Meet Wael Badawy, president and CEO of IntelliView and native of Egypt
An Albertan immigration success story
by Alix Kemp
Profession: President and CEO of IntelliView
Living in: Calgary
Arrived in: 2000
Photograph Heather Saitz
When Wael Badawy left Egypt, he didn’t come directly to Alberta. Instead, the researcher headed to Lafayette, Louisiana, where he completed his doctorate in computer engineering in 2000. But Badawy didn’t stay in the U.S. for long. While attending the University of Louisiana, he fell in love. “She was from Calgary,” Badawy says, “so I came here and we married, and now we have three boys. We’ve been in Calgary since then.”
Calgary has been a good fit for Badawy, who says the city’s mentorship programs have been a major asset to him, both as an immigrant and an entrepreneur. “[Calgary] has major oil and gas companies, it has good investment money and a good market for us. But the primary reason to stay in Calgary is the community and the mentorship.”
After arriving in Calgary in 2000, Badawy took a job as a professor and researcher at the University of Calgary. He stayed there for eight years, investigating video monitoring technology and transitioning his University of Calgary research lab into a private, high-tech company called IntelliView Technologies in 2003. The company’s flagship product is the SmartDVR, a remote video surveillance and security system with applications in the oil and gas sector. In 2008, Badawy left the university to focus on the company, and by 2012 it found itself ranked 14th on Alberta Venture’s Fast Growth 50.
How has Badawy been so successful? Peter Kinash, the chief financial officer of Replicon and one of IntelliView’s early investors, says it’s because of Badawy’s willingness to accept risk. “Not everyone who researches things is interested in commercializing them themselves and taking the risks involved that come with it.” Badawy is obviously not one of the faint hearted.