A weekly column profiling companies and personalities. This week: BioPassword.

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Mark DiSalle, chief executive officer.

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Before running BioPassword, DiSalle had many lives, including stints as a certified public accountant in New York, venture capitalist in Seattle and Hollywood producer.

DiSalle said he discovered Jean-Claude van Damme and produced the movie “Bloodsport” on a $2 million budget and grossed $350 million.

What it does:

The Issaquah-based company develops authentication software that identifies users not only by their password, but by the way they type. It does this by measuring the time it takes for the person to get from one key to the next.


The technology started with Morse code in World War II, DiSalle said. Back then, it was called the “fist of the sender.” It allowed a person receiving a message to identify who was sending it.

DiSalle acquired a company called Net Nanny in 2002, which primarily focused on developing Internet filtering software. DiSalle sold Net Nanny’s filtering software last year for $5.5 million to focus on BioPassword, which commercially launched products in the fourth quarter.

How it’s different:

Although other biometric means exist — using fingerprints, retinas or facial recognition, for instance — the advantage of BioPassword is that it doesn’t use hardware, DiSalle said.

Big test:

At a trade show in October, DiSalle said he offered $10,000 to anyone who could log in to a computer even after being given the correct password. After the second day, he raised the prize to $100,000. Of 1,200 attempts, no one succeeded, he said.


DiSalle’s password is password. “You can’t type it like I do,” he said. “It restores the integrity of password.”

Investment capital:

BioPassword raised $2.5 million from angel investors last week. It has 15 employees and expects to add about 10 in the first three months of this year as it ramps up its sales.

Down the road:

Although BioPassword has technology developed only for computers, it can eventually be used for cellphones, handheld devices, touch screens or “anything you interact with fingers,” DiSalle said.

— Tricia Duryee