H I S T O R Y
In 1985, Cliff Wildes founded Microtech International Inc (MII), a leader in mass storage and memory products, and served as CEO and Chairman through 1995 when he sold the business to a Japanese publicly traded company. MII pioneered storage technology for Apple and IBM, and was one of the premier third party International hardware manufacturers in the category. MII designed and manufactured Macintosh branded storage products for Apple Computer and NeXT Computer, as well as PC compatible products and memory. And, was a beta testing site for third party products including early voice recognition software and emerging hardware developments. The company was headquartered in Connecticut with additional offices in the USA, Japan and the United Kingdom.
MII received industry awards and accolades for its technology and groundbreaking industry innovation, which led to Wildes becoming a Finalist for Inc. Magazine’s Entrepreneur of the Year award in 1989, where he was recognized for his achievements in exemplifying company building at its best.
Wildes wrote extensively in the industry on the topic of RFI interference on aircraft as a danger for take-off and landing, which served as reference material to help frame the procedures that were developed for turning off electronics during those times, as most of us are familiar with today. He championed FCC Class A and B compliance testing for MacWorld and InfoWorld magazines on electromagnetic shielding and compliance issues. Because of this foresight and diligence, MII became the first non-OEM data storage company to obtain FCC Class A and B certification.
Wildes launched several firsts via Microtech. Among them, the first 800k floppy for Macintosh computers, before Apple manufactured their own version; and being the first United States contract manufacturer to produce branded external storage products under the Apple Computer name.
Per request of a United States Government Agency, Wildes created the first battery-powered external drive that prevented foreign government agencies from using the electrical wire systems that powered traditional drives to read data off a spinning hard drive platter.
In 1992, MII’s SolarPOWER, another of the company’s first-to-market products, was designed by Wildes to extend the battery on his own Macintosh PowerBook. It received favorable reviews from industry press who noted that it surpassed the efforts the United Nations was making to develop solar products to power computers for workers in Africa at the time.
Formerly a professional musician, Wildes’s passion for music led to the company’s highly anticipated private industry events at MacWorld Boston and San Francisco featuring live music by top industry talent; and The Octahedron Project developed with Paul Haslinger of Tangerine Dream, a special collaboration of diverse talent uniquely blending the inner movements of pure sound with the outer limits of technology. In other musical pursuits, Wildes cofounded Ritz Guitar Co. and was Executive Producer of the band Off White.
In 1985, kHyal moved from Los Angeles, California to New Haven, Connecticut and worked as a marketing consultant, then Controller, at Cello, Ltd, an audio design and manufacturing firm founded by industry pioneer, Mark Levinson, who is credited with creating the “high-end audio” market. She was instrumental in international brand marketing and trade show management including the company’s unique presence at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES). As Controller, she was in charge of the organization’s finances, was an officer of the company, and helped facilitate international financing and trade with Japan. During this time, kHyal simultaneously created original works of MIDI music, computer animation, video and multimedia projections, pioneering a digital art form that she combined into live performance and installation. She was a member of the Amiga Users Group at Yale University and Arts and Science Collaborations Inc (ASCI) New York.
In 1991, kHyal joined MII as Creative Director and became a driving force in the company’s marketing department. A forerunner in the use of digital tools, she was an illustrator for Mondo 2000, the cyber culture publication known as the precursor to WIRED magazine. Embedded in the cutting-edge tech art scene, kHyal was a member and featured artist of Rhizome at the New Museum, and a frequent guest and sometimes cohost of Jason Calcanis’s Silicon Alley Reporter at Pseudo.com, a live audio and video webcasting network founded in 1993 by Josh Harris of JupiterResearch in New York.
In 1994, Wildes and kHyal went on to cofound Sunstar Interactive, a software development firm that published lifestyle, gaming and utility titles. In 1995, SunStar formed a strategic partnership with Iomega (now LenovoEMC) and included their backup utility, Personal Backup, with every Macintosh Zip drive in the first year of its launch as part of Iomega’s Zip tools bundle, during which time SunStar quadrupled its staff to keep up with the demand for software upgrades and customer service.
SunStar products made the news in Mobile Office, MacWorld, MacWorld Japan, Electronic Publishing, MacWeek, CD•ROM World, Computer Gaming World, Mac Home, MultiMedia Merchandising, MacUser, Computer Retail Week, The Boston Globe and The New York Times. The packaged software could be found on the shelves of CompUSA and was distributed through Ingram Micro and other channels developed from Wildes’s extensive industry network connections.
A History of Innovation
Over the years Wildes was founder and CEO in several technology hardware and software companies. He has significant domestic and international experience in the microelectronics, computer hardware and software industries, financial services, as well as consulting for both technology and non-technology sectors. Wildes has extensive international trade experience in the Asian markets as Cofounder and Vice Chairman of RamState Electronics located in Tokyo Japan, Cofounder and Chairman of Microtech Japan in Tokyo, Japan with offices in Hong Kong and Cofounder and Director of Ado America, a wholly-owned US subsidiary of Ado, a Japanese publicly traded company. Wildes was Founder, CEO and Chairman of nFinanSe, Inc, (formerly Morgan Beaumont) a publicly traded company that is a premier provider of stored value and prepaid card solutions in the United States. He founded nFinanSe in 2001, took the company public in 2004 and left as its Chairman in 2007.
More recently, Wildes Founded and is Managing Member of, Triad Capital in Sarasota, Florida and Copenhagen, Denmark. He holds Series 24, 62, 63, 65, 79 and 99 FINRA / SEC registrations. Triad Capital offers investment banking services in mergers and acquisitions, general business advisory as well as facilitating funding and financing of both private and public companies in the technology, manufacturing, distribution, life science, financial services, telecommunications and energy sectors.
Wildes was Chief Strategy Officer for Impesa Inc, an international SaaS FinTech company with offices in Costa Rica and Stamford, CT during 2016 and 2017. He is Director of SPBS, an employee owned (ESOP) organization, that provides biomedical equipment and responsive support to over 600 hospitals, clinics, physician offices, imaging labs and other facilities throughout the United States.
In 1995, kHyal was a featured Artist in “CODE,” an international juried exhibition of top artists working in digital media at Ricco/Maresca Gallery in New York City that was sponsored by Microsoft, Apple, Softimage and Silicon Graphics. kHyal went on to cofound blowtorch studios in 1996 with former SunStar Interactive partner Jackie Lightfield, a software development and interactive digital agency whose clients included Modem Media, Major League Soccer and Novartis. She founded the New Media division of premier branding firm WondriskaRusso where she designed websites for the MFA Boston and Neurogen; served as Creative Director at Circle.com (now Havas Worldwide), where she worked on cutting-edge personalization and digital advertising campaigns for GAP, BMW and UPS; and was recruited to The MIT Enterprise Forum of New York City, Inc’s marketing committee. kHyal produced her own live streaming show, The kHyal Show, with OnlineTV™ founder Rick Siegel at the New York Film Academy featuring interviews with Silicon Alley luminaries, and created her first blog covering the rising New York tech scene on kHyal.com in 1996, before the word “blog” was coined.
kHyal has worked on technology and digital marketing initiatives, and software and hardware development in healthcare, financial services, education and the arts. She was a consultant, then Chief Creative Officer for Metropolitan interactive, a company that provided technology solutions throughout the new Whitney Museum of American Art; and is Chief Marketing Officer at Impesa, a SaaS FinTech company headquartered in Costa Rica and Stamford, CT. kHyal has taught product innovation and creation, and design thinking and methodologies, in the US and Asia, and has lectured internationally on entrepreneurship, sustainable product design and digital marketing. She is a founding member of the Women’s Internet History Project; Founder and President of fiZz Agency, a digital marketing communications firm in the greater New York Metro area; and Director of Corporate Communications and SaaS Strategy at Triad Capital.
In 2017, the new Microtech International, Inc was cofounded by Wildes and kHyal, who continue to innovate, and are joined by Jørgen Laustsen. MII 2.0 has a focus on technology and expands beyond hardware and software into vertical market technologies in fuel performance products that help reduce the carbon footprint; renewable energy solutions including solar and wind power; and SaaS and SaaS FinTech development, marketing, sales and distribution in the USA and internationally. MII has offices and customers in the USA, Denmark and Africa.