FreeWave Technologies, a leader in industrial, secure Machine-to-Machine (M2M) and Internet of Things (IoT) wireless networking solutions, has announced that their cofounder Steve Wulchin is leaving his role as President of the company. Wulchin remains as the company’s single largest shareholder and will continue to be actively involved as a Board Member in the development of FreeWave’s new product platforms and in its expansion into international marketplaces.
“I have full confidence in the new executive team Kim Niederman (FreeWave’s new CEO, appointed 2014) has assembled, and the strategic direction they have laid out for FreeWave,” said Wulchin.
Involvement in New Start-ups
While continuing to be actively involved in the company, Wulchin plans to get more involved in the start-up community, both from the standpoint of active involvement and mentorship, as well as private investment.
As a co-founder, Wulchin helped the Boulder, Colorado-based company be a stable contributor to the local economy and community since its inception in August 1993. In fact, when TA Associates, a Boston-based private equity firm, invested $113 million in FreeWave in 2007, $9 million was distributed to all FreeWave employees.
Under Wulchin’s leadership, the company deployed millions of radios and helped its more than 5,000 customers achieve things never thought possible. Its solutions are relied upon for many aspects of daily life that make a difference in the world: FreeWave’s solutions are used in the agriculture industry to help provide food, in government and defense communications to help save and protect lives, and to enable safety, security and efficiency in critical infrastructures such as in oil/gas, water/wastewater and electric power. Specifically, Wulchin spearheaded the company’s efforts to become the #1 provider of wireless infrastructure radios to the Oil and Gas industry (where 29 of the top 30 companies use FreeWave); became the #1 provider in Precision Agriculture; and, the #1 provider in Group 2 and Group 3 Unmanned Aerial Systems (Drones).
“Steve Wulchin is the rare entrepreneur who has led the company he founded for a full 20-plus years with the highest integrity, care for employees and a ‘customer first’ focus,” noted Gary Vacon, a FreeWave Board Member. “Steve always puts the company first, and this is evident in every single one of the millions of radios the company has deployed over the years. Over the past two years, he has led an effort to build a management team that can navigate the company to be the leader in IIoT wireless communications. It’s been a privilege to work with him as CEO and President, and we look forward to his continued leadership in taking this company forward.”
FreeWave Shifting Focus to New Disruptive M2M/IIoT Strategy
With the burgeoning Industrial IoT market expected to easily surpass $200 billion this year, FreeWave has its sights set on disrupting the largest segment of the IIoT industry. “Steve has contributed greatly to our new strategy and the many new products in development that will be launched over the next several quarters,” explained FreeWave CEO Kim Niederman. These products will offer FreeWave’s groundbreaking technology called ‘S2STM’ that is built around our new ‘Sensor to ServerTM’ strategy.
“The Internet of Things is transforming the industrial radio and SCADA business and FreeWave is repositioning its internal skillsets to match the requirements of the new business,” Niederman added. “Hiring the right people with the right skillsets will ensure we continue to offer our customers and partners the very best services and technology solutions that will help them continue to grow and be successful.”
Niederman says that a new generation of wireless sensor networks will make deployments faster, more cost-effective and easier to deploy than ever before. “FreeWave is poised to leverage its leadership creating new solution-oriented radio technologies to disrupt this evolving and rapidly growing market. Our new senior management team has the experience, drive and vision to take FreeWave from what was a great data radio company to a market leader in the Industrial Internet of Things and M2M marketplace,” he said.
- Educated at the University of Virginia, Steve cofounded Freewave Technologies in August 1993. Previously, he worked in finance at Hewlett-Packard and at Sievers Instruments. An industry veteran with decades of experience, Steve has guided FreeWave into becoming one of the most trusted developers and suppliers of wireless M2M solutions for the oil and gas, defense, agriculture, and utility industries.