U.S. government and security agencies tend to consider Canada as one of their own, so it’s not that hard to land a procurement contract with them, says Rick Segal

Toronto mobile firm reveals how it got CIA contract

Interested in landing a lucrative business contract with the likes of the United States Central Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency or the Federal Bureau of Investigation?

Despite their cloak-and-dagger reputation, dealing with these covert government agencies is not that daunting and is pretty much above ground, according to Rick Segal, CEO of Toronto-based mobile risk management (MRM) solution provider Fixmo. His company has inked procurment contracts with so-called “three-letter” covert agencies.

An American expat, Segal said he chose to build his business in Ontario because it has a large population of tech talent produced by it more than 50 univerisities, the province offers generous tax credits for technology companies and the government helps businesses break inot new markets.

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Fixmo specializes in MRM applications that secure mobile devices and protect corporate data and help organizations maintain policy compliance. Its solutions can:

  • Keep data encrypted and contained under IT control
  • Detect and prevent tampering
  • Enable central management and security configuration of all devices
  • Prove compliance for auti and forensic purposes

Fixmo’s technology was developed as part of a cooperation with the NSA and recently the U.S. Air Force deployed Fixmo’s SecureZone mobile security solution for its workforce’s iPads and iPhones.

Alliances between Canada and the U.S. are actually “very tight,” Segal said in a recent interview with online publication VentureBeat.com. The U.S. government and security agencies are inclined to consider Canada “as one of its own.”
Segal said his big break with landing a government contract began with meeting the right people.
 
He said his involvement with the NSA began at the 2011 CTIA (The Wireless Association) conference in Las vegas where he met with a representative of the agency’s technical transfer program.
 
Fixmo also happened to be in the business that the representative was interested in. The technology transfer program focuses in commercializing technologies and products developed inside NSA.
 
The meeting resulted in Fixmo partnering with NSA which led to a technology transfer where Fixmo licensed agency-developed security code, after the necessary security checks of course.
 
Soon Fixmo began building marketable products based on the NSA technology.
 
Fixmo leverage the connection and its unique position to market its product to a larger audience.

The commercialization process, actually led to the sale of those products intelligence and security departments in the U.S., according to VentureBeat.

About 75 per cent of Fixmo’s customers are government agencies such as NSA, FBI, and the Homeland Security, according to Segal. Other clients include organizations in the financial services, health care industry and privacy and security businesses.

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