HaiLa Turns Three: Celebrating A Pivotal Year in our Mission to Bring WiFi to IoT
This past Saturday, August 1st, HaiLa celebrated its three-year anniversary. Despite the uncertain circumstances that the entire world has been facing amidst the COVID-19 global pandemic, our team is grateful that we have much to celebrate.
Over the past year our team has undergone tremendous changes, gaining recognition from industry leaders, partnering with some amazing strategic investors and growing our global footprint.
Nokia Open Innovation Challenge
HaiLa was recognized by Nokia as a leading IoT technology, beating out over 200 companies across the globe to win the first prize (€100,000) at the company’s annual Open Innovation Challenge in November of 2019. HaiLa, whose pitch was presented by founder Charlotte Savage, was selected for its innovative solution to reduce energy consumption for IoT devices. The opportunity to work with Nokia Bell Labs was also included as part of the prize. HaiLa looks forward to collaborating with Nokia in the future as we continue to expand our offering towards 5G solutions.
Onboarded Management Team
Over the course of this last year, HaiLa expanded the management team to support our commercialization and scalability efforts, welcoming a new CEO, CFO, COO and VP of Research and Development, as well as other key hires in supporting roles in both R&D and marketing.
Ole Christian Andersen – President and CEO
Mr. Andersen is a seasoned executive and serial entrepreneur in the semiconductor industry with a successful career spanning over 30 years. Before joining HaiLa, Mr. Andersen was a co-founder and CEO at NanGate, a leading Electronic Design Automation (EDA) software company that offered tools and services for the creation, optimization, characterization and validation of physical library IP. Under his leadership, NanGate was acquired by Silvaco in 2018. Prior to NanGate, Ole joined Vitesse Semiconductor’s ethernet division via the acquisition of Exbit, the fabless semiconductor company he co-founded and served as CEO. Mr. Andersen received his M.Sc.EE from the Technical University of Denmark, and has a B.Sc in Economics and Business Administration from the Copenhagen Business School.
Jens Michelsen – Chief Operating Officer
Mr. Michelsen is a serial entrepreneur and tech executive with over 30 years of experience in the semiconductor and EDA industry. Mr. Michelsen was co-founder of NanGate and served as COO. At NanGate, Michelsen was responsible for assembling and managing multi-disciplinary teams with global locations in Denmark, Moscow, Taiwan, Japan and the USA as well as the oversight of all customer engagements. Prior to joining NanGate, Mr. Michelsen was Director of Physical Design at Vitesse’s Ethernet Products Division. Before joining Vitesse, he served as Physical Design Manager of Exbit Technology. Mr. Michelsen received his B.Sc from the Technical University of Denmark in electrical and electronics engineering.
Ramzy Metwalli – Chief Financial Officer
Mr. Metwalli brings over 25 years of financial executive experience to HaiLa. He is a board-certified CPA, CMA with experience in a wide range of technical industries from biocosmetics to lighting and videoconferencing equipment manufacturing. He has served as Chief Financial Officer to both private and public companies, assisting in numerous key milestones including fundraising and M&A transactions. Prior to joining HaiLa, Mr. Metwalli held the position of CFO and GM at Zorah Biocosmetics. Mr. Metwalli received his BAC in accounting from HEC Montreal.
Peter Østergaard Nielsen – VP of Research & Development
Mr. Østergaard is a proven technologist who joins HaiLa’s team from SiliconLabs, where he worked as a senior manager on the Z-Wave chip development team. He has served as a manager and designer in ASIC development for over 30 years with firms including Delta Semiconductor, GNReSound and Vitesse Semiconductor.
Expanding Geographic Footprint
Over the past year, HaiLa has expanded its geographic footprint by opening up two new offices, in addition to its headquarters in Montreal, Quebec. HaiLa opened a sales and support office in Silicon Valley, where CEO Ole Christian Andersen and COO Jens Michelsen are leading the teams business development and strategic partnership initiatives. A research and development division has been opened in Copenhagen, Denmark, complementing our Montreal teams efforts in moving forward with the development of our core products and services.
Raised a $5M Seed Round
At the end of March 2020, HaiLa announced raising $5 million in an oversubscribed seed round led by Chrysalix Ventures. Other investors include Ecofuel Fund, TandemLaunch, a prolific university from California, and several angel investors including HaiLa’s newly appointed CEO and President, Ole Christian Andersen. This financing will enable HaiLa to demonstrate manufacturability, secure first tier customers and partners, and set the stage to completely revolutionize the wireless sensor industry.