Optimal Design – Fastest-Growing Chicago Tech Company in America!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
AUGUST 16, 2018

Inc. Magazine Unveils Its 37th Annual List of
America’s Fastest-Growing Chicago Tech Companies—the Inc. 5000

Optimal Design Ranks as one of the Fastest-Growing Chicago Tech Companies in America! 

NEW YORK, August 16, 2018 – Inc. magazine today revealed that Optimal Design, a tech company with offices in Chicago and Arlington Heights, IL is listed on its 37th annual Inc. 5000, the most prestigious ranking of the nation’s fastest-growing companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment—its independent small businesses. Microsoft, Dell, Domino’s Pizza, Pandora, Timberland, LinkedIn, Yelp, Zillow, and many other well-known names gained their first national exposure as honorees on the Inc. 5000.

“Builders and creators form our credo,” said Joe Wascow, Optimal Design co-founder and CMO. “At Optimal Design, we design the future we want to inhabit. Inclusion in the #Inc5000 motivates us to keep dreaming.”

Not only have the companies on the 2018 Inc. 5000 (which are listed online at Inc.com, with the top 500 companies featured in the September issue of Inc., available on newsstands August 15) been very competitive within their markets, but the list as a whole shows staggering growth compared with prior lists. The 2018 Inc. 5000 achieved an astounding three-year average growth of 538.2 percent, and a median rate of 171.8 percent. The Inc. 5000’s aggregate revenue was $206.1 billion in 2017, accounting for 664,095 jobs over the past three years.

Inclusion on the Inc. 5000 is the most recent honor received by Optimal Design, who was also recently featured among the Fast Company’s 2017 Innovation by Design Award recipients for their work on the Rapture virtual reality system (custom head mounted display, haptic feedback gun, haptic feedback vest, and integrated high-power computing), designed for The VOID.

Complete results of the Inc. 5000, including company profiles and an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, region, and other criteria, can be found at www.inc.com/inc5000.

“If your company is on the Inc. 5000, it’s unparalleled recognition of your years of hard work and sacrifice,” says Inc. editor in chief James Ledbetter. “The lines of business may come and go, or come and stay. What doesn’t change is the way entrepreneurs create and accelerate the forces that shape our lives.”

Methodology
The 2018 Inc. 5000 is ranked according to percentage revenue growth when comparing 2014 and 2018. To qualify, companies must have been founded and generating revenue by March 31, 2014. They had to be U.S.-based, privately held, for profit, and independent—not subsidiaries or divisions of other companies—as of December 31, 2017. (Since then, a number of companies on the list have gone public or been acquired.) The minimum revenue required for 2014 is $100,000; the minimum for 2017 is $2 million. As always, Inc. reserves the right to decline applicants for subjective reasons. Companies on the Inc. 500 are featured in Inc.’s September issue. They represent the top tier of the Inc. 5000, which can be found at http://www.inc.com/inc5000.

ABOUT Optimal Design
Optimal Design is an award-winning product development firm specializing in the design and engineering of Wearables, Mobile Computing Products, and connected devices for the Internet of Things. Optimal’s integrated and in-house services include technology R&D, industrial design, mechanical and electrical engineering, software development, RF design, prototyping and production sourcing. With a key role in over 200 patents over the past 15 years, Optimal brings a proven track record in creating patentable intellectual property that protects the client’s investment. Optimal focuses on designing for manufacturability and success in the marketplace at optimized margins. Please contact info@optimaldesignco.com or visit https://www.optimaldesignco.com to learn more.

ABOUT Inc. Media
Founded in 1979 and acquired in 2005 by Mansueto Ventures, Inc. is the only major brand dedicated exclusively to owners and managers of growing private companies, with the aim to deliver real solutions for today’s innovative company builders. Inc. took home the National Magazine Award for General Excellence in both 2014 and 2012. The total monthly audience reach for the brand has been growing significantly, from 2,000,000 in 2010 to more than 18,000,000 today. For more information, visit www.inc.com.

The Inc. 5000 is a list of the fastest-growing private companies in the nation. Started in 1982, this prestigious list has become the hallmark of entrepreneurial success. The Inc. 5000 Conference & Awards Ceremony is an annual event that celebrates the remarkable achievements of these companies. The event also offers informative workshops, celebrated keynote speakers, and evening functions.

Optimal Design Expands Horizons For High School Students

High School students introduced to STEM, Virtual Reality and Opportunity in America

[ARLINGTON HEIGHTS, IL, APRIL 27, 2018] Educators, administrators and students from Township High School District 214 will get an opportunity to learn more about the Internet of Things, Virtual Reality (VR) and other design and engineering projects during a tour of Arlington Heights-based Optimal Design Co. on May 4, 2018.

In attendance will be High school District 214 administrators and staff from various Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs like the Robotics Team, Project Lead, and Next Generation Engineering. Also joining the tour will be students and educators from the District’s Newcomer Center, which serves high schoolers learning to navigate American schools while adapting to their lives in the United States. The school provides language and academic support prior to students transitioning to one of the larger, comprehensive high schools in the area.

Optimal Design CEO and Co-founder Sajid Patel stressed the importance of leading by example and welcoming students into an ever-expanding world of innovation and discovery.

“Optimal Design would like to expose our youth to professional applications of engineering,” Patel said. “Students can only be what they can see, so we want to do our part in showing them a STEM pathway that they can then choose to explore. By getting a tour of our facility, and meeting with our talented staff, right there we have exposed our youth to tech role models.”

Along with touring the facility, the students will learn more about Optimal Design’s approach to design, which anchors and informs their work, including virtual reality systems, Internet of Things wearables, and other software, electrical, industrial design, mechanical processes.

“As educators, it’s important to give all students the opportunity to see what their future might look like after high school,” Mario Lopez, Coordinator of The Newcomer Center. “This year, several of our Newcomers have identified career interests in engineering, technology, and science. A visit to Optimal Design can help plant a seed helping our students imagine a career they might otherwise never considered.”

This visit represents an exploratory tour to discuss possible future educational partnerships with Districts like D214.

“As educators, it's important to give all students the opportunity to see what their future might look like after high school,” Mario Perez, Coordinator of The Newcomer Center. “This year, several of our Newcomers have identified career interests in engineering, technology, and science. A visit to Optimal Design can help plant a seed helping our students imagine a career they might otherwise never considered.”

 

ABOUT OPTIMAL DESIGN

Optimal Design is an award-winning product development and tech consulting firm specializing in the design and engineering of Mobile Products, Virtual Reality Systems and devices for the Internet of Things. Much of their success is attributable to their keen analysis of profitable tech spaces and Optimal’s integrated services including technology R&D, industrial design, mechanical and electrical engineering, software development, prototyping and production sourcing. With a key role in over 150 patents over the past 15 years, Optimal brings a proven track record in creating intellectual property that protects the client’s investment. Please contact info@optimaldesignco.com or visit https://www.optimaldesignco.com to learn more.

Optimal Design Named One of 2018 Best Places to Work in Illinois.

Optimal Design Named one of 2018 Best Places to Work In Illinois.
Empowering Employees is the mark of a great brand, inside and out. Optimal Design employee experience ranks top in the state.

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE 9 A.M. CDT, April 14, 2018
(Arlington Heights, IL) Award winning product development and tech consulting firm Optimal Design announced today they were recently named one of 2018 Best Places to Work in Illinois, their 3rd recognition in a row. The awards program began in 2006 and is promoted by The Daily Herald Business Ledger in partnership with the Human Resources Management Association of Chicago (HRMAC), the Illinois Chamber of Commerce, MRA-The Management Association, the Small Business Advocacy Council, the Greater Oak Brook Chamber of Commerce and Best Companies Group.

This statewide survey and awards program was designed to identify, recognize and honor the best places of employment in Illinois, benefiting the state’s economy, workforce and businesses. Companies from across the state entered the two-part process to determine the Best Places to Work in Illinois. The first part consisted of evaluating each nominated company’s workplace policies, practices, and demographics. This part of the process was worth approximately 25% of the total evaluation. The second part consisted of an employee survey to measure the employee experience. This part of the process was worth approximately 75% of the total evaluation.

“It is our people and our culture that keeps our team engaged and looking forward to coming to work everyday,” states Joe Wascow, Chief Marketing Officer and Co-Founder at Optimal Design. “Our foundational goal has always been to build a best-in-class brand and serve our clients who rank among the world’s leading innovators,” Wascow continues. “We realize that to build a great brand, you have to behave like one. Our employees deliver on our brand promise every day – To Advance Human Ability – and we keep that same promise to our employees to make them better, to innovate for life. That promise benefits us all and it’s why we’re recognized as the Best Place to Work, three years in a row. We are very appreciative and grateful for this recognition.”

Optimal Design will be recognized and honored at the Best Places to Work in Illinois awards ceremony coordinated by The Daily Herald Business Ledger on May 17 and will be profiled in a special publication on June 18. The final rankings will be announced at the event and announced on the Business Ledger website (www.dhbusinessledger.com).

For more information on the Best Places to Work in Illinois program, visit www.BestPlacestoWorkinIL.com

ABOUT Optimal Design
Optimal Design is an award-winning product development and tech consulting firm specializing in the design and engineering of Mobile Products, Virtual Reality Systems and devices for the Internet of Things. Much of their success is attributable to their keen analysis of profitable tech spaces and Optimal’s integrated services including technology R&D, industrial design, mechanical and electrical engineering, software development, prototyping and production sourcing. With a key role in over 150 patents over the past 15 years, Optimal brings a proven track record in creating intellectual property that protects the client’s investment. Please contact info@optimaldesignco.com or visit https://www.optimaldesignco.com to learn more.

CES Tech Trends Report 2018

The CES 2018 Tech Trends Report is here!  This year’s trends cover everything from digital health to connect fitness equipment.

Click the image below to see the full report.

CES 2018

IoT Tech Expo North America 2017

Attendees of IoT Tech Expo North America 2017 can expect to see literally world-changing inventions, technology and devices designed to advance the quality of life for everyone on the planet. Optimal Design will be there to chat with expo-goers about emerging technologies in the world of wearables, virtual reality, as well as the latest Internet of Things (IoT) trends.

“[The] Internet of Things is still in its infancy, so there are a lot of hurdles yet to overcome, including security, standards and regulations, adoption rates, and monetization,” said Steve Sebree, Optimal Design Business Development Manager “However, I believe we’re starting to reach a tipping point for many of these challenges as IoT becomes more commonplace and companies of all shapes and sizes start to see the long-term value in connected products.”

The IoT affects literally everything on the planet: systems, finance, shipping, human resources, health care and social mechanisms. If it requires a connection, you can bet that the Internet of Things (and its complement, the Industrial Internet of Things/Industry 4.0) is involved.

“Right now, the most potential is in the industrial and medical spaces,” added Joe Kreidler, Director of Electrical and Software Engineering at Optimal Design. “For industrial, IoT brings real cost savings. For medical, IoT improves the quality of care and the experience in the hospital for the patient.”

Expanding on the topic of the Internet of Things, biotech and healthcare as it relates to wearables, Kreidler cited the Optimal Design product CareBand.

“My favorite project is the CareBand wearable for dementia patients. There are two things that excite me about this project,” he said. “First, the engineering that went into designing and building this project is outstanding and seeing the team deliver on such a large challenge is very exciting. Second, I believe this product will help improve the quality of life for dementia patients and provide some peace of mind for the families of these patients. It is extremely exciting and satisfying to work on projects that advance the human experience.”

Optimal Design Business Development Manager J.D. Sims agreed, saying, “CareBand is a wearable for seniors living with dementia and Alzheimer’s. The wearable reduces injuries due to dementia-related  wandering and enhances overall quality of life through proactive care insights, resulting in better outcomes. What excites me about CareBand is its focus on solving a real problem in senior care, an industry that is not synonymous with technology.”

Attending the IoT Tech Expo gives the Optimal Design team an opportunity to network with other industry leaders to help shape the focus and direction of our shared future. Possessing an historic understanding of the space and marrying that experience with the vision of what’s possible is a key driver in what the Optimal Design team does (and why).

For Kreidler, security and maturity constitute the biggest challenges for the IoT landscape, saying, “The Internet of Things is lagging in the consumer space because of the lack of maturity in IoT security. Internet of Things security has to provide peace of mind for the user before IoT can really be safe for the consumer to use in their homes.”

Establishing expectations and setting manageable set points along the process helps Sims deliver for Optimal Design clients. “It’s important to set a foundation for a project using our comprehensive Product Requirements Document. Having firm requirements in place at the beginning of a project ensures that all disciplines are aligned and as much risk is mitigated as possible early in the process.”

When you stop by Booth 265 at the IoT Tech Expo, you can expect to see smart home technology at work with the the Regal Beloit Century Connected pool pump, award winning design with Cabela’s Instinct Wingman Decoy and test out the candy scale to watch real-time IoT supply chain logistics in action.

But as exciting as our current offerings are, Optimal Design keeps an eye on the future, always. The nature of progress is expansion, and the soul of the engineer is rooted in creation. Where will the Internet of Things take us as a species?

“I see the most potential in smart cities and autonomous vehicles,” Sims said. “The Internet of Things will give us the ability to create more power efficient cities with safer and faster transportation systems.”

“The most potential I see for the Internet of Things is in biotech, wearables and machine learning, which is also referred to as artificial intelligence,” Sebree said.”I believe these areas will continue to improve and have far-reaching impacts which will be most beneficial to how people live and how businesses operate.”

He added, “The IoT Tech Expo is still young but continues to grow year-over-year. This year we expect the largest and most-attended expo with ground-breaking products and advanced technologies on display. It won’t be long before a new venue will be required to fit the growing number of exhibitors and attendees into one room.”

See you then!

WHAT: The World’s Largest IoT Event Series, the #IoTTechExpo
WHERE: Santa Clara Convention Center, Silicon Valley
WHEN: November 29-30th, 2017
BOOTH: 265

ABOUT OPTIMAL DESIGN: Optimal Design  is a product development firm and strategic consultancy that brings innovative products to organizations seeking new technologies, marketplace expertise, collaborative leadership, and unleashed innovation.  As a leader in development of connected devices and wearables, Optimal Design leverages its industrial design, engineering, and software teams to bring cutting edge IoT solutions to market. They have been featured in Fast Company magazine, Digital Engineering Magazine, and named by the Silicon Review as one of the ten fastest growing Internet of Things (IoT) Companies of 2017. Optimal Design has also been named among the Best Places to Work in Illinois (for both 2016 and 2017). Learn more about their process and products at www.optimaldesignco.com. You may also connect with them on twitter , facebook or LinkedIn .

ABOUT IoT Tech Expo: The World’s Largest IoT Event Series, IoT Tech Expo brings together key industries from across America for two days of top level content and discussion. Introducing and exploring the latest innovations within the Internet of Things and covering Manufacturing, Transport, Health, Logistics, Government, Energy and Automotive is held over three co-located events. The conference features fifteen conference tracks, over three hundred speakers and over three hundred exhibitors. In attendance are nine thousand professionals, representing IT decision makers, developers & makers, OEMs, government and council officials, automotive executives, operators, technology providers, investors, venture capitalists and many more. For complete information, including schedules and registration, visit their website.

Building Blocks of IoT Design

Pete​ Nanni​, Lead RF Engineer and Joe Kreidler, Director of Electrical and Software Engineering at Optimal Design are quoted in​ this month’s Digital Engineering Magazine. In an article ​entitled, Building Blocks of IoT Design ​focus​ing​ on the design choices that have to be made by engineers creating IoT products​,​ Pete explain​s​ why having in house RF engineers is vital​ while Joe explain​s​ why wearables require a custom approach to achieve the needed user experience.

​Quotes are as follows:​

Specific technical challenges mandate custom development, such as when a systems form factor requires additional flexibility, as pointed out by Joe Kreidler, director of electrical and software engineering at Optimal Design, an Illinois-based product development and IoT solutions firm. “Optimal Design has found this [custom development] to be particularly the case with wearables. Even though a module may be a simpler solution from a board design and firmware perspective, a module may not be able to bend or be shaped around the curve of the body. In these cases, utilizing discrete components allows us to lay out the electronics to obtain the optimal size and shape necessary for the desired user experience.”

“To build a successful product with embedded radios, RF simulation is needed from the beginning of the project,” says Pete Nanni, lead RF engineer at Optimal Design. “The complete RF system consists of the module, printed circuit board and housing. An engineer cannot simply use data sheet performance specifications and radiation patterns because these patterns are measured in free space.

“When a module is built into a system, the radiation pattern changes, so simulation is key to optimizing RF performance. Many IoT devices have multiple radios, such as a Bluetooth Low Energy radio and a cellular radio,” Nanni adds. “Off-the-shelf modules can be used, but the reference designs do not provide information about the interaction of the modules. An in-house RF team needs to perform simulations to understand how the radiation patterns are impacted by the multiple radios.”

​Read the entire published article here.

Optimal Design Co Inclusion Fast Company Honorable Mention

 

Optimal Design Company has been recognized among Fast Company’s 2017 Innovation by Design Award recipients, receiving an honorable mention for its work on The Rapture Virtual Reality Headset for use with The VOID. Standing out among over 2,500 entries, the inclusion is an important one for this Arlington Heights firm, recently included among the Silicon Review’s fastest growing Internet of Things companies of 2017.

“At Optimal Design, it has always been our goal to build a best in class brand and to service our clients who rank among the world’s leading innovators,” said Joe Wascow, Optimal Design co-founder and CMO. 

All of the honorees are featured in the October issue of the print magazine, available at newsstands on September 19th. The Innovation by Design Awards program, now in its sixth year, honors the most innovative and disruptive design solutions created to resolve today’s most challenging business issues. Finalists were selected from a record number of more than 2,500 international submissions across 13 categories—ultimately recognizing 299 entrants—the most winners, finalists and honorable mentions in the history of the awards. Honorees include household names like Coca-Cola and Sony, design firms R/GA and IDEO, and emerging companies like Willow and Away. This year’s judging panel, comprised of the world’s best design minds included actor and furniture designer, Terry Crews, Kickstarter CEO, Yancey Strickler and Roman Mars, Founder of 99% Invisible.

The Rapture Virtual Reality Headset is located within the Products category following the link to the complete list here.

Fast Company is the world’s leading progressive business media brand, inspiring a new breed of innovative and creative thought leadership, who are actively inventing the future of business. Fast Company believes that business is the primary vehicle for progress and positive change in the world, and encourages businesses and people in business to lean into it. Fast Company was named Adweek’s 2016 Hotlist Winner for Hottest Business Publication. In 2014, the magazine was Adweek’s Hotlist Winner for Hottest Business Publication, the Reader’s Choice Award Winner for Hottest Magazine of the Year, and ASME’s Magazine of the Year. Throughout its history, Fast Company has received over 50 Society of Publication Design Awards.

###

Optimal Design Named Top Ten Fastest Growing IoT Companies of 2017

Optimal Design Co., has been recognized by the Silicon Review as one of the ten fastest growing Internet of Things (IoT) Companies of 2017. Joe Wascow, Optimal Design Co., co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer was profiled for their September 2017 issue, featuring their company’s origins, accomplishments to date and their future goals.

“Optimal Design was started as a small firm only offering services in Mechanical Engineering,” Wascow said. “Since then, we have become an innovation and technology R&D firm, acquiring additional talent in Industrial Design, Electrical Engineering, Software/Firmware Engineering, and Prototyping. Innovation is a large part of who we are. It’s in our DNA and it’s a trait we look for in every employee.”

For more about the origins and methodology of Optimal Design Co., and to learn more about their pioneering work in Virtual Reality, Augmented Reality, Wearables, and of course, the Internet of Things, please visit the Silicon Review for the complete article.

******

The Silicon Review is the world’s most trusted online and print community for business & technology professionals. Their diverse community of IT professionals members includes thought-provoking CEOs, CIOs, CTOs, IT VPs and managers. The Silicon Review encompasses nine technology and vertical communities: Software, IT Services, Cloud, Mobile, Big Data, Security, Telecommunications, Hot Start-ups and The Best Companies to work for. Each community leader is a proven subject matter expert who collaborates with industry gurus, technology managers, researchers, top technology journalists, consultants and industry analysts.

###

IoT Platforms: A Patchwork of Technologies

OD’s Joe Kreidler and Matt Heins were recently featured in Digital Engineering about the need for an integrated approach when it comes to the Internet of Things:

Peruse the market, and you’ll find a growing list of vendors touting their “Internet of Things (IoT) platforms.” These companies range from public cloud vendors and purveyors of traditional business middleware platforms to networking hardware and enterprise resource planning (ERP) software suppliers. In the end, you’re left scratching your head because these companies offer only part of the capabilities needed to develop IoT products….

This battle over the composition of development platforms centers on differences of perspective and emphasis. The market simply cannot agree on whether platforms should be hardware-centric, software-centric or a mixture of both.

“There is a mix of development platforms available in the marketplace,” says Joe Kreidler, director of Electrical and Software Engineering at Optimal Designs. “Many IoT development kits are hardware-based, with supporting software development kits (SDKs), such as Intel’s Edison IoT development platform. Some development platforms are software only, like Amazon’s IoT platform, which provides an SDK that the developer must port and embed into their device.”

For the full article on Digital Engineering, visit http://www.digitaleng.news/de/a-patchwork-of-technologies/

Top 10 Fastest Growing IoT Solution Provider Companies

Fastest Growing IoT Provider

Optimal Design has been awarded the Top 10 Fastest Growing IoT Solution Provider Companies. The “Internet of things” (IoT) has become an important topic of discussion both in the workplace and outside. IoT as a concept is going to change the way people live and businesses operate. Globally proclaimed as the next big thing, it is expected to grow more than $7 trillion by 2020. Ironically, most companies have only just begun to tap into this multi-trillion dollar market. Fortunately, Optimal Design has been at the forefront of this technological revolution for the past 15 years and can help businesses navigate with speed, ingenuity, and success. ‘Innovate For Life’ – this is Optimal’s core promise – and there’s no better platform for delivering that promise than IoT.

Optimal Design is an award winning technology focused product development and tech consulting firm specializing in the design and engineering of Mobile Products, Virtual Reality Systems, and Devices for the Internet of Things. The company, headquartered in the Chicago suburbs, is focused on driving a simplified, connected world involving ubiquitous and intelligent IoT systems that Advance Human Ability. Optimal Design’s IoT products portfolio is truly Innovation Unleashed, and their services in technology R&D, Industrial Design, Engineering, Software, and Rapid Prototyping are unmatched.