RIT Venture Creations’ graduate Token readies for next step
RIT Venture Creations’ graduate Token is gearing up to begin shipping to customers in the fall. The company has sold out its initial pre-production run .
Token is an identity technology company that manufactures a biometric, encrypted ring with a fingerprint sensor with two-factor authentication. The Token ring can be integrated into computer logins, mobile payments, transit cards and “smart” locks for home and auto.
“We believe that identity is at the core of all of the problems that we have today, and we want to change that,” explains Melanie Shapiro, who also co-founded Bitcoin wallet company Case in 2014, which was a precursor to Token. “We are creating an ecosystem that we want to live in, too. Our hope is to eradicate identity fraud and to have our customers able to securely carry their identities with them wherever they go.”
High-density laser-etched circuit boards, wafer-level chip packaging, and a highly optimized layout allow Token’s 83 components and 3 antennas to fit into a tiny space. An advanced power management system orchestrates three microprocessors, three autonomous sensors and two energy-efficient radios to deliver two weeks of battery life.
As it expands, Token expects to continue to hire RIT graduates who can seamlessly assimilate into Token’s culture.
“We are an engineering company by nature, and fortunately I think a lot of RIT’s engineers were engineers deep down before they even came to the university,” said Steve Shapiro, co-founder of Token. “That kind of curiosity is hard to find, and I think RIT is one of a few engineering schools where that curiosity thrives.”
Token’s founding team was entirely made up of RIT graduates in 2015. Today, more than 80 percent of the company’s employees have connections to RIT.
In 2014, the Shapiros joined RIT’s Venture Creations technology business incubator with Crypto Labs. In 2015, their company Case Wallet became the first to acquire financing from RIT’s Venture Fund, which provides investment capital to entrepreneurial ventures with strong connections to the RIT community. Token graduated from the incubator in 2017.