San Francisco-based Joyent has acquired Layerboom, making it SFU Venture Connection’s first spin-off company. Layerboom was also a 2009 New Ventures BC Competitor and made it to Round 2.

Layerboom helps companies build and sell virtual private server ‘clouds’. Cloud computing refers to the new ability to shift physical technology infrastructure to a remote Internet hosting service, eliminating the need for companies or individuals to manage complex computing hardware and software in-house.

An active participant in the SFU Venture Connection program, Howie Wu teamed up with Vancouver technical guru Trevor Orsztynowicz to form the business.

Throughout Layerboom’s growth, SFU Venture Connection has provided Wu with support and guidance via its first mentor-in-residence Jim Derbyshire. Wu has also received advice and coaching from Danny Shapiro, dean of SFU Business.

“They’ve both been influential in helping guide the growth and positioning of Layerboom,” says Wu. “Jim brought the practical experience of managing and selling high tech companies and was the key supporter of the strategy change that led to the venture’s success.

“Danny brought a strategic view and sounding board that helped shape the venture.”

Janice OBriain, SFU Venture Connection’s manager, says: “It’s great to see our first participant exit the program after less than two years of operation.”

Launched in the fall of 2008, Venture Connection offers training and support programs for SFU’s entrepreneurs, linking student, faculty and local entrepreneurs with experienced advisors, funding opportunities, and other business connections.

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