IEEE Photonics Society

Boston Photonics Society Chapter

Boston Chapter of the IEEE Photonics Society


May 8, 2014
6:30 PM

MIT Lincoln Laboratory

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Startup Stories: Personal Observations and Other Comments

Mr. Eric Swanson, Acacia Communications Inc., Maynard, MA


Mr. Eric Swanson, Acacia Communications Inc., Maynard, MA

Abstract:  The first part of this talk will be a simple introductory overview of generic entrepreneurship related issues for first time entrepreneurs and the second part of the talk will be focused on lessons learned from involvement in several biomedical optics and optical communications startups.


Biography:  Eric Swanson is a director, consultant, advisor and active participant in a variety of industrial, academic, entrepreneurial, government, and non-profit initiatives.  Mr. Swanson serves as a director for Acacia Communications, Curata Incorporated, and NinePoint Medical and as a research affiliate at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, consultant at Draper Laboratory, affiliate of the MIT Deshpande Center for Entrepreneurship, and is editor of  

Mr. Swanson was a co-founder or founding board member of five start-up companies: Advanced Ophthalmic Devices (acquired by Zeiss Meditech), Lightlab Imaging (acquired by St. Jude Medical), Sycamore Networks (Nasdaq IPO), Acacia Communication (private), and Curata Incorporated (private).  Mr. Swanson was involved in research and development at MIT Lincoln Laboratory for 16 years where he served in various technical and managerial roles working on optical networks, inter-satellite laser communication systems, and optical coherence tomography.  

Swanson has authored ~200 technical papers and conference presentations. In addition, he holds ~35 US patents and numerous foreign patents.  He is a Fellow of the OSA and senior member of the IEEE.  In 1992 he was a co-recipient of the Rank Prize in Opto-Electronics for pioneering work in the field of optical coherence tomography.  In 2012 he was a co-recipient of the $1.3M Champalimaud Award also for pioneering work in the field of optical coherence tomography. Mr. Swanson holds a B.S. summa cum laude in Electrical Engineering from the University of Massachusetts at Amherst and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.


Location:  MIT Lincoln Laboratory