AC Client Konectera talks to the Globe & Mail about their New Wearable Pet Technology Startup

When former BlackBerry Ltd. employee Peter Mankowski became the latest casualty of the struggling technology company’s corporate restructuring, he didn’t spend a lot of time mourning his old job.

September 19, 2014

When former BlackBerry Ltd. employee Peter Mankowski became the latest casualty of the struggling technology company’s corporate restructuring, he didn’t spend a lot of time mourning his old job.

The 50-year-old scientist took his severance package and dipped into his RRSPs to help fund his own startup, CLEO Collar, a wearable pet technology firm inspired by his love of animals.

Since Mr. Mankowski’s job ended in the first week of June, the CLEO Collar CEO has put together a team of 20 employees, including three other ex-BlackBerry engineers, to work with him to develop and sell the electronic hardware device. It allows pet owners to remotely track the location and vital signs of their cat or dog.

“I always had this voice in my heart. I didn’t just want to build phones,” says Mr. Mankowski, who spent four years working at Waterloo, Ont.-based BlackBerry. His last title there was technical team lead for advanced connectivity, until his research division was shut down.

BlackBerry, Canada’s best-known technology company, has laid off more than half of its employees in the past few years – shedding roughly 10,000 workers since 2011 – as it dukes it out with Apple Inc. and other providers in the highly competitive smartphone space

Mr. Mankowski is one of several ex-BlackBerry employees who have decided to stick it out in the Waterloo region and start their own companies, instead of being lured away by other technology firms in Canada, the United States and other parts of the world.

Read the full article here.

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