Jan Mink: VTEC Lasers & Sensors CEO
Jan is persistent, independent and able to work with empathy in a multi-tasking, demanding environment. He has strategic and management skills to support the business in international and start-up companies. He also has the capability to spot opportunities and turn these into value.
Jan is a specialist in the field of semiconductor lasers covering design and testing to manufacturing and applications and an expert in both photonic chip and packaging technology. He has a rich experience in other technology fields like electronics, mechanics and physics in general.
Jan is very creative and has filed 11 patents. He has a broad and increasing network in the fiber optics industry on national and international platform and a very good relationship with the photonic scientific institutions in The Netherlands and Europe.
Jan Mink started to work on Phillips in 1977 as an engineer to develop passive components like resistors and capacitors. In 1979 he started to work with semiconductor lasers using scanning electron microscopy, to be able to see very tiny details of the diode laser layers.
At the beginning of the 80’s, when Apple II was coming out, Phillips distributed the new computer on some of their labs, and Jan used it to automate the scanning electron microscope for controlled motion and image registration using a remotely controlled NIKON camera.
In 1985 he graduated cum-laude from the University in Eindhoven (Physics) while working full time with Philips Electronics. After graduation he continued his career at Philips in a number of technical and management functions. He was responsible for the R&D department in the management team of Philips Optoelectronics.
Becoming a Problem Solver:
Jan became responsible to look very deep on all the technical problems that the organization had with optics. More than just being involved on technical aspects, he was responsible to analyze the reason for the organizational problems caused by lack of communication and passive behaviors.
In 1988 he became responsible for all the testing activities and quality control. Jan had to set up all the test equipment for lasers and photodiodes Philips was developing and producing. He also was the technical commercial person and had to make a lot of trips to the US to talk to the customers, hear what they wanted, explain what they were doing at Phillips and see if it could be matched. He went to a lot of conferences and exhibitions at that time.
In the 90s Phillips changed from a functional to a more business type organization, where you have production, development, sales, etc. Jan became responsible for the whole part of development on his group. He was a member of the management team, having direct contact with customers.
At that time he was also responsible for the packaging of the laser diodes, and had to work on a project that involved many Japanese companies. He visited Japan 15 times, and learned Japanese. It allowed him to experience all the cultural differences and needs.
In 1998 he moved to another division within Phillips, being the R&D responsible in the management team for TV in Consumer Electronics, comprising Flat TV’s, audio equipment, entertainment, etc.
His next challenge was the founding of Genoa BV in Eindhoven as co-founder and managing director, a subsidiary of the Californian start-up Genoa Corporation, focusing on Semiconductor Optical Amplifiers for Metro applications. He went to Silicon Valley where all the investors are and 75 million US$ was invested in the start-up. The investors were highly interested because the startup was able to build on the knowledge of similar devices that were made at Phillips. The Eindhoven subsidiary grew from 5 people to 21.
He re-joined Philips Electronics as group leader of the Sensors and Measurements group at Philips Centre for Fabrication Technologies. He helped to add laser technology to the computer mouse, and was able to help the team in many aspects. He was part of a measurement group getting related to all kinds of different sensors they needed.
In Phillips, these were Jan accomplishments: successfully developed technologies and products for analog, digital and WDM markets. Introduced several new technologies in the market like Strained Layer Quantum Wells, WDM lasers, packaging standards for analog lasers. Supported venturing process of the Philips Optoelectronic Centre to be acquired by JDS Uniphase with huge profit (around 500 Million €) for Philips from sale of shares.
In 2004 Jan co-founded 2M Engineering Ltd. Phillips initially gave permission to work there while also starting the business. Since then he helped start several start-ups active in developing Photonic and Sensor technologies and systems for application in Telecom, Industrial, Medical and Oil & Gas industry.
Jan sold his shares in 2011 to found a new company.
VTEC Lasers & Sensors
In VTEC Lasers & Sensors an extensive portfolio of technologies has been developed in the field of photonics, sensors and IOT. To commercialize these technologies new ventures have been founded, first one is ISENSIT. ISENSIT is co-founded with a specialist in branding, marketing and commercialization of big data business. The second company, Sinochip, is co-founded with a partner having a track record in sales and marketing of large volumes of optical telecom chips in China.
VTEC has very good and long term relations with educational institutes in Europe: in the Netherlands with all the Dutch Universities, Fontys en Hogeschool Zeeland, in France with the University of Strasbourg and in Belgium with the University of Leuven. More than 20 students from SMU have done their graduation internship at VTEC.
Jan likes to understand what the problem is and which limitations are met in standard solutions. He always finds a way to solve it using his knowledge and expertise and that of his team and partners. VTEC focuses on practical products, needed on the market. He likes to be involved in innovative projects that help people feel secure and comfortable and improve quality of life.
VTEC focuses on all product’s aspects: the user interface, the invented parts, mechanics, support. Jan is committed to think about the whole process to make the product useful. Every component needs to have a purpose. In order to support this broad approach, partners and suppliers in his extensive network and VTEC’s own production facility in Shanghai ensure independent and fast testing and prototyping in VTEC test facility in Eindhoven, leading to efficient product development and industrialization.
As you look on your daily life, on your home for example, you don’t see a lot of Innovation in terms of technology.
Most of the new technologies is incorporated in already existing devices which are becoming smarter but hardly add value. The products in the market miss the disruptiveness for products with real new functionality. With years of experience in listening to customers and translating their needs to groups of engineers, Jan and his team are able to use knowledge and technology to build these tailormade solutions focusing on improving the Quality of Life.
This also holds for the B2B market, innovations with a disruptive signature are seldom.
In summary, the possibilities to add functions to improve Quality of Live are unlimited.