Mr. Tolstikhin received his award in the category of fast-growth enterprises.
Originally from Russia, Mr. Tolstikhin spent time working in Sweden and the Netherlands. He also visited Canada once, and eventually decided to settle here.
“I believed, like many immigrants, it’s still a land of opportunity,” he said in an interview.
He pointed out that OneChip’s presence in Ottawa has been a boon to the local economy. All the design, core tests and measurements, and business development units are in Ottawa. (Manufacturing is outsourced.)
It also is a source of employment for highly trained people in the region, often with PhD degrees, he said. The company employs more than 85 people locally.
Additionally, Mr. Tolstikhin works with Ottawa’s photonics cluster, is on the advisory board at Algonquin College and is an adjunct professor at the University of Ottawa.
Over the years, OneChip itself has received several accolades, including inclusion on OBJ’s 2010 Startups to Watch list. OneChip recently completed several years of development on an optical transceiver module. It is supposed to work as a termination for optical fibre-to-the-home link at the user’s end, a more cost-efficient way of manufacturing than the competition.
Once OneChip’s production into the market is well-established, Mr. Tolstikhin said in an OBJ interview, the company would look at means of expanding the business line. One opportunity is optical interconnect for new-generation data centres, which have seen growth in Ottawa and internationally in recent years.
OneChip was established in 2006 and has since received millions of dollars in venture funding. Most recently, in 2012, the company received $10 million from existing institutional investors, including BDC Venture Capital, DCM, GrowthWorks, Morgenthaler Ventures and Northwater Capital Management.
Other award recipients include:
- Dipak Roy, D-TA Systems Inc. (innovation-oriented enterprises)
- Vinod Rajasekaran, HUB Ottawa (social enterprises)
- Supriya Mishra, visionTech4u (women entrepreneurs)
- Obaid Ahmed, OAK Computing (youth business entrepreneurs, under 35 years old)