"What does a business development person actually do? — Daily life at a Photonic Startup"

Dr. Daniel Renner, Vice President of Business Development, Freedom Photonics

June 3rd (Wednesday), 12:30pm
Elings Hall, Room 1601

photo of daniel renner
Photonic startup companies rely heavily on the uniqueness and quality of their technical know-how, of course. Startup business success though will also strongly depend on a range of skills and activities beyond technical prowess. Business aspects such as marketing, sales, team leadership, commercial opportunity development, proposal preparation, program management, quality control, budgeting, funding and financial planning among others, become crucially important.

This presentation will focus on dissecting these less well defined skills and activities required for startup business success. The presenter will attempt to do this through examples drawn from his own experience as a technical and business practitioner in large and small photonic companies over the past 38 years.

About Dr. Daniel Renner:

Dr. Daniel Renner grew up in a farm in the wilderness of Chilean Patagonia, looking after horses and pine trees. In his early twenties he decided to leave the Patagonian open spaces for the High Tech open fields and he went to the University of Cambridge in England to do a Ph.D. in Opto-Electronics. Now, 38 years later, Dr. Renner has lived through the whole range of experiences that relate to the development, manufacturing and commercialization of complex photonic devices and systems used in communication and sensor applications. His experience spans both the technical and the commercialization aspects of photonic products, having led activities in many areas, including technology and product development, identification of new business areas, introduction of new products, marketing and sales.

After receiving his Ph.D. degree, Daniel joined Standard Telecommunication Labs in England, where he was a member of the team that developed diode lasers for the first trans-Atlantic underwater fiber optic link (TAT-8). He then joined Rockwell International, Richardson, TX, where he led the team that developed photonic components for some of the first commercial long haul fiber optic systems. This was followed by many years as VP of Engineering at Ortel Corporation, Alhambra, CA, where he led development of the first commercial CATV fiber-optic transmitters and RF fiber-optic links for antenna remoting. At Ortel, Daniel fell in love with the business of making small companies grow. He followed his years at Ortel with key roles at Agility Communications, Santa Barbara, CA and Aerius Photonics, Ventura, CA. At both companies, Daniel led the development of new applications for existing products, the introduction of new products and the identification of new business areas. These new areas of activity drove significant revenue at these companies.

Dr. Renner is currently Vice-President for Business Development at Freedom Photonics, Santa Barbara, CA, where he is responsible for the identification of new business areas, definition of new products and the successful introduction of these products into the market. Additionally, he supports Technology Research, Product Development and Program Management with his expertise in the areas of fiber-optic sensors and communications.

Hosted by: IEEE Photonics Society student chapter at UCSB