MEDICI now! Startup Stories highlights the companies that are shaping the new financial technology industry. Keep an eye out each week for new stories! If you or someone you know should be highlighted, send us a note. The company we will highlight today is SureID, a provider of high-assurance identity solutions for individuals, companies, federal and the Department of Defense that combine registration, identity authentication, background screening, credentialing, identity proofing, identity management and enforcement.
Name/Title: Justin Oberman, VP of Identity Strategy
Industry Segment: Identity Proofing
Target Markets (region or country): US
LTP Team: Tell us a little bit about yourself.
Justin Oberman: My experience in identity management dates back to when I helped found the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) in 2001. We started with three people in a conference room and in 13 months we hired 65,000 people, deployed nearly $2 billion in equipment, and took over security at more than 450 airports. As an advisor to then-Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta, and later as a TSA Assistant Administrator, I took a lead role in developing and standing up background check and credentialing programs first at the Department of Transportation and later at the Department of Homeland Security when TSA transferred there.
I joined SureID in 2016 to tell a great story in new ways to new and existing audiences.
My wife and I live in San Francisco with our two boys – ages three and one – and as soon as my travel schedule allows, I hope to start racing triathlons again.
LTP Team: Give us a paragraph pitch of your company.
JO: Flying under the radar for over a decade, SureID has provided an enterprise-wide, single-credential high-assurance identity for the military. I like to say we’re the TSA pre-check for vendors and contractors entering military bases, saving the vendors time and money otherwise spent waiting in line for clearance. We are the only company in the country that provides this service for the Department of Defense.
What is exciting is that we’re now bringing our identity proofing solutions to individuals (including coaches, volunteers and freelancers) and businesses of any size who want to ensure those who are getting access are who they claim they are. Our vision is that we all own our own identity and bring it with us wherever we go. In the modern world, this is more important than ever. Our goal is to be the world’s most trusted identity provider, and because of our legacy, we believe we’re well down that path.
LTP Team: In a sentence or two, what problem are you solving today?
JO: People are exposed to risk more than ever before – in business and our everyday lives. SureID’s proven high-assurance identity services certify that a person is who he/she claims to be. We’re creating a higher level of trust and security, enabling people to own their identity in both the physical and digital world. This is a tough problem to solve but we are well positioned to solve it.
LTP Team: Who are you selling to?
JO: We are selling to companies and organizations who need to give outsiders access to their facilities, systems and people. Letting outsiders go inside presents security and operational challenges that are best managed by an outsourced service provider. We are that provider and that is our pitch.
Our key sectors of focus, beyond our core military customer base, include:
- Civilian government agencies
- Commercial enterprises with a particular emphasis on 16 Critical Infrastructure Sectors
- Digital and sharing economy companies for whom identity management is a competitive differentiator
- Key nonprofit organizations including the Positive Coaching Alliance and VolunteerMatch
LTP Team: When did the company start?
JO: The company was founded by chairman and CEO Steve Larson in November 2001. Today, SureID is headquartered in Hillsboro, Ore., with offices in Minot, N.D., and Alexandria, Va.
LTP Team: What's the most important change coming to your segment in the next 3–5 years?
JO: Digital wallets are here and digital identities will be here soon. Informed people are feeling more empowered to take charge of their digital identity online and in the physical world (with biometrics), and are likely to demand that counterparties do the same. We believe owning your own digital identity in certain markets will become a given and also believe that younger generations will expect it.
LTP Team: What’s your next milestone?
JO: Demonstrating the application of the solution we’ve built for the military and its vendors and contractors in the commercial and consumer sectors.
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