Ontario and Canadian Engineering Competitions

Table of Content

I was first introduced to Infusion Development at the National Business and Technology Conference in Toronto earlier this year.

The CEO of the company, Greg Brill, spoke at the event and his candid speech on entrepreneurship and its struggles made me consider using my engineering degree for more than just a desk job at a respected company. This speech played a part in my decision to take the Entrepreneurship and Small Business course this semester. So, when it came time for the biography assignment on an entrepreneur, I knew I had to choose Greg as my subject.

This essay could be plagiarized. Get your custom essay
“Dirty Pretty Things” Acts of Desperation: The State of Being Desperate
128 writers

ready to help you now

Get original paper

Without paying upfront

Despite the challenges of coordinating an interview with Greg, who resides in New York, I had the chance to interview Alim Somani, the partner and founder of Infusion Canada. Alim is a man who embodies the entrepreneurial spirit and has the determination to create a positive impact. As the President of Infusion Development, he graciously made time for the interview amidst his hectic schedule. We made arrangements to meet at his office in downtown Toronto.

Background Alim Somani was born in Fredericton, but grew up in various cities including Calgary, Vancouver, and Washington, DC. He attended Georgetown Day High School in Washington before being accepted into the University of Waterloo’s Electrical Engineering program in 1996. He completed his degree successfully in 2001, during which he emerged as the winner of both the Ontario and Canadian Engineering Competitions (OEC and CEC) in his final year at University. Additionally, his inclination towards entrepreneurial activities was evident as he secured 1st place in the corporate and technical design categories of both the OEC and the CEC. Alim would engage in brainstorming different business ideas and seek the expert opinion of his Economics Professor.

Larry Smith, whom Alim credits as his mentor for his initial entrepreneurial decisions, was his supervisor during his undergraduate research apprenticeship. It was during his university years that Alim first encountered Infusion Development.

It was through his then-room mate Sheldon Fernandez that Alim’s relationship with Greg Brill, the owner of a consultancy firm in New York, began. Fernandez, who had met Brill and was set to work as a co-op student for his company, recommended Alim. In January 2000, Alim officially became a co-op student at Infusion Development.

He immediately realized that he belonged and wanted to continue in this field. However, the situation was temporary as the co-op experience was only for one term. He would soon be returning to school. This is where S-Squared solutions came into the picture. Alim always had the intelligence; he just needed the chance.

It had been established that he was a capable engineer with immense potential. His tenure at Infusion had proved this to Greg Brill. Recognizing Alim’s untapped talent, Greg and his wife and business partner Deborah made a joint decision. They desired for Alim and Sheldon to maintain their employment while also gaining independence. Thus, they suggested the establishment of S-Squared Solutions, with Infusion Development as its primary client.

Alim, who had prior experience with entrepreneurship, was easily convinced to start S-Squared Solutions. He co-founded and effectively managed the IT consultancy while studying at the University of Waterloo. Prof.

Smith provided valuable assistance during the initial struggle by introducing Alim to accountants and lawyers that were hired for the company. The experience and knowledge gained from this venture set a strong foundation for Alim when he started developing Infusion’s presence in Canada. The start of Infusion Canada seems to have been greatly influenced by timing.

Alim’s graduation coincided with his unchanged relationship with Infusion. He still had a passion for working for Infusion, and Greg expressed a continued desire to have him as part of the team. It made sense, then, for Alim to be appointed as the head of Infusion’s operations in Canada. This idea was conceived by Greg and Deborah, who saw it as a natural progression for the company – thus, Infusion Canada was born.

In the summer of 2000, they presented the idea. Alim believed that Infusion Canada was a better option than S-Squared because it offered more security and potential for growth. Infusion Canada inherited the clients from Infusion New York. Additionally, with the Dot Com burst and uncertain future for start-ups, Alim was not interested in being one of many.

Greg and Deborah were giving Alim the opportunity to do his own thing, his own way, and be accountable for his own success, just like all entrepreneurs want. It was like having S-Squared solutions but with a big brother company protecting it. This allowed Alim to continue doing his work and expand Infusion Development’s presence in the Canadian market.

Another reason for the creation of Infusion Canada in April 2001 was the minimal investment required. With the business expertise of Deborah Brill and the support of Infusion Development, Alim was able to focus on the technical aspect of the company. Infusion Development provided essential services in the establishment of Infusion Canada.

Since its establishment in 2001, Infusion Canada has experienced remarkable growth and has achieved substantial success. Throughout the years, the company has steadily expanded its client roster, demonstrating its impressive capabilities.

With each passing year, Infusion’s sales have consistently risen, making it a notable success in the entrepreneurial realm. This success can be attributed to its strong culture of entrepreneurship, which the company has embraced from the start. Infusion Development has fostered organic growth, valuing its employees as partners and providing them the opportunity to advance within the organization based on their attitude and demonstrated abilities. The company actively supports the professional growth of its employees through training and other career advancement opportunities. Alim’s story exemplifies this commitment. Greg had faith in Alim, recognizing his true potential and the value he brings to the company.

According to Alim, Infusion prioritizes the importance of passion and ambition in their employees, both in the early stages and currently. Infusion never compromises on technical expertise, but also values the growth of its people. Alim emphasized that most employees are in their late 20s and early 30s because he believes that while technical skills can be taught, it is challenging to instill drive and passion.

According to him, our employees can differentiate us from our competition and provide us with an advantage. The initial hurdle we faced was gaining recognition, as consulting businesses do not typically advertise in the yellow pages. The majority of clients are acquired through word of mouth.

People you work for usually bring you with them wherever they go. Alim shared an anecdote about Mr. S***, a manager at an investment bank, and how they had completed some tasks for the bank he was employed at.

After leaving his previous position and joining a new company, Mr. S*** spoke highly of Infusion Development and helped bring in another client. This pattern continued, with every 2nd or 3rd client adding to Infusion’s business. Alim understands the importance of satisfying their clients, as losing one client could result in losing an entire chain of associated clients.

One issue that arose in the early years was cash flow. For a young company, it can take time to establish itself, and in a consultancy business, there is uncertainty about when the next paycheck will come. Income is dependent on completing projects, but regular operating costs need to be covered. Alim had to learn over time how to manage the workload to ensure they had a minimal number of months without income in a year.

Alim, an individual who thrives on challenges and prefers to stay occupied rather than being idle, is motivated by accomplishments. This particular quality has played a significant role in the rapid growth of Infusion within a short period of time. His unwavering determination towards the company’s expansion and continuous pursuit of achieving more has shaped Infusion into what it is today.

“It is easy to get disheartened at the beginning when whoever you call appears to be busy or doesn’t even attend your call,” Alim acknowledged. “But if you have confidence in yourself and what you represent, these are just challenges that can be won.” Initially, sales were difficult as they lost a contract early on while designing a web page. After initiating work on the project, the contract was unexpectedly cancelled. However, as Alim noted, these setbacks should be overcome with resilience.

Alim successfully established a near-shoring practice with several large Wall Street investment banks in the Toronto office, ensuring its success. This practice allowed the banks to secure strong, affordable, and previously untapped development resources from Canada. Furthermore, Alim developed strong relationships with publishing companies and software giant Microsoft, leading Infusion to establish deeper connections with the Wall Street banks and expand into the Public Sector. As a result, Infusion acquired state and local government clients in New York and New Jersey. Infusion’s commitment to staying ahead of its competitors has been crucial in this rapidly growing field, as they consistently employ professionals who are trained in the latest technologies.

They have a dedicated department for testing and training new technologies. As part of their partnership with Microsoft, they are among the first to conduct beta testing on Microsoft technologies and include their products in Infusion’s range of services and applications. Alim stated that they also heavily invest in educating their developers and consultants in the business field. Their goal is to enhance customer assistance by ensuring that their technical staff is knowledgeable in both technical and business aspects, allowing them to provide better application designs.

Alim achieved a major milestone in the early years by successfully finalizing a deal between Microsoft and Infusion Development, which was a significant personal triumph. Infusion Development was selected to construct the training content for Microsoft Technologies, leading to a prosperous partnership between Microsoft and Infusion Development. Currently, Infusion has grown from a small-scale organization comprising of 6-7 employees to a company with over 100 employees having offices in New York City, Boston, Toronto, and soon to be in Seattle and Charlotte, London.

Infusion offers a diverse range of IT services including consulting, development, training, and mentoring. They specialize in designing enterprise-scale financial systems and mission-critical solutions. With successful implementations for renowned banks and government agencies, Infusion initially had limited clients, primarily working with Lehman Brothers. However, they have since expanded their client base to include over 80 major clients.

Infusion, a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner, has a strong reputation with Microsoft. They have 6 Microsoft Most Valuable Professionals on their team and are highly regarded for their expertise in evangelism, architecture design sessions, proofs of concept, deployment engagements, training, mentoring, and technical writing. Many of their white papers are published on MSDN. Infusion was chosen as a regional winner in the Winning Customer category of the Microsoft Partner Awards Program on June 13th, 2006. They were recognized for their award-winning enterprise-scale Content Management Platform, which was built for a large financial services client using Microsoft Content Management Server, SQL Server 2000, and ASP.

NET. Despite achieving significant success in less than six years, Alim has no intention of slowing down. When questioned about the future of Infusion Development in the next five years, he expressed a desire to strengthen its Canadian presence. Recognizing the current weakness in Canadian sales, he aims for Infusion to become a vital near-shoring partner for major investment banks and organizations. Additionally, he envisions Canada becoming a hub for intellectual property.

Infusion Development envisions multiple companies emerging from its operations, with its employees achieving great success and surpassing their current limits. A critical step towards achieving these objectives is the establishment of Infusion Angels. Infusion Angels serves as a platform for venture capitalists, commonly known as “angels,” who provide early-stage investments to companies or ideas, typically before a prototype has been developed. In addition to financial support, angels play a vital role in ensuring the financial stability and corporate structure of a company. They also offer guidance on technical and business matters and assist in establishing connections within relevant industries.

Ultimately, an angel supports and prepares a company, validates the concept, and sets the stage for the subsequent, larger round of venture funding. This endeavor holds personal significance for Alim and Greg, who have long desired to initiate a similar project. Recognizing the challenges and uncertainties associated with starting a business, their goal is to facilitate the process for future entrepreneurs. Alim draws on his experience since establishing the Canadian operations of Infusion Development Corp., a software firm headquartered in New York.

During an interview with the GlobeandMail, he mentioned his willingness to share some of their experience with the young innovators of the world. Infusion Angel’s objective, as stated by Alim, is to discover, finance, and foster the growth of concepts into successful, revenue-driven companies, with the ultimate aim of achieving market dominance, being acquired by larger publicly-traded entities, or conducting a public offering. Their initial office was established at the University of Waterloo.

“We have chosen to concentrate the fund on the University of Waterloo because, being a company managed and staffed by UW alumni, we possess a distinct understanding and bond with the UW community. The most thrilling aspect is that the fund will enable us to enhance our relationship with the University of Waterloo and its students,” stated Alim Somani during the inauguration. “The Waterloo region is brimming with entrepreneurial excitement, and as alumni, we hold a unique advantage to tap into that. Alim has prioritized collaborating with University of Waterloo students and is dedicated to offering startup capital ranging from $50,000 to $100,000 for feasible business projects.

According to Alim, the funding is just one aspect of it. He emphasizes the significance of mentoring and volunteering as well. Alim is currently expanding Infusion Angels operations beyond the region of Waterloo, while also starting a sister company, Infusion Development, to assist individuals in achieving their dreams.

Cite this page

Ontario and Canadian Engineering Competitions. (2018, Feb 22). Retrieved from


Remember! This essay was written by a student

You can get a custom paper by one of our expert writers

Order custom paper Without paying upfront