Serial tech entrepreneur considers Minnesota return

Intensity AnalyticsVirginia-based startup Intensity Analytics is considering whether to relocate to a more favorable business climate — and taking a very close look at Minnesota, according to Chairman and Chief Software Architect John Rome.

The firm specializes in ‘digital behavior analytics’ and has created a suite of software tools that, at the core, ensure personal integrity.

Rome, who holds a law degree from the University of Minnesota, actually began his entrepreneurial career in Rochester, Minnesota.  His early days include work with the Mayo Clinic, American Bar Association, and West Publishing.  “Basically every job I’ve ever had since a young age has been related to technology,” he says in reflection.

The first company Rome built, Man Machine Interface Corporation, was focused on timekeeping and billing at a time when software development was still nascent. Started in 1969 and sold in 1973 to Grumman, the deal pulled him east before he left in ’74 to start another company called Informatics in D.C.

“Informatics became the first software company to achieve $100m in revenue, long before Microsoft.” Since the mid 80’s, Rome’s focus has been revolving around startup companies, all of which have since been sold — in part or whole — he asserts.  One, Image Acceptance Corporation, was “coincidentally” sold in 2004 to a private company in Minneapolis, the details of which are withheld.

Since that transaction, Rome, together with his wife Bethann, have pursued “high speed, trust and criticality,” projects — which leads to their latest initiative.

“With the rise of remote access comes the need for knowing who’s at the other end of the wire,” which is the problem Intensity Analytics was created to solve. “Within many of today’s collaboration and engagement environments, comes the need to know with certainty that the person logged in is the actual person sitting behind a device.”

By algorithmically reducing the cadence of finger muscle movement to 1’s and 0’s, Intensity has developed a set of digital matrices that Rome says test identity with a very high degree of precision.  “With a relatively few number of characters, say 50 -100, it’s enough to tell within several standard deviations if there’s a lock.”

The technology, which essentially identifies, organizes and authenticates users, has security application in fields like government, distance learning and publishing/copyright.

“We’re now empty-nesters and are very keen on returning to Minnesota at this stage of our business careers.  While we live in a world of the virtual office, we are registering in Minnesota and have retained a local law firm.  I’m from there, I love it, and its a very serious consideration for us at this point…we have a lot of options and ongoing conversations,” says Rome.

Comments

  • Fjaskulke

    Cool!  We'd love to have him return!

    • http://tech.mn Jeff Pesek

      I would think so, Fjaskulke.  I had the privilege of meeting John and his wife; they are very down to earth and wicked smart.

      Given all the commotion around MN economic development, jobs, and such – it will be interesting to see if/who reaches out to Intensity Analytics with a genuine desire to help pull them here.

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