Sunday, September 17, 2006

Telecom Entrepreneur is First Female Space Tourist, Also Launches Digital Home Company

Anousheh Ansari captured headlines worldwide as the first female space tourist. Ansari paid a reported $20 million to be a member of the crew of the Soyuz TMA-9, which launched on Monday from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan. The mission is headed to the International Space Station.

In the networking industry, Anousheh Ansari gained prominence as co-founder, CEO and Chairman of the Board for Telecom Technologies, Inc. Founded in 1993, the company experienced rapid growth and profitability before being acquired by Sonus Networks in November 2000 for a minimum of 10.8 million shares of stock (worth $441 million at the time) plus other incentives.

Telecom Technologies was an early developer of softswitching technology and focused on multivendor softswitch services and media gateway interoperability. The company had about 200 employees at the time and was based in Richardson, Texas.

Ansari and her family also provided the title sponsorship for the Ansari X-Prize, a $10 million cash prize which was won in 2004.

The launch date of the Russian Soyuz spacecraft also marks the official launch of Ansari's newest company -- Prodea Systems, which will focus on enhancing the digital home experience.

Prodea Systems' offering combines hardware, software and subscription services to create a seamless home network. Prodea has its headquarters in Plano, Texas, and locations in Chennai and Beijing.

See also