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Identity tech start-up run by RIT grads gets $1.75m in state funding

Token’s identity ring functions as a key across physical and digital access points and uses a combination of fingerprinting and an optical proximity sensor to authenticate a user, ensuring the user’s credentials remain secure. (Photo: ESD / Token)

Rochester, N.Y. (WHAM) - An identity technology start-up company in Rochester is receiving a $1.75 million investment through a New York state fund.

Token, which was co-founded by RIT alumni, creates a ring that is worn on a person's finger. The ring is biometric and encrypted, allowing the person using it to create a unique key only they can use. The key is created through a combination of fingerprinting and an "optical proximity sensor" for two-factor authentication.

The ring is linked with software which allows it to be used for computer logins, mobile payments, transit cards, and “smart” locks for home and auto. It will be available later this year.

Melanie and Steve Shapiro, the company's co-founders, are manufacturing the rings at RIT's Venture Creations incubator on Tech Park Drive. They said their company remains committed to growing in Rochester, creating technology jobs, and helping grow the local technology ecosystem.

The funding comes from Empire State Development (ESD) through its New York State Innovation Venture Capital Fund.

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