Integrata nabs deal with NSA on wireless security system
Editor-in-Chief- Baltimore Business Journal
Oct 18, 2013, 6:23am EDT
Mike Geppi saw firsthand how banks couldn’t give in to the flexibility of wireless networks for fear of cyber attacks.
The former banker turned techpreneur joined with his fellow MBA students at University of Maryland’s Smith School of Business to create Integrata, a company that focuses on securing wireless networks. In just one year since launching Integrata — Italian for integrated — Geppi and his colleagues have signed an exclusive license agreement with the National Security Agency to commercialize its patented Wireless Intrusion Detection System (WIDS) technology.
Geppi expects testing for the product to begin soon and that it will likely go to market in the next year.
The startup is one of numerous emerging in Maryland’s fast-growing cyber security industry. But many of those companies focus on cyber security services rather than products, so Integrata has turned some heads.
At the CyberMaryland 2013 conference last week investors talked about how Maryland needed to boost the product side of its commercial cyber sector. Integrata, now a resident in University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s tech incubator is just the type of company that was touted at the forum.
It’s connections to NSA are especially appealing to those looking for the next big thing.
Geppi said his eight-member team worked closely with NSA in developing the WIDS system. The startup will focus on selling its product to government agencies, the financial services and health care industries.
“There’s a tremendous amount of trepidation in the banking industry about using wireless,” said Geppi, a former banker at BB&T Corp. and M&T Bank. “The only thing that keeps them from taking advantage of wireless is that security problem.”
So far, Integrata has received $100,000 from Maryland’s Tedco commercialization fund and money from private investors. Geppi is seeking more capital from investors as Integrata prepares for the market.
The eight-person company is also in search of new employees, including software developers, engineers and marketing and business development staff.
Geppi, a Bel Air resident, looks forward to growing the company in both employees and eventually revenue. He’s especially excited about being in Maryland’s cyber security scene.
He said that’s why he decided to leave banking to pursue his own business.
“I saw this exciting entrepreneurial ecosystem that was almost under the radar but very robust,” he said.