Simon Fafard – Co-founder, President & CEO
Simon is an Ottawa entrepreneur with over 25 years of experience in Optoelectronics. He is a pioneer in nanostructure materials and devices, and holds many patents and citations on III-V semiconductor technology and nanostructure innovations.
During his career, Simon has developed and commercialized numerous semiconductor devices and products in the industry, with companies such as: Aton, Cyrium, Alcatel Optronics, and Kymata, and has conducted world-leading research in semiconductor microstructures with several universities (Ottawa, Sherbrooke, & California – Santa Barbara) and with Canada’s National Research Council.
In 2002, he founded Cyrium Technologies, a solar cell technology company which exploited quantum dot theory to tune band gaps in semiconductor material. His innovations led to significant improvements in the conversion of photon energy to electricity, and Cyrium’s multi-junction III-V solar cells were one of the highest performing technologies in the CPC (solar concentrators) marketplace.
In co-founding Azastra Opto, Simon is leveraging $20M of photonic and semiconductor R&D to underpin the world-class performance of the company’s optical devices.
Denis Masson - Co-founder and General Manager
Denis has a 25-year career in semiconductor devices, which began with Nortel. His significant expertise in this field was instrumental in commercializing several new products for companies such as: Metrophotonics, ArtIC Photonics and Cyrium Technologies.
His breadth of expertise includes product design, device physics, wafer fabrication and manufacturing. His complement of in-depth knowledge in these areas of expertise yields efficient design cycles as the company develops an expanding line of optoelectronic devices. As general manager, Denis plays a vital role in coordinating the evolution of our new high performance products.
Denis is the co-inventor of Azastra Opto’s VEHSA™ technology.
Ed Sloot – Chairman of Board of Directors
Mr. Sloot is a seasoned executive with 25+ years of business and investment experience in leading-edge technology companies. His business experience includes board representations on several private US and Canadian companies, and CEO of three different private companies operating in the resource discovery, solar energy and materials processing markets. He is also a former Partner with CDP Capital Technology Ventures (a subsidiary of la Caisse de dépot et placement du Québec) – at one time, the largest Venture Capital firm in Canada with $1.3B under management, where Ed built an $80+ million investment portfolio in technology companies which included a homerun exit.
Throughout his career, he championed new and innovative technologies for the semiconductor and biotechnology disciplines, several of which flew on NASA and Russian space missions and were later successfully commercialised.
As a founding team member of exactEarth (T-XCT), he led the $50M equity raise and other multi-million dollar financing deals to launch the world leading AIS data services’ business which went for 0 to $2M EBITDA in less than 5 years.
Ed graduated with High Honours in Mechanical Engineering technology from Algonquin College, and later received a degree, with distinction, in Mechanical Engineering from Carleton University. He and his wife reside in Ottawa, Canada.