truly, stitchless 360-degree camera, Circle Optics camera is the first in the world to solve the issue of parallax: a defect which causes image misalignments in stitched panoramas.

Zak Niazi has designed optical innovations for various institutions such as the worlds thinnest scanning fiber endoscope for Harvard Medical School and a system to assess aberration in protective...

Katharine Schmidtke

Director, Sourcing, Facebook, USA

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

Katharine has a Ph.D. in laser physics and non-linear optics from Southampton University, UK. Her scientific research brought her to California over 25 years ago as a visiting scholar at Stanford University on a stipend sponsored by NATO. Since then she has held a full spectrum of positions in industry ranging from research to business development. She is currently responsible for Infrastructure Technology Strategy, in the Sourcing Operations and Engineering team at Facebook.

Katharine has a Ph.D. in laser physics and non-linear optics from Southampton University, UK. Her scientific research brought her to California over 25 years ago as a visiting scholar at Stanford...

Mentors

Throughout the program, you will have access to mentors serving as guides as you explore an innovation/product, validate the concept with potential customers, develop and refine a pitch and begin thinking about next steps in terms of actual market value/impact.

Barbara Buades

Co-Founder & CEO, MeetOptics, Spain

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

Entrepreneurial Ph.D. in Photonics with a background in Physics willing to implement my creativity, problem-solving skills and passion for innovation into a day to day sharing of ideas and promoting new challenges into real business plans, with precision and reliability, to have a positive impact into the real world.

Entrepreneurial Ph.D. in Photonics with a background in Physics willing to implement my creativity, problem-solving skills and passion for innovation into a day to day sharing of ideas and...

Elisa Hurwitz

CEO & Founder, Currently, LLC, USA

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

Elisa Hurwitz enjoys developing technical solutions to problems in a variety of areas, including electrical engineering, material science, and electromagnetic theory. She recently founded Currently, LLC to commercialize a compact, real-time current sensor which will enable more efficient, compact, high frequency power conversion and current monitoring. The knowledge she acquired in the OSA Innovation School 2019 helped Currently, LLC gain admittance into the T3 Accelerator to explore Air Force and commercial applications for her current sensor. She earned her PhD by extending Maxwell’s equations to find exact solutions that enable the design of directionally invisible objects. These algorithms may be used to design a new class of optically switchable perfectly transparent optical devices

Elisa Hurwitz enjoys developing technical solutions to problems in a variety of areas, including electrical engineering, material science, and electromagnetic theory. She recently founded...

David Vega

University of Arizona, USA

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

David is a Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona James Wyant Optical Sciences College. He is the funder and part of the leadership group of the Optical Design Group that provides optical design services to researchers. David is also an NSF scholar and has been awarded several grants for his work. Before his current role at the University of Arizona, David was the founder and owner of PCServices in California. This company serviced custom information and communication systems for several industries and residential customers. David is currently designing highly capable endoscopes for cancer detection with multiple optical capabilities

David is a Ph.D. student at the University of Arizona James Wyant Optical Sciences College. He is the funder and part of the leadership group of the Optical Design Group that provides optical...

Mina Esmaeelpour

Missouri University of Science and Technology, USA

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

Mina is an assistant professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and an attendee of the 2017 innovation school. She enjoys finding interdisciplinary solutions to complicated problems using optics and photonics. Her team's project, which won first place at the 2017 innovation school, inspired her to seek biomedical applications for her fiber optics background. She is currently building her laboratory around such research and works to provide clinical solutions to some of the existing challenges in instrumentation.

Mina is an assistant professor at the Missouri University of Science and Technology and an attendee of the 2017 innovation school. She enjoys finding interdisciplinary solutions to complicated...

Stefaan Vandendriessche

Edmund Optics, USA

Mentor

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

Stefaan Vandendriessche is the Director of the Laser Optics Business Line at Edmund Optics. He works to develop the laser optics product offering and specify the right laser optical technologies at Edmund Optics to ensure that the products available meet the needs of our customers and advancing applications within the industry. He received his PhD in Nonlinear and Magneto Optics, MS in Chemistry, and BS in Biochemistry all from the University of Leuven located in Leuven, Belgium

Stefaan Vandendriessche is the Director of the Laser Optics Business Line at Edmund Optics. He works to develop the laser optics product offering and specify the right laser optical technologies at...

Sanjay Khatri

University of Virginia, USA

Abstract available soon.

About the Speaker

Sanjay is completing his last year as a physics PhD student at the University of Virginia (UVa). His research focuses on controlling rotational motion of gas molecules using ultrafast laser pulses. While OSA chapter president at UVa, he attended the first Innovation School in 2017 and has incorporated these teachings into his academic and professional work. He is interested in applying his optics/photonics background toward developing systems for diagnosing and treating diseases. He actively searches for opportunities to apply his skills toward interesting problems.

Sanjay is completing his last year as a physics PhD student at the University of Virginia (UVa). His research focuses on controlling rotational motion of gas molecules using ultrafast laser pulses....

Judges

Sean Bagshaw, COO/CTO The Optical Society

Nolan Bushnell, Founder of Atari & Chuck E. Cheese

Peter de Groot, Director of R & D, Zygo Corporation 

Anjul Loiacono, Head of Corporate Development, Thorlabs

Liz Rogan, CEO, The Optical Society

Linda Smith, President, Ceres Technology Advisors, Inc.