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KCK-based EyeVerify wins Kauffman Foundation entrepreneurship contest

Updated: 2013-11-20T04:17:07Z

By DIANE STAFFORD

The Kansas City Star

EyeVerify, the Kansas City area’s finalist in an entrepreneurship contest held at the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation, won the national competition Monday night.

The company’s founder, Toby Rush, won an expenses-paid trip to Rotterdam, Netherlands, to compete in a global contest at the finals on Nov. 22. The prize could be more than $1 million in angel funding.

EyeVerify, based in Kansas City, Kan., introduced a biometric authentication system that uses smartphone cameras to identify users by pattern-matching blood vessels in the whites of the eye. The technology creates an “eyeprint” that the company says is more accurate than fingerprint scanning.

The “Get in the Ring” competition, at which eight national finalists presented their startup companies, allowed online viewers of streaming video to vote for their favorite finalist. The entrepreneurs also spoke to a panel of judges.

The event was one of many activities staged in Kansas City and nationally in connection with Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Rush, who has founded two mobile ventures, is a mechanical engineering graduate of Kansas State University. In addition to leading EyeVerify, he heads Rush Tracking Systems.

His presentation won out over the other finalists: Drazil Foods, Edina, Minn.; Mana Nutrition, Matthews, N.C.; Popvox, Redwood City, Calif.; Repp, Cincinnati; St. Teresa Medical Inc., Maple Grove, Minn.; Travefy, Lincoln, Neb.; and WeeSpring, New York.

To reach Diane Stafford, call 816-234-4359 or send email to stafford@kcstar.com.

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