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OmniGlobe Networks Inc. celebrates growth from a 2-person operation


March 12, 2011
By Anthony Capkun

March 12, 2011

(A success story from the Government of Canada)

In less than six years, a Montreal-based telecom company—OmniGlobe Networks—has grown from a two-person start-up to “leading providers of high-speed internet, cellular and satellite communications services to remote and underserved regions around the world”, with support from the National Research Council of Canada Industrial Research Assistance Program (NRC-IRAP).

OmniGlobe, which specializes in the provision of affordable and reliable
services in areas where land-based telecom is unavailable, unreliable
or simply too expensive, has validated its satellite-wireless
technologies in various remote areas, such as aboriginal and northern
villages across Canada, as well as in developing nations around the
globe.


Turning to NRC-IRAP for a boost

Dr. Neale, CEO and founder of OmniGlobe, credits NRC-IRAP for giving his
firm a critical boost at the start. “We began working with Dr. Richard
O’Shaughnessey and his colleague Pierre Trepanier at a time when we only
had two part-time employees and very limited access to facilities or
finance. NRC-IRAP helped us navigate all the intricate steps required to
turn OmniGlobe into a successful commercial venture. Luckily for us,
Richard understood our company’s vision from the start and became a
great supporter of our solutions, offering valuable advice and insight
that ultimately helped us refine our technical proposal. We needed
funding to perform necessary R&D, to get our concept validated and
produce a viable product,” adds Dr. Neale. “The support that we received
from them enabled us to develop the technology we needed and attract
other funding by substantially reducing the risk for ‘angel’ investors.”

The company has grown rapidly over the past few years and currently
employs over 80 people worldwide. It has six offices across Canada and
Europe, and sells its services in over 70 countries. Thanks to its rapid
success, OmniGlobe has attracted millions in overseas investment and
has garnered numerous awards and industry recognitions. Recently,
OmniGlobe was named one of North America’s fastest-growing technology
companies by the “Fast 500 Awards”.

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Dr. O’Shaughnessey’s continued collaboration with OmniGlobe over the
years has contributed to the company’s wide-ranging success. With his
expertise, assistance and support, the company has achieved the
following:


Technology Adoption/Development

The NRC-IRAP Industrial Technology Advisors (ITAs) performed a risk
assessment and saw value in two OmniGlobe R&D projects featuring
concept development and satellite networks. The company credited the
projects’ success to NRC-IRAP’s support which was instrumental in
attracting $500,000 of private investment and in obtaining lab space and
testing facilities from the Communications Research Centre in Ottawa.
On both of these projects, the ITAs provided advice on development and
technological strategies, which resulted in effective project management
and successful results.


Stronger Intellectual Property Strategy

The ITAs were consulted on a regular basis and made key recommendations,
emphasizing amongst other things, the need for the company to conduct a
thorough analysis of the intellectual property landscape as well as the
importance of finalizing its intellectual property strategy. NRC-IRAP
representatives also initiated a patent search which confirmed that
OmniGlobe was not infringing on existing patents. This measure reassured
early investors and helped the company secure $15 million worth of
investments.


Hiring R&D and Management Resources

Dr. O’Shaughnessey has encouraged OmniGlobe to attend several Institute
of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) seminars. These sessions
have increased the company’s engineering capabilities, fostered an
attitude of continual training amongst its staff and positioned
OmniGlobe at the forefront of technological innovations in the Montreal
region. OmniGlobe was also offered a speaking opportunity which further
enhanced its reputation and brand image, and its ability to attract
experienced / key members. Finally, OmniGlobe was introduced to a key
stakeholder who was later appointed to the company’s executive team.


New Sources of Financing

In addition to investments previously mentioned, NRC-IRAP ITA Fabrice
Lucherini provided advice on how to approach potential financial
partners and interact with private investors. With NRC-IRAP’s help, the
company was able to develop a more targeted and efficient approach to
funding and investment sources.

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