Ohio University alumnus Jake Sigal, the founder and CEO of Tome, Inc., has been named the recipient of the 2016 Konneker Medal for Commercialization and Entrepreneurship.
The Ohio University Foundation established the Konneker Medal to recognize current and former faculty members and students who have demonstrated excellence in innovation, invention, commercialization and entrepreneurship. The award is named in honor of Wilfred Konneker, an Ohio University alumnus renowned for his contributions to these fields.
Sigal has launched two successful startup companies: Livio and Tome. Both focus on digital audio, consumer electronics and internet-connected products. He has been awarded 11 U.S. patents for his innovations, which include a wireless internet radio system, a portable media player for digital content and various integrated automotive technologies.
Livio’s high-profile products, developed by Sigal, have included standalone internet radio collaborations with NPR and Pandora, and the Livio Connect software that facilitated the integration of mobile apps and vehicle hardware systems. Ford Motor Company acquired Livio in 2013.
Tome Software launched in 2014 and works with established companies to develop internet-connected products within the growing “Internet of Things” tech industry.
Sigal earned undergraduate and master’s degrees in industrial and systems engineering from the Russ College of Engineering and Technology. In 2014, Ohio University awarded him the Charles J. and Claire O. Ping Recent Graduate Award for his achievements. He has earned numerous industry honors, including the Automotive Leadership Up and Coming Award from the Detroit Free Press, and has been a semifinalist for Ernst & Young’s Entrepreneur of the Year Award.
“Jake Sigal has had remarkable success in creating new technologies for advanced communication,” said Joseph Shields, vice president for research and creative activity and dean of the Graduate College. “The Konneker Medal recognizes not only these achievements but also his accomplishments as an entrepreneur in making his inventions available to benefit the public.”
Sigal, whose companies are based in metro Detroit, frequently returns to the Athens campus where he once performed with the Marching 110. He said he enjoys speaking to Russ College students and other young entrepreneurs about the technology commercialization and business fields. He also actively mentors new startup companies in Detroit through the Techstars business accelerator program.
“My experience at Ohio provided the tools and people skills that allowed me to work with some of the best people in the world,” Sigal said. “Working with young entrepreneurs and students is a passion of mine. I like to discuss how it’s better to create a job than to go out and get a job after leaving school.”
Ohio University will award the Konneker Medal to Sigal at its annual Inventors Dinner celebration Feb. 8.
Photo of Jake Sigal courtesy of Tome Inc.