Award-Winning CEOs Choose California’s Tri-Valley

PLEASANTON, Calif. — April 4, 2022  When serial entrepreneur Ammad Khan decided he wanted to use his vast experience in mobile and augmented reality technology to improve the lives of others, he chose Tri-Valley, CA as his ideal location to build the dream.

“In my late 30’s, I wanted to do something that would have a meaningful impact. While going through that journey, I met my co-founder in Pleasanton, a neuroscientist from UC Berkeley. Together we dreamed about creating a solution that would be a gamechanger for people who have vision impairments,” said Khan.

The Pleasanton-based company delivered its first commercial low vision assistive device to consumers in 2017. Today, approximately three and half thousand people are using IrisVision products. Khan added, “Several years later, having seen the impact on so many lives, it is so rewarding. It’s a very powerful thing to see someone who lost their vision at some point come back to life in front of their families. They put on our glasses and can recognize their loved ones…that makes everything worth it.”

Last month, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITV), a collective of leaders and influencers committed to connecting the businesses, educational institutions, research labs, and civic leaders in the Tri-Valley region, hosted its annual #GameChangers Awards. A common theme emerged from the 11 founders and CEOs being honored. These Tri-Valley founders solve the world’s problems with an innate appreciation for people’s needs, and a commitment to the people and the community where they work.

Tri-Valley game changers are engaging leaders with genuine concern for their customers, and the team working with them to realize the founding vision. Not surprisingly, the visionaries at the helm of these companies are working on solutions that solve global challenges and contribute to a better world for all.

Treating every employee with dignity and respect is part of Dublin-based AEye, Inc.’s company ethos. “We came to this area because it offers so much talent. Engineering of every different type, due to the proximity to the National Labs in the area and just because of the general population in the Tri-Valley. We couldn’t have done it without all of the talent amassed in this area” said Ransom Wuller, AEye Inc. Founder and Treasurer.

Wuller and Founder and CTO Luis Dussan took the company public last year. AEye, Inc. is now listed on the Nasdaq under LIDR and has almost 100 employees building technology for autonomous driving. In 2013, Dussan, a 20+ year veteran of the aerospace and defense industry came to the Tri-Valley. “I owe a lot to the Tri-Valley community because they believed in me when they didn’t need to. I hope that with Tekion and so many other great Tri-Valley companies, founders will see that this is the community to raise a family and create a company that goes public.”

San Ramon life science startup, Raydiant Oximetry, is a venture-backed, clinical-stage company dedicated to improving outcomes for mothers and babies during childbirth. Currently, there is no commercially available method to measure fetal oxygenation levels. Founded in 2015 by pediatric anesthesiologist Neil Ray, MD, the company’s technology has the potential to revolutionize maternal and fetal medical care.

Raydiant Oximetry’s COO Russ DeLonzor stated, “It has been my good fortune to have been developing medical devices in the Tri-Valley for about 25 years now. I was nervous at first thinking, I am moving to the outskirts of the technology world but it turned out to be the best thing we ever did. What drove us to the Tri-Valley is the talent pool. Every engineering discipline is here in the Tri-Valley.”

The Tri-Valley, a confluence of three valleys geographically positioned in the center of the Northern CA Megaregion, established itself nearly 70 years ago as an early pioneer in the science and tech ecosystem as it is home to two national research laboratories, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory and Sandia National Laboratories. With a sunny, temperate climate, unparalleled quality of life with top-notch public schools, a highly educated and skilled talent pool, and convenient proximity to a vast innovation resource network, over 450 tech companies call the Tri-Valley home and currently drive a $42B GDP for the region.

States ITV CEO Lynn Wallace Naylor, “These award winners exemplify the Tri-Valley brand of compassionate innovation. Not only do these visionaries have everything they need to solve world problems, they are building prosperous companies and full lives in the Tri-Valley as well.”

The 2022 Tri-Valley #GameChangers Award recipients include: ACTON, AEye, Inc., BoxMedia, Crosschq, IrisVision, Monarch Tractor, Raydiant Oximetry, Striking Distance Studios, Tekion, Vagaro and the Advanced Manufacturing Lab at Lawrence Livermore National Lab.


About the 2022 #GameChangers Awards:

On March 10th, 2022, Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group held its #GameChangers Awards at Goal Line Productions in Pleasanton. Founders, entrepreneurs, mentors, start-ups, funders, and civic leaders came together to celebrate 11 companies who are changing the world from right here in the Tri-Valley. LINK TO EVENT PHOTOS

2022 #GameChanger Award Winners

ACTON – micromobility
AEye, Inc. – artificial perception pioneer
BoxMedia – interactive workforce training
Crosschq – predictive data for better hiring
IrisVision – digital vision technologies
Monarch Tractor – sustainable farming technology
Raydiant Oximetry – fetal monitoring devices
Striking Distance Studios – gaming innovation
Tekion – revolutionizing automotive sales
Vagaro – beauty, spa and wellness management

2022 Founders Award – Advanced Manufacturing Lab – linking academia and industry at Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory 

About Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group:  

Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group (ITV) is a collective of leaders and influencers committed to connecting the businesses, educational institutions, research labs, and civic leaders in the Tri-Valley region. ITV showcases the region as a technology and innovation powerhouse, outpacing the Bay Area mega-region in both job creation and economic growth. According to the Tri-Valley Rising report published by the Bay Area Council Economic Institute, the Tri-Valley is home to 450 technology companies and the regional innovation economy drives a $42 billion GDP. Follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn.

To learn more about Innovation Tri-Valley (ITV) and the 2040 Vision Plan, click here.

Media contact information:  
Katie Marcel
Innovation Tri-Valley Leadership Group 
[email protected]