When former banker Mike Geppi entered the Smith School’s executive MBA program in 2010, he had his sights set on starting a business. He was also looking for potential business partners. He never expected that he’d find four classmates to join him and trusted faculty advisors and a lawyer to help.
Geppi and his fellow EMBA ’12 alums started Integrata (Italian for integrated), a cybersecurity company. In August, Integrata signed an exclusive license agreement with the National Security Agency to commercialize its patented Wireless Intrusion Detection System technology.
“When you have a wireless local network — like just about every home and big enterprise uses — you need to make sure that they are secure,” says Geppi. Sensitive data is being broadcast across the air in these networks, which makes organizations vulnerable to network attacks and data theft. Integrata’s technology involves security software and a system of sensors deployed within a facility that ensure all wireless devices belong in that facility.
Geppi used to run M&T Bank’s government contractor banking group for greater Baltimore, where he got to know the cybersecurity industry and its potential in Maryland. When he was looking at business ideas to explore, cybersecurity was the obvious choice.
Integrata is now housed at the Cyber Incubator at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County’s bwtech incubator. Geppi’s team of eight is finalizing Integrata’s hardware and software solution for the company’s planned market launch to enterprise clients in September. Geppi is actively working to raise money from investors. He also keeps close ties with the Smith School, even serving as an adjunct faculty member teaching strategy courses.
“I’ve had a lot of busy jobs, but I’ve never been so busy in my life,” he says.