News Release Details

Wi-LAN Joins Yamacraw Design Center and Becomes Co-Investor in Yamacraw Seed Capital Fund


Partnership Promises 100 New Jobs for Georgians, and High-Tech Innovations for Wi-LAN
Atlanta, Georgia
April 28, 2000

Georgia Gov. Roy Barnes today announced that Wi-LAN Inc. (TSE: WIN), a Canadian-based innovator of high-speed wireless data communications technology and products, has joined the Yamacraw Design Center and will be a co-investor in the Yamacraw Seed Capital Fund. Through this partnership, Wi-LAN has committed to create 100 new jobs in Georgia over the next five years in exchange for license to use Intellectual Property created from research at the Yamacraw Design Center. As a co-investor in the Yamacraw Seed Capital Fund, Wi-LAN will be one of several private sector corporations to provide early-stage capital funding to Georgia startup companies engaged in developing broadband communications products.

The Yamacraw Design Center is part of Yamacraw, a unique, unified economic development initiative aimed at bringing high-paying, high-tech jobs and electronic design firms to the state. Yamacraw recruits corporations to become members of the Yamacraw Design Center, where they share in broadband technology research and the commercialization opportunities inherent in the technology.

"It is significant that Wi-LAN, a Canadian company, chose to invest in Georgia high-tech companies," Gov. Barnes said. "Also, it is investing in Yamacraw research and committing to job growth in the region. The investments demonstrate that Georgia is viewed as a global leader in the broadband communications arena and that in less than a year the Yamacraw economic development initiative is making great strides toward achieving its ultimate goal - creating high-tech jobs."

"Wi-LAN is interested in the growth of broadband and wireless technologies and sees great potential in our investment in the Yamacraw Design Center as well as access to the Center's cutting-edge research," said Dr. Hatim Zaghloul, Wi-LAN chairman and CEO. "We feel this investment in Yamacraw, in addition to other Georgia-based companies such as DTS and Telcor, demonstrate Wi-LAN's commitment to this growing high-tech region."

The partnership comes on the heels of Wi-LAN's 51 percent acquisition of DTS, a Duluth, Ga., company, which designs and manufactures wireless and wireline network access products used to build, access and manage high-speed telecommunications networks. Shortly following the DTS acquisition, DTS merged with Telcor, another Georgia-based company, which specializes in reselling new and de-installed telecommunications equipment to wireless telecom service providers.

"We are very pleased that Wi-LAN has joined the Yamacraw Design Center and will be a co-investor in the Seed Capital Fund," said Dr. James Foley, Yamacraw CEO.  "We now have four Design Center members with several additional broadband communications companies close to signing on, and perhaps more important, a commitment to create a total of 400 jobs in Georgia for computer scientists and computer, electrical and software engineers."

One of the goals of Yamacraw - begun last July and to which the State of Georgia has committed more than $100 million - is to develop at least 2,000 new jobs in Georgia. Companies that want access to the Yamacraw Design Center's elite faculty researchers and their graduate students can commit $1.25 million over a five-year period or, preferably, commit to hire 100 high-tech employees in Georgia with a membership fee of just $25,000 annually. In addition to Wi-LAN, other Design Center members include Broadcom Corp., National Semiconductor Corp. and Star*Core, a joint alliance of Lucent Technologies and Motorola.

About Wi-LAN:
Wi-LAN, based in Calgary, Alberta, is a leading innovator in the field of high-speed wireless data communications, specializing in high-speed Internet access, LAN/WAN extension and wireless access. Wi-LAN is a founding member of the OFDM Forum and its patented W-OFDM technology is at the foundation of the IEEE 802.11a standard. Wi-LAN's products have been sold in more than 50 countries on six continents. Wi-LAN's common shares trade on The Toronto Stock Exchange under the symbol "WIN." Detailed information on Wi-LAN can be found on the Web at 

About the Yamacraw Seed Capital Fund:
To support Yamacraw, the state of Georgia has created a $5 million seed capital fund to facilitate the growth of Georgia companies engaged in developing next-generation technology in the broadband communications areas of optical networking, high-speed access devices and content processing.

The Yamacraw Seed Capital Fund, managed by the Advanced Technology Development Center (ATDC) Seed Capital Group, supports Yamacraw by facilitating early-stage funding - often the most difficult funding stage for a startup company. The fund analyzes prospective startups to determine if the business model fits the Yamacraw mission, and then seeks qualified lead investors for appropriate opportunities.

Once matched by the seed capital fund to a company seeking funding, prospective lead investors perform due diligence to determine if the startup is a good investment. If they elect to invest, the private-sector investor group must leverage seed capital fund money by matching state funds a minimum of three-to-one, providing at least 75 percent of the total seed money. Investments typically fall into the $1 million to $2 million range, with the Yamacraw Seed Capital Fund limited to a maximum $500,000 investment in a single Georgia-based company.

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