Valentin Gapontsev net worth: Valentin Gapontsev's net worth is $1.1 billion which makes him one of the richest people in Massachusetts. Valentin Gapontsev graduated from Lviv Polytechnic National University and studied physics at the Soviet Academy of Science's Institute of Radio Engineering and Electronics. He founded IPG Photonics in Russia when he was in his early 50s. One of the most prolific and successful innovators in the field of fiber lasers, Mr. Gapontsev has received numerous awards and honors, including an Engineering Excellence Award from the Optical Society of America in 1999, an Ernst & Young New England Entrepreneur of the Year Award in 2006, and the Russian Federation National Award in Science and Technology in 2010. IPG Photonics manufactures fiber lasers and amplifiers, which are used in everything from medicine to telecommunications. The company moved from Russia to Germany, and is now based in Massachusetts. Its products are manufactured in multiple countries, including the US, Russia, Germany, and Italy.