Thursday, December 11, 2008

CIS Corner: Awesome idea, baby

As has long been known, offensive linemen are the smartest guys in the locker room.

Former Ottawa Gee-Gees lineman Naim El-Far's is a partner in the start-up company Lightspeed Studios, won a $500,000 prize on Dragon's Den this week. El-Far, who's from Amman, Jordan (hey, same hometown as my brother-in-law!) won the TSN Russ Jackson Award for academic and athletic excellence in 2006 and was working on his doctorate in computer science while playing football.

Lightspeed's business idea seems to have that balance between ingenious and simple.
First Memories builds next-generation photography kiosks that are placed in maternity wards in hospitals and allows families and friends of newborns to take pictures with the baby, share these pictures online and via email and also walk away with a colour photo, all for free. The firm earns profit from sponsorships and advertising.

" 'They reviewed our books and reviewed our technology,' said El-Far, 28, whose brother Fayez also works at the start-up.

" 'They made sure that everything that was said on set was actually true.'

"First Memories is currently in use in eight Canadian hospitals, with rapid growth planned in 2009." -- uOttawa press release

(Cross-posted to The CIS Blog.)


Mike Radoslav said...

I'm actually quite familiar with the First Memories service, had no idea that it was started by a former Gee Gee football player. Great work Naim El-Far and best of luck with this venture in the future!

NRF said...

Hey Mike,

This is Naim. Thank you for your kind words but I would like to make one thing clear for the record: I am a partner in First Memories but I did not start it; Ron Allen and David Babineau did. I would very much hate to take credit for their idea =).

As a side note, thanks to all the CIS bloggers who have been publicizing our Dragons' Den appearance. Much appreciated ladies and gentlemen.



Mike Radoslav said...

Hey Naim,

Sorry about that error on my part, partner it is! But your partnership is still something great for students of all kinds across Canada - athletes or not. Serves as a great example of how they can go out and make their business venture dreams a reality.

Congrats to you and your partners on your success thus far, hope things keep going well in the future!

NRF said...

Again, thanks for your kind word Mike. Cheers. NRF