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Feb. 8, 2013
Updated Feb. 15, 2013
Northwest Missouri State University student Aakash Patel is turning his hobby interests in hardware and software development into a business that could greatly impact how tech users access encrypted data stored on their flash drives.
The Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship (CIE) at Northwest Missouri State University has entered into an agreement with Patel’s company, BlurPort LLC, and celebrated it with a news conference Feb. 8 at the CIE.
Patel founded the company last fall to develop the BlurPort, an innovative secure USB data storage device that operates in unison with smart phones to enhance user verification.
Under the terms of the agreement, approved by the University’s Board of Regents, BlurPort will lease an office in the CIE. Patel said BlurPort will use the space for development and testing. The company also plans to utilize the expertise of Northwest students and faculty for assistance with marketing, business plan development and computer software development.
“The fact that the CIE is located on the Northwest campus is a real advantage,” Patel said. “With the resources it offers, it was really easy to get up and running. Having an office at the CIE helps with all the aspects of starting a business such as securing funding and intellectual property.”
Patel, is a junior chemistry major from Clinton, and he is a 2012 graduate of the Missouri Academy of Science, Mathematics and Computing, a two-year residential, early-entrance-to-college program on the Northwest campus. Upon completing his bachelor’s degree at Northwest, he hopes to pursue a doctoral degree in biomedical engineering and conduct prosthetics research.
His BlurPort device is a government-grade encrypted USB flash drive that works with a custom app on iOS or Android devices and allows users to protect data by using credentials that are more personal than passwords – and, as Patel says, way cooler.
When users want to access the data stored on the BlurPort they may unlock it by scanning their eye or face, by accessing it at a specific location or by drawing a unique pattern on the smartphone, among other accessibility options. Data encryption credentials are then transferred wirelessly, using Bluetooth technology, from the smartphone to the BlurPort, allowing the data to be accessible on the user’s computer.
Additionally, tech users can plug their flash drive or external hard drive into the end of the BlurPort to add security to their data.
A prototype of the device already has been manufactured, and the company has entered into agreements with suppliers. Additionally, BlurPort will begin accepting orders next week at http://www.kickstarter.com/, an online platform designed to attract buyers and funding for creative projects.
The CIE offers the expertise and location to help accelerate the company to the marketplace. Larry Lee, director of the CIE, said that climate is ideal for helping BlurPort mature.
“It is always exciting to see a creative project come to fruition and we are excited to welcome BlurPort to the Center for Innovation and Entrepreneurship,” Lee said. “The CIE is uniquely positioned to help entrepreneurs like Aakash access resources and establish the relationships they need to succeed in the business community.”The CIE, located on the north edge of the University campus, is a mixed-use incubator with emphasis on technology-based, start-up companies. It also provides assistance to existing small businesses and encourages development of new small businesses. The 46,679 square-foot facility includes three lab analysis research areas, a shared scientific instrument room and 9,000 square feet of tenant office space. The academic wing contains more than 16,000 square feet of highly specialized teaching and research labs and offices. For more information about opportunities to accelerate the success of your high-growth business or to use the services of the CIE's contract analysis lab, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/cie/.
Mark Hornickel, Media Relations Specialist
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