Janusz Bryzek, PhD
November 16, 2022 — It is with great sadness that Exo, a medical imaging software and device company, today announces the death of its Co-Founder and Board Chairman, Janusz Bryzek, Ph.D. Janusz passed away in his home on the morning of November 10, 2022, surrounded by his loving wife and three children. Commonly referred to as the “Father of Sensors” and the “Trillion Sensor Man,” Janusz was a renowned pioneer in the development of micro-mechanical integrated systems (MEMS) technology and a driving force behind innovations that have profoundly reshaped how technology can be used to improve the lives of those around the world.
“Janusz’s passing leaves me without words,” shared Sandeep Akkaraju, CEO and Co-Founder of Exo. “My business partner for over 15 years, he was instrumental in setting the North Star for Exo’s vision; he was an embodiment of generosity, warmth, and kindness to everyone around him. He pushed us to deliver the very best in high-quality imaging for everyone, deeply influenced by a commitment to bring health equity to all.”
Janusz lived by a philosophy of abundance, achieving this through the exponential power of technological innovations. Abundance lowers cost and improves access. He felt that if even the most impoverished people are given affordable tools for amplifying their own lives, they can enact further change and improve the standard of living for all. Janusz believed true equity depends upon humans who are committed to enacting this exponential change.
During his lengthy career, Janusz co-founded 11 Silicon Valley MEMS companies impacting various technologies and industries and advised 40 startups and top-tier VC firms. He received multiple awards for his influence in technology, including “Entrepreneur of the Year” by Arthur Young, Lifetime Achievement Awards from Sensors Magazine and MANCEF, Outstanding Polish Business Executive by the Polish Embassy in the United States, and the Industry Impact Award for Engineering Excellence from Sensors Expo. Additionally, he published over 250 papers, wrote sections for four books, and organized and chaired many international conferences. He was the author of 30 U.S. patents and multiple patent applications and initiated several sensor standardization efforts.
But Janusz’s numerous accolades are even more impressive when viewed in the context of his humble beginnings. In the 1970s, he fled Poland, which, at the time, was controlled by the Soviet Union, where the war between authoritarianism and individual freedoms shaped his personal views. Arriving in the U.S. with a family of four and only $300 in his pocket, he began his career in the semiconductor industry. There, he helped launch an entire industry and built many successful companies—all while never forgetting his roots.
“There was no one like him,” shared Brian Bircumshaw, Exo’s Vice President of Transducer Technology and a close friend of Janusz. “He was a brilliant soul. The most down-to-earth person, you would never know of his larger-than-life impact on society unless someone else shared his background with you. He was constantly kind to those around him, always eager to share his time for teaching or fostering ideas. Our early success was largely due to Janusz’s global vision, his driven approach, and his generous energy.”
This generosity was the cornerstone of his success. “As with all his startups, Exo employees became his family,” added John Kokulis, Co-Founder and Former Chief Financial Officer of Exo. “His home became the birthplace of our company as Janusz and his wife, Barbara, warmly welcomed team members to their home to shape our strategy and launch the company. Their dining room was Exo’s first conference room, their bedrooms our hotel rooms, and the kitchen our cafeteria. His home became the breeding ground for Exo’s earliest iterations of its proprietary Piezoelectric Micromachined Ultrasonic Transducers (pMUT) technology. It was a magical time.”
Janusz’s widespread reputation, along with the other co-founders of Exo, gave the company its first traction with investors. Always looking for new ideas of how to transform vision into reality, Janusz was intent on building a company that would “lift all boats,” lowering the cost of healthcare around the world. He knew how to dream big.
Janusz often said to new Exo employees that making money for financial gain is one thing, but if they could help millions of people gain access to medical imaging, they would be fulfilled. At the core of Exo is this commitment to driving the world forward. Janusz embodied the spirit of what Exo stands for.
“Respected by all, Janusz had a deep knowledge and an immensely positive attitude,” shared Yusuf Haque, Co-Founder, Chief Technology Officer & Executive Vice President of Engineering at Exo. “After we founded Exo together in 2015, it quickly became clear that what we were doing would become a crown jewel, impacting the lives of millions. You will be missed, my friend.”
For more information: https://www.exo.inc/