Nicoletta Casanova

Nicoletta Casanova - 2016-17 SPIE Women in Optics Planner

CEO, President, and Co-Founder, FEMTOprint SA, Switzerland

Nicoletta Casanova

Country of Birth: Switzerland
Country of Residence: Switzerland
Educational Background: Civil Engineering Degree, Swiss Federal
Institute of Technology in Zurich (ETHZ), Switzerland

Website: FEMTOprint
Nicoletta Casanova

I’ve always been a really lazy person, and I loved STEM more than other subjects. In STEM, you don’t need to “learn by heart”; you only have to understand and apply the formulas. It’s an environment where you play with knowledge and try new methods, you constantly innovate, you share your findings with people, and every day is different from the others. I’m currently CEO and President of FEMTOprint SA, a company active in 3D printing for the production of complex 3D micro devices out of glass using a femtosecond laser technology. It is the second startup I founded in my career.

As CEO of a high-tech startup, I have to deal with a broad range of technical and non-technical matters and people, at all levels, and this is absolutely enriching.

The biggest obstacle in my life is in general myself. Flying with a glider is for me a way of getting back to the balance and react. Indeed, every step is crucial, needs my concentration and forces me to overcome some fears: from the careful preparation of the flight, to the quick decisions that I need to take during the entire flight, to the emotions that I have to manage in all conditions, and even to accept the possibility of an unplanned off-field landing.

I don’t like predigested paths, and I always try to create things differently. Everyone has a personality, owns his/her experience, and nobody can really advise what are the best choices to make. Just one thing is important to know: failing is only one of the possible options for those who try. And even failing is never an issue, but more of an opportunity.

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