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KCK’s EyeVerify wins global contest

Updated: 2013-11-23T03:20:11Z

By DIANE STAFFORD

The Kansas City Star

EyeVerify on Friday won an international enterpreneurial competition that could help it get a big cash infusion.

The Kansas City, Kan., company, which markets a smartphone product that scans blood vessel patterns in eyeballs and can be used for identity checks, much like fingerprints, was the U.S. winner last week at an event held by the Kauffman Foundation.

EyeVerify chief executive Toby Rush then flew to Rotterdam, Netherlands, to compete against other entrepreneurs from around the world. The contest required him to pitch his product and business plan to potential investors.

Rush won over contestants from Bulgaria, Canada, Germany, Greece, the Netherlands, Spain and the United Kingdom.

The competition, called Get in the Ring, is a program of the Erasmus Centre for Entrepreneurship designed to connect startups with investors. The “Investment Battle” finale coincided with Global Entrepreneurship Week.

Winning the contest doesn’t guarantee a big payday for EyeVerify, but it does open the door to investors who want to invest in startups with growth potential.

The technology behind EyeVerify’s product was developed by Reza Derakhshani, an associate professor at the University of Missouri-Kansas City. The UMKC Innovation Center then helped connect Derakhshani’s invention with Toby Rush, who brought the product to market.

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

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