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The Innovation School

05 April 2021 – 09 April 2021 OSA Virtual Event - Eastern Daylight Time (UTC - 04:00)

Become an Innovator!

The school's focus is on acclimating those with an intrapreneurial/entrepreneurial drive to the language, culture and methodology of business. Teams work on launching a business or product using the lean canvas model, while exploring product/business concepts from a customer vantage point.

In 5 days, you will learn about the key methodologies for discovering, developing and launching innovative solutions and products.

  • Identify high potential ideas
  • Validate Key Tactics
  • Innovation Experimentation
  • Develop pitches for new solutions
  • Design thinking
  • Leadership
  • Collaboration and teamwork

Team of Experts


Eric Koester, Georgetown University

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.

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.

  • Aleksandra Boskovic, Optics, Surfaces and Integration Technologies Director, Corning Incorporated
  • Caroline Connolly, CEO, OptoTest
  • Julie Eng, Senior Vice President, Optoelectronics and RF Devices BU, II-VI Incorporated
  • Jeff Ferner, Innovation Director, Corning Incorporated
  • Debbie Gustafson, CEO, Energetiq Technology, Inc.
  • Jack Jewell, Entrepreneur, Green VCSEL
  • Frank Lerch, Managing Director, OpTecBB
  • Jelena Pesic, Systems Integration Specialist, Nokia
  • Darius Sankey, Managing Director, Innovation Acceleration Capital
  • Gabrielle Thomas, Innovation Ambassador, M Squared
  • Robert Woodward, Researcher, Toshiba Research Europe Limited

Throughout the program, you will have access to mentors who will help guide you 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.

  • Anthony M. Crum, Global Product Line Manager, OFC, Ribbon Cable, Corning Inc.
  • Kimberly Reichel, Lidar Scientist 3DEO, Inc.
  • Mengjie Yu, Postdoctoral Fellow at Applied Physics Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied Sciences
  • Sarah Lukes, CEO, Founder at Agile Focus Designs
  • Hari Tagat, Business Development, Optics @ Fabrinet
  • Marcelo Saito Nogueira, Tyndall National Institute
  • Elizabeth Nolan, Deputy Executive Director & Chief Publishing Officer, The Optical Society
  • Jack Jewell, Independent Researcher, Green VCSEL
  • Liz Rogan, CEO, The Optical Society
  • Claudio Mazzali, SVP Technology, Corning Optical Communications
  • Additional Judgets to be Announced


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