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 Trevor Orsztynowicz (left) and Howie Wu of Layerboom

Joyent acquires student startup

July 22, 2010

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Howie Wu may still be working towards graduation, but the executive MBA student’s startup venture, Layerboom Systems Inc., has already made the grade.
Joyent, Inc., a San Francisco-based international inventor of integrated smart technologies, has acquired Layerboom, making it SFU Venture Connection’s first protégé to be acquired.

Venture Connection (www.sfu.ca/vc) links student, faculty and local entrepreneurs with experienced advisors, funding opportunities and other business connections.
Layerboom helps companies build and sell virtual private server clouds. “Cloud” (a metaphor for the Internet) computing moves the technology infrastructure that supports applications in systems internal to a home, business or organization to a remote Internet service. It removes the user’s need to manage the applications and provides access to them from any Internet-connected computer terminal.

An active participant in the Venture Connection program, Wu was convinced that cloud computing would offer great prospects for a new venture. So he teamed up with Vancouver technical guru Trevor Orsztynowicz to form the business and won entry to Boot Up Labs, a Vancouver startup incubator.

At Venture Connection, Wu found support and guidance from mentor-in-residence Jim Derbyshire, and advice and coaching from Danny Shapiro, dean of SFU Business.

“Jim brought the practical experience of managing and selling high tech companies and was the key supporter of the strategy change that led to the venture’s success,” says Wu. “Danny brought a strategic view and sounding board that helped shape the venture.”

Janice OBriain, Venture Connection’s manager, says: “It’s great to see our first participant exit the program after less than two years of operation.”

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