Pioneering UK smart antenna designer, Sofant Technologies, have appointed David Wither, former CEO of AIM-listed Sarantel Group, as CEO following their announcement earlier this year of over £1.5 million of European funding.
Wither will play a major role in developing and implementing a strategic business plan to take Sofant’s technology to market including forming a number of strategic partnerships. The steerable antenna technology Sofant has developed could potentially double the battery life of mobile devices and greatly reduce energy usage in wireless networks.
With over 20 years’ experience in radio technologies and more than 10 years as CEO, Wither has a strong background in technology sales and business development, including positions in Sarantel Group, RF Micro Devices and Baxter International. Most recently, he raised $3 million in venture capital for Acconeer AB and developed a detailed strategy to bring the company’s wireless sensor technology to market.
Wither said: “The technology developed by the team at Sofant is currently leading the field, and there are many potential applications and possibilities when it is taken to market. A central part of my job now is to find the right market for us, develop a series of strategic partnerships, make sure we can scale up the manufacturing process to meet demand and ensure the product is ready for the future market in two to three years.
“There are great resources in Scotland for tech companies, including the support we receive from the University of Edinburgh, which is ideal for a company like Sofant, and the recent grant from Horizon 2020 SME Instrument programme is a phenomenal help. Sofant has a great core team with diverse skill sets and I look forward to working with them to ensure this essential technology finds its place in the future.”
Sofant has developed three core technologies comprising RF MEMS, antenna and software. This powerful combination will provide a steerable and focused antenna – SmartAntenna – that can lock onto the best signal available at any given time. This technology is very well suited for the new 60GHz Wi-Fi (WiGig) and 5G, with plans to commence development of the network in Scotland in 2017.
Sofant Cofounder and COO Ahmed El-Rayis said: “David’s tech knowledge and experience in business development and sales is exactly what we need to take our technology to market. He has been working in the industry for a long time and has demonstrated patience and persistence as well as the ability to work effectively under pressure, which are ideal characteristics of a CEO. David has hit the ground running and we are excited to see where his guidance will take us over the next two to three years.”
Wither has a masters of science from the University of Missouri and a bachelor of science from Pennsylvania State University. He will lead the team of seven, which will likely grow as production gears up.