Optotune – vom Start-up zum globalen Player

Optotune – from Start-Up to Global Player

A student at ETH Zürich develops an innovative lens. Now he is about to conquer the global markets.

Manuel Aschwanden had always dreamed of someday creating something big. Now 34, this native of Canton Uri studied electrical engineering at the ETH Zürich and after completing his doctorate in 2008 founded the company Optotune with David Niederer and Mark Ventura. As a start-up  in the field of adaptive optics they developed an electronically tunable lens. The focal length of the electrical lens is tuned by applying a control current, thus replacing a complex mechanism that consist of several hard lenses. Optotune quickly ventured abroad and today exports 97 percent of their product, mainly to the USA. Production takes place in Dietikon, where the company is based. It has 50 employees, two thirds of them Swiss. The production volume may soon reach the million-units-range. The Optotune lens appears predestined for cell phone cameras, but is already used in medical devices, industry systems and numerous other applications. Manuel Aschwanden's dream of building a successful global optical enterprise is about to come true.

More about the company at: www.optotune.com

Leading Education and Research Location

forschungWith grants, advice from industry experts, and the opportunity to occupy offices and lab space free of charge at the research institute Empa, ETH Zürich provided significant support toward the launch of Optotune. Today the technology company relies overwhelmingly (65%) on the know-how of its highly educated employees from Switzerland.



Free Enterprise


unternehmertumThanks to a business friendly environment in Switzerland, Optotune is free to concentrate research, development, production, and the marketing of its products, instead of wasting time on endless red tape. And if the company ever needs to bring highly skilled employees from abroad to its headquarters in Dietikon, it can do so with a minimum of bureaucracy thanks to the bilateral treaties.