OPT Industries – Head of R&D

client success story

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  • Founded 2019
  • Niche: Polymers
  • Estimated 2+ Million in Revenue
  • 40+ Employees
  • Headquartered in Medford, MA

OPT Industries is a rapidly growing, venture-backed MIT spinoff company that focuses on building the next generation of additive manufacturing technology for material innovation. Working at the intersection of automation engineering, computational design and polymer science, they design and commercially manufacture highly customizable materials and products — everything from medical devices to luxury fashion. Their cross-disciplinary design teams help our clients develop novel product concepts and successfully bring them to commercialization. OPT’s most recent products include: InstaSwab™, a high-performance nasal swab designed in record time and trusted by leading healthcare providers; Lumofil™, a mascara applicator customized for distinct lash profiles; and PolyBrush™, a replaceable brush mat to line vibratory conveying surfaces.


OPT Industries sought a Head of R&D with a proven track record of success innovating and leading highly entrepreneurial teams in a startup environment. The perfect fit would have a deep track record in engineering, product development, and product commercialization, with critical analysis to identify innovation opportunities and direct technology development with cross-functional teams to drive results. This role required 15+ years in the Polymer industry and organizational success in leading a team of Ph.D. chemists, chemical engineers, and material scientists.

Ropella leveraged its ideal leadership hiring model, the SMART Search System, to identify candidates with the right cultural transformation leadership abilities who could expand operations and meet increasing customer demands for OPT’s Head of R&D position. In just three months, Ropella had helped OPT Industries narrow the pool down to a single finalist candidate and successfully guided that individual through a final board interview, resulting in an accepted offer.


Custom-created for OPT Industries, the Opportunity Marketing Piece attracted passive (employed and not looking) candidates from a select group of highly targeted companies. The Opportunity Marketing Piece enabled Ropella’s Executive Search Consultants to present a world-class overview of OPT Industries, the new Head of R&D’s unique challenges, and the incredible opportunity to work in a fast-moving, open, and transparent environment focused on excellence.


This custom-created Skill Survey equipped Ropella’s Executive Search Consultants to effectively gather information from a large pool of candidates. This step was critical to identify and select the most qualified A-players for final submission.


Ropella thoughtfully scored all candidates during the screening and interview process using a custom-created Scorecard. These scores determined each candidate’s skills and experience, cultural dynamic, management style, compensation, relocation fit, and other attributes.


Ropella’s proprietary Compensation Comparison Calculator compiles a variety of complex compensation factors into a concise Offer Strategy Summary, thereby ensuring that clients don’t lose the perfect candidate to ineffective “negotiations” and/or a current employer counteroffer or other “competing” offers.


Results Delivered

Ropella identified and engaged with 290 prospects on behalf of OPT Industries. From there, Ropella submitted 30 candidates, 19 of whom were interviewed.

7 Business Days
To Qualified Candidates
98 Business Days
Speed to Placement

With multiple A-player candidates interviewed through an in-depth interview and assessment process, the top five candidates were identified. Ultimately, OPT Industries utilized Ropella’s Compensation Comparison Calculator and supporting Offer Strategy Summary to creatively bridge a gap and secure their ideal leadership candidate. This role will be working with the CEO directly to build and execute business strategies and R&D for OPT’s material products as they continue to expand their operation.

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