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What Do Brazil and Sweden Have in Common?

What Do Brazil and Sweden Have in Common?
by Paul McLellan on 08-06-2013 at 4:55 pm

Well, Sweden is not noted for its carnivals, Brazil is not noted for it’s tall blonde blue-eyed women, Sweden’s climate is not great for growing sugar cane and Brazil’s isn’t great for reindeer. Both countries speak languages with odd-sounding vowels but they are not the same language. But, ding, Jasper Design Automation has engineering organizations in both countries.

Way back in the last millennium, Tempus Fugit was founded by Vigyan Singhal and Joe Higgens. It would eventually become Jasper and Kathryn Kranen would come out of her post-Verisity semi-retirement to become CEO in 2002. The company’s headquarters is just off Castro Street in Mountain View.

In 2004, Claudionor Coelho was on the technology advisory board (TAB) of Jasper. Since he was (and is) active at the university and could direct the best students towards Jasper, they decided it would be a good idea to have and R&D office there, especially given that Brazil was very cost-effective compared with Silicon Valley. The engineering group is in Belo Horizonte (which looks like it should mean beautiful and horizontal…but this is a family blog so I’d better just move on). You probably have no idea where that is (I didn’t) but it turns out to be about a 5 hour drive north of Rio (according to Google maps, anyway).

At the end of that year, 2004, Jasper acquired a company called Safelogic in Sweden, in Gothenburg. Since I worked for a company with engineering in Sweden, meaning I had to go there regularly, I actually do know where Gothenburg is. Stockholm, where Virtutech’s engineering was (and remains, now part of Wind River which is part of Intel) is on the east coast and Gothenburg is on the west coast, about five hours driving or rather less on the train. It is the second biggest city in Sweden.

And a couple of years ago, Jasper decided to open a fourth R&D site in Israel, in Haifa. Another town I’ve actually been to, about an hour’s drive north of Tel Aviv. Before the first time I went to Israel, I thought that Jaffa and Haifa were slightly different variants on names of the same place but actually they are two completely different ports (and both seem to have some excellent restaurants).

Having engineering spread over four sites as Jasper does allows it to tap into different pools of talent. Of course Israel already has a strong technology startup culture, plus many large companies have groups there, and so good engineers are not short of options. But in Sweden and Brazil that is much less so, and exceptional engineers are keen to work at a company like Jasper.

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