Scott Ackerson

“An entrepreneur is someone building a bridge while simultaneously running across it. EMTM helps entrepreneurs run across their bridge at full speed. I’m a big advocate of the program.”


Scott Ackerson, EMTM’07
Vice President
Dimensional Photon-X, Inc.
Huntsville, AL

Scott Ackerson, EMTM’07

Scott began his career in the military with a degree from the Naval Academy followed by a five-year tour of duty in the U.S. submarine force. After a brief period working in nuclear energy, he left a corporate job to form a business in the 3D imaging space called SpatialMetriX Corporation. SMX was the first of several similarly focused ventures that Scott built and sold over the past two decades with the help of many friends and colleagues. Scott enrolled in EMTM to take what he refers to as a “working sabbatical” to polish business skills and expand his knowledge of emerging technologies that might impact the 3D industry over the next five years. “I wanted to find a great business opportunity driven by strong customer demand and enabled by an advanced 3D imaging technology. I believe that I found such an opportunity while studying in the EMTM program, and I’m now working with the brilliant founder/inventor of Photon-X to launch the world’s first family of 3D cameras.”

Why EMTM?

Scott completed a year of study in Wharton’s MBA program early in his career, so he was well aware of the School’s high standard of quality. When it came time to choose among graduate schools, Penn was a familiar setting and EMTM seemed like a natural fit for his interests. Scott liked the part-time structure of the program, which allowed him to continue working. He also felt that the program was particularly relevant for people at the mid-point of their careers. “I found the professors and administrators in the EMTM program to be of a very high caliber and quite willing to support a customized course of study.”

Career Impact

At EMTM, Scott discovered that the classroom dynamic between students in different career positions and industry areas was both enlightening and informative. He continues to stay in touch with students and faculty members for ongoing discussion and exchange.

In his classes, Scott was able to focus on specific technology areas that apply to his businesses. He explored optical metrology through independent study and delved into a particular area of artificial intelligence in another elective. The ability to tailor coursework kept the program relevant to his interests.

At the same time, EMTM’s business curriculum has given him a vocabulary and a set of conceptual models for handling disciplines such as finance, marketing and strategic planning. “One’s ability to make decisions confidently and to act quickly is enhanced when you can reference both work experience and an academic framework. The combination helps avoid ‘below-the-waterline’ mistakes that can sink the ship.”

Scott found classes in the Innovation and Entrepreneurship track, such as Strategic Management of Innovation and Technology Entrepreneurship, to be especially helpful for managing intellectual property, developing business plans and fundraising. “An entrepreneur is someone building a bridge while simultaneously running across it. EMTM helps entrepreneurs run across their bridge at full speed. I’m a big advocate of the program.”