Former Linkabit employees Stephen Blake, Itzhak Gurantz, and Franz Birkner founded ComStream in 1984. The company was initially funded with $5.5 million in from venture capital including Oak Industries, John Hancock Venture Capital, General Electric, Paragon Partners and Wolfensohn Ventures. ComStream is best known for its satellite-based telecommunications technology called VSAT, an acronym for ‘very small aperture transmission.’ The novel VSAT technology that achieved antenna or dishes under 5 feet in size, helped facilitate efficient business models for major corporations including Wal-Mart. Franz Birkner, who became chairman and CEO of ComStream in 1987, today serves on the Industrial Advisory Board of UCSD’s Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering.

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  • Franz Birkner
  • Stephen Blake
  • Izhak Gurantz