Canada’s Venture Capital & Private Equity Association today announced that Marzio Pozzuoli, founder and former CEO of RuggedCom, is the recipient of the association’s 20th annual “Entrepreneur of the Year” Award.
Marzio dedicated his career to developing and commercializing products to make the power grid safer, smarter and more efficient, according to the CVCA.
Quoth the CVCA:
Marzio saw that there was a need for rugged communication networks for mission critical applications in harsh environments such as those found in electric utilities, transportation, industrial and military applications. Confident in his ability to execute, despite being a first time entrepreneur, Marzio left GE in 2001 to found RuggedCom out of his basement in Maple, Ontario bootstrapping it with modest funding from friends and family and by deferring management salaries.
RuggedCom completed its first and only venture capital financing round in 2003, raising $4 million. Within 18 months of the venture financing, RuggedCom reached profitability. By 2007, RuggedCom’s revenue had grown by 1,559% to $40 million and it completed a successful IPO on the Toronto Stock Exchange.
The company was named one of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Canada by Deloitte’s Technology Fast 50 for six consecutive years between 2006 and 2012. In 2012, with revenue exceeding $100 million, RuggedCom was acquired by Siemens AG for $440 million.
“Relentless execution, perseverance against adversity and sheer determination to succeed are the core traits of Marzio Pozzuoli,” says Scott MacDonald, Managing Partner of McRock Capital, former RuggedCom chairman and investor. “Marzio is one of the most successful entrepreneurs in the power utility market. The CVCA could not have selected a more deserving individual for the 2013 Entrepreneur of the Year Award than Marzio Pozzuoli.”
“It’s an honour to be recognized by the CVCA, but the greatest reward was building a truly ‘Made-in-Canada’ company that developed and manufactured products in Canada and sold them to China and India and became a recognized global market leader, ” says Marzio Pozzuoli. “I’m proud to say that on a single round of venture financing, RuggedCom achieved a successful IPO on the TSX and was ultimately acquired by Siemens for over $400 million. Not bad for a company started in a basement in Ontario.”
Marzio was honoured at the Gala Evening at CVCA’s 2013 Annual Conference in Banff on Thursday, May 23.