If you're seeing this message, it means we're having trouble loading external resources on our website.

If you're behind a web filter, please make sure that the domains *.kastatic.org and *.kasandbox.org are unblocked.

Main content

University scientist meets entrepreneur

Created by Kauffman Foundation.

Want to join the conversation?

Video transcript

- My name's Toby Rush I'm CEO and Founder of EyeVerify. So what we can do is take a picture of your eye and then turn that into a key that protects your digital life and we do that with with EyePrint. So the EyePrint is a map of the blood vessels in the whites of the eye. You know I think it's a really an interesting mesh of university scientist meets entrepreneur. So my background has all be mobile and wireless. So I've worked with sensors and imagings like RFID tracking and cameras to look and sense the world around us, and so this is my third startup. Second as a CEO and Founder. A fellow entrepreneur says oh you should go check out this professor down at University of Missouri-Kansas City. He's using this big 12 megapixel DSLR camera, taking these pictures, then trying to position it for airports and border crossing. And I'm like technology's fascinating but can you do that on a smartphone? He knew he had a technology that was really cool. That could be disruptive. He really had never started a company. Brilliant, absolutely brilliant but in the context of a company didn't even know where to begin. The university was trying to help him. So they were trying to commercialize it but didn't understand the dynamic nature of mobile and so really seeing a core technology being applied in a different way on a much, much larger scale. He obviously had the technical and the deep biometric domain knowledge. I had more of the mobile and the marketing perspective. Right time, right place, and we've been able to make a run at it. EyePrint is independent of gender, age, ethnicity, or even language and so I love the global very, very large scale impact of it. No one loves passwords. They're broken, they're inefficient, they don't do the job they're supposed to do in the first place so I saw this you know this pain point that this seemed to be a really elegant solution. So I liked the problem it was solving. I liked the technical depth. We'll probably have 15 to 20 patents when it's all said and done. Looking at a global company, a global technology it'll take a two, three, four years at times to really get something fully to market. If you don't have any IP or patent protection it's just a race to market. So when you were dealing with a technology like a biometric or like an EyePrint it's so deep in a science a big company could come in and literally apply 10 times the resources I could and get to market much quicker simply because they have those resources. So for really technology companies that are solving hard problems if you don't have IP protection it really limits what's called the runway, right. It's when you're kind of taking a plane off and you've got a certain amount of runway well the bigger the plane the longer your runway needs to be. So IP protection for companies that are solving hard problems that are really science technology problems you simply have to have it. So it really was a challenging and an interesting way for me to apply my skills and see if we could take all these crazy super deep technical terms that the guys work with and then applying it in simple terms to markets. Yes it's hard, but it's what entrepreneurs do. They find you know relatively hard problems and try to go solve and make a simple solution into the market.