SFU Alumni emerge as winners in BCTIA Technology Impact Awards

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Simon Fraser University alumni were among those whose companies made it to the winners’ list at the 2015 BCTIA Technology Impact Awards June 4—among them, an alumnus whose company, Optigo Networks, was recognized as a Most Promising Startup.

Byron Thom, company co-founder and general counsel, is a graduate of SFU’s Faculty of Applies Sciences (FAS). He completed a B.A.Sc. in engineering science in 2005 and later earned a law degree from the University of Ottawa (2009). His company is also a member of the SFU Venture Labs business incubator.

Optigo provides a secure networking platform that buildings of any size can use to deploy Internet of Things technologies without fear of cyber attacks.

“Optigo Networks is very excited to be recognized by the B.C. tech community,” says Thom. “This award is a great opportunity for Optigo Networks to reach a larger audience to educate on the vulnerabilities of intelligent buildings.

“Optigo Networks plans on continuing to develop and drive adoption of our networking platform and anomaly-detection engine. It’s our hope that Optigo can leverage the attention that our award has generated to build a great company here in B.C., from our launching pad at VentureLabs.”

VentureLabs is a world-class business accelerator program delivered by SFU, the University of Victoria, BCIT, Emily Carr University of Art+Design, in partnership with NCR-IRAP and the BC Innovation Council.

Other winners with ties to SFU include alumnus Greg Malpass, CEO and founder of Traction on Demand, which received the Adoption of Technology award. Meanwhile Cooledge Lighting Inc. took the Emerging Company of the Year prize. Edwin Fok, who holds an MBA from SFU, is chief financial officer at Cooledge.

Sierra Wireless was named Company of the Year. A wireless industry leader, Sierra has partnered with SFU’s School of Engineering Science in the Faculty of Applied Sciences to promote excellence in the area of wireless communications. The Sierra Wireless Mobile Communications Laboratory was established at SFU in 2012.

The annual awards have for more than two decades recognized excellence in B.C.’s technology industry. Ian Hand, managing director of SFU’s Innovation Office, says: “SFU grads are helping to build successful B.C. companies at every stage of corporate growth.”

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