Canada\'s entrepreneurship represented by Germain Lamonde at EY World Entrepreneur Of The Yearâ„¢

28 May 2019

QUEBEC CITY, May 28, 2019 /PRNewswire/ - Germain Lamonde, founder and Executive Chairman of EXFO Inc. (NASDAQ: EXFO) (TSX: EXF), the communications network test, monitoring and analytics experts, will be representing Canada at the upcoming EY World Entrepreneur Of The YearTM competition. After winning the Quebec provincial and national titles, Mr. Lamonde will compete with entrepreneurs from 47 countries at the four-day event in Monaco, with the winner to be announced at the gala on June 8.

"Quebec City is proud to support the nomination of Germain Lamonde, EXFO founder and Executive Chairman of the Board, for the title of EY World Entrepreneur Of The Year. Mr. Lamonde is a successful entrepreneur and contributor to our modern economy. As early as the 1980s, he was a visionary, able to see the full potential of fiber optics," said Quebec City Mayor Régis Labeaume. "It is largely thanks to Germain Lamonde that our city has become the world capital of optics and photonics. We wish him every possible success at the awards ceremony in Monaco, where he will be representing Canada."

Canada shines on the global stage for entrepreneurship

EY World Entrepreneur Of The YearTM 2019 is the leading international competition for entrepreneurs. It brings together "the world's most exceptional mold-breakers, the boldest entrepreneurs who know you can't create new growth by following old models. People who look for new solutions, combinations and possibilities."

"Lamonde has long-term vision," says François Tellier, EY Entrepreneur Of The Year National Program Director. "He was able to identify a need many businesses didn't even know they had and provide solutions that have transformed the telecommunications industry. He's taken EXFO from an optical fiber startup to the world leader for fiber optic testing and provider of service assurance solutions. Lamonde is bold, daring and disruptive—and that's why we're so proud to recognize his achievements."

From a $100 investment to a global leader in the telecom industry

Second place was never an option for Mr. Lamonde, founder and CEO for more than 30 years, and now Executive Chairman of EXFO. From the moment he launched the firm from his student apartment, his vision was to make it the world's top-ranked fiber optic test company.

In the 1985 pre-internet era, as a young physics engineer with a newly minted master's degree in optics, Mr. Lamonde had a bold vision that fiber optics would become the medium of choice. He was one of the first to develop optical test instruments, with a focus on developing a user-friendly product to enable non-specialized workers to start building the advanced optical infrastructure that is now an integral part of our modern information society.

Mr. Lamonde then took the company public on the NASDAQ and TSX in June 2000 and expanded EXFO's target markets and mission to further grow the company to become "the trusted leader in telecom testing, service assurance and analytics." Thanks to his relentless innovations, EXFO helps telecom operators and Internet giants deploy better and faster networks and services. The company provides more reliable critical infrastructure, from fiber optics to 5G. In a world where information is the foundation of democracy and prosperity, EXFO plays an instrumental role by helping everyone to connect safely, everywhere.

Investing in the next generation of technological entrepreneurs

Mr. Lamonde has inspired a new generation of technology entrepreneurs to think big and global by sharing his experience, advice and contacts. He has made numerous public appearances and spoken to MBA and entrepreneurship classes to share his global vision with entrepreneurs, students and members of the business community. He has financially supported higher education as well as disadvantaged schools, promoting sports and physical activities to help kids grow their self-esteem, discipline and expectations.

Recently, Mr. Lamonde made a $1 million donation to the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Université Laval, his alma mater. The donation, the largest in the faculty's history, will fund undergraduate and postgraduate scholarships and support the EGGNIUS technology entrepreneurship program of which Mr. Lamonde is the main ambassador.

He has also accepted a government invitation to serve as chairman of the Québec Digital Transformation Council and as chairman of the $400M Canada-Ontario-Québec ENCQOR 5G innovation initiative. Mr. Lamonde remains active on several boards dedicated to the success of other entrepreneurs like QG-100, which supports Québec's largest exporters; and contributed to the creation of InnovExport I & II, which provide funding and coaching to promising new export-centric startups.

"Give where you live" – Germain Lamonde

Recognized for five years in a row as one of Canada's 50 Best-Managed Companies, EXFO is also active in the community, both at its headquarters and its main sites in India, France, Spain, China and Singapore, among others. Initiatives and organizations supported by Mr. Lamonde and EXFO employees include the United Way in Canada, fundraising for sports at schools in underprivileged areas, Grand Défi Pierre Lavoie, Héma-Québec and many others.

Given his global success, Mr. Lamonde has also greatly helped shape Québec City into one of Canada's most vibrant economies with the lowest unemployment rates, as well as numerous global enterprises with a confident, outward-looking business culture. "Money isn't typically the primary driver for successful entrepreneurs," says Mr. Lamonde. "It's the jobs we create that always make me proudest at the end of each year."

About EXFO

EXFO (NASDAQ: EXFO) (TSX: EXF) develops smarter test, monitoring and analytics solutions for fixed and mobile network operators, webscale companies and equipment manufacturers in the global communications industry. Our customers count on us to deliver superior network performance, service reliability and subscriber insights. They count on our unique blend of equipment, software and services to accelerate digital transformations related to fiber, 4G/LTE and 5G deployments. They count on our expertise with automation, real-time troubleshooting and big data analytics, which are critical to their business performance. We've spent over 30 years earning this trust, and today 1,900 EXFO employees in over 25 countries work side by side with our customers in the lab, field, data center and beyond.

About EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™

EY Entrepreneur Of The Year™ is the world's most prestigious business awards program for entrepreneurs. The program makes a difference through the way it encourages entrepreneurial activity among those with potential and recognizes the contribution of people who inspire others with their vision, leadership and achievement. As the first and only truly global awards program of its kind, Entrepreneur Of The Year celebrates those who are building and leading successful, growing and dynamic businesses, recognizing them through regional, national and global awards programs in more than 145 cities in more than 60 countries.

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