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Experiences Starting and Growing Optics Companies

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  • Visitor Seminars
When Oct 17, 2013
from 02:00 PM to 03:00 PM
Where Engr. IV Bldg., Maxwell Room 57-124
Contact Name
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James C. Wyant
College of Optical Sciences
University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ

This talk will describe some experiences gained in starting and growing two optical companies, WYKO Corporation (1984-1997) and 4D Technology (2002-present). Both companies designed, manufactured, and sold computerized interferometric systems for the measurement of surface shape and surface roughness.  Founding, growing, and cashing out of WYKO was an unbelievable experience that was more fun than I ever dreamed anything could be.  It was so much fun I felt I had to do it again.  Both the fun parts and the not so fun parts for both WYKO and 4D will be discussed.  The biggest surprises experienced and what I think are the most important factors in growing a successful high-tech company will be described.

James C. Wyant is professor emeritus at the College of Optical Sciences at the University of Arizona, where he was Director (1999-2005) and Dean (2005-2012).  He received a B.S. in physics from Case Western Reserve University and M.S. and Ph.D. in optics from the University of Rochester. He was a founder of the WYKO Corporation and served as its president and board chairman from 1984 to 1997 and he was a founder of the 4D Technology Corporation and currently serves as its board chairman. Wyant is a member of the National Academy of Engineering, a Fellow of OSA (Optical Society of America), SPIE (International Society of Optics and Photonics), and the Optical Society of India, an honorary member of the Optical Society of Korea, and former editor-in-chief of the OSA journal Applied Optics.  He was the 2010 president of OSA and the 1986 president of SPIE.

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