Fax Software

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    by Judy Steed
    Toronto Star Feature Writer

    Remember Delrina and the flying toasters screen-saver?

    Delrina Corp. founders, left to right, Mark Skapinker, Dennis Bennie, Tony Davis,
    Bahman Koohestani and Bert Amato set up the firm in 1988 and sold it in 1995
    for more than half a billion dollars.

    One of Torontos first big high-tech plays, Delrina Corps moment of glory came in the early 1990s, when its WinFax program was the biggest-selling stand-alone fax software in the world.

    In 1995, with fabulous timing, Delrinas founders sold the firm to U.S.-based Symantec Corp. in a stock deal worth $560 million (Canadian).

    Today, Delrina is long gone and the fax market overtaken by e-mail, e-commerce and Internet traffic. But the wealth and the lessons generated by the immigrant entrepreneurs had a catalytic effect on Toronto high-tech scene.

    This is the story of the Delrina legacy and the spinoff effects created by compulsive risk takers who dont quit.

    Who stick around. Who keep getting together again and again in various alliances to dream up new ventures. And who, either directly or as investors, now have the time and money to help the next generation of young techies get their bright ideas off the ground.

    In the beginning, there were five hungry guys.

    We say to the Waterloo grads, you dont have to go to the U.S., you can develop your ideas here, get the seed money and the mentoring, everything we wish we’d had when we started out.

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