Industry Engagement

Life at a Photonics Startup
Developing Hire Power

The success of a high-tech startup will depend very strongly on the strength of its team. This is a self-evident truth. It is true for all companies, of any size, but it is particularly true for smaller organizations that are in the early stages of …

Life at a Photonics Startup: Lessons Learned
SWOT Analysis — A Powerful Tool for Strategic Thinking

SWOT (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) analysis is a strategic planning technique that can provide an organization or a person with significant insight regarding favorable or unfavorable factors (both internal and external) that affect their business or project. It is a tried-and-true tool of strategic analysis that has been used by many types of organizations, such as commercial enterprises, nonprofit organizations, government entities and individuals, to help them evaluate their current strategic position and how to develop in a positive direction. SWOT analysis is also extremely helpful for startup companies as part of their business planning process. It will help define and communicate the business strategy, so that you start off on the right foot and the team knows the direction that it is heading.

Life at a Photonics Startup: Lessons Learned
Writing Successful Proposals: The Legacy of George H. Heilmeier

The ability to write meaningful and successful proposals is a
key skill for those enjoying the adventures of life at a photonics
startup—whether they take the shape of a business plan to be
presented to investors, a product development plan to be presented
to commercial customers or a technology research plan
to be presented to government customers, all proposals share
the same elements for success.

Life at a Photonics Startup: Lessons Learned
Manufacturing Integrated Photonics or – So You Want to Be an Entrepreneur? Part 2: Production Is Not Development

Part 2 of last month’s Industry Engagement. The repetition of production processes is typically driven by economics and the confidence of the development cycle, not the next novel feature or cool science. Most development engineers seek to change the product or service and implement new capability or new designs. Production engineers seek to satisfy the minimum requirements necessary to create the most product, at the highest yield, in the least time interval, while meeting quality specifications established by customer requirements or development engineering. Good manufacturing engineers have a sense of profit and loss and know that production velocity can keep inventory and work-in-process, (WIP), low for better financial results. Good development engineers understand the customer requirements and schedules established by marketing and business development along with a deep knowledge of the technology available to improve the function and cost of the product line.