Innovation School Speakers


Your 2018 Team of Experts

Eric Koester, 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.

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.

Cristina Canavesi, LighTopTech Corp., USA
Dan Christensen, Toptica, USA
Thomas Schopphoven, Fraunhofer ILT, Germany
Wei Sun, Thorlabs, USA

Matthew Weed, Director of Technology Strategy, Luminar Technologies, USA

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.

Ekaterina Golovchenko, Vice President, Telecommunication Systems,  IPG Photonics, Inc. 
Lucian Hand, President, Altos Photonics, USA
Leslie Kimerling, CEO of Double Helix, USA
Claudio Mazzali, Vice President of Technology, Corning Inc., USA
Sujatha Ramanujan, Managing Director, Luminate, USA
Mark Tolbert, President, TOPTICA Photonics, Inc., USA
Linda Smith, President, Ceres Technology Advisors, USA

Pitch Panel Judges: A panel of industry experts, innovation leaders and investors will evaluate each presentation and determine the best innovation pitch.

Gary M. Cohen, Executive Director, RadTech—UV+EB Technology Association, Elizabeth Rogan, CEO, The Optical Society, Sam Rubin, General Manager, Thorlabs, Inc., Arlene Smith, Optical Program Manager, Avo Photonics, Inc.