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Up to date on: 1.10.2007
Provided by: Universidad Politecnica de Madrid

AGNITIO: A business idea

AGNITIO S.L. is a spin-off from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (UPM) dedicated to the development of biometric products and solutions for identity management and identity verification, using state of the art voice biometrics.

The founding partners bring to the company an ideal mix of experience in biometric technology (more than 15 years as inventors and experts in this type of technology) and corporate experience (more than 15 years managing high tech firms).

AGNITIO is currently developing products and solutions for two main sectors:

  • Police and Intelligence. AGNITIO’s solutions are specifically designed for speaker verification in forensic applications, thereby being the ideal supplement to other tools and acoustic forensic methods. These solutions are already installed in forensic laboratories, security agencies and criminal laboratories all around the world.
  • Call centers. AGNITIO's speaker verification technology offers to call centers a complete solution for automatic caller identity verification.

Apart from this, AGNITIO is also developing speaker verification products for other sectors, such as access control and audio/video file segmentation.

During its short life, AGNITIO has already received several awards among which the following may be highlighted: “The best Business Plan” awarded by the Business Creation Program from the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, the Red Herring Award, that “recognizes AGNITIO as one of the 100 most promising companies in Europe Driving the Future of Technology in 2007”, and the Speech Security Market leader for 2007  recognized by Speech Technology Magazine.

Description of the success story
The way an idea becomes a firm is always something unique and depends on multiple factors. One of the main difficulties in the work of supporting and promoting the growth of new business projects is that there are no pre-defined rules, and it is essential to be aware of the particularities of each project. Long before AGNITIO was founded, the creation of the firm was already in the mind of Javier González and Javier Ortega, two researchers from the Area of Signal and Voice Treatment at the Universidad Politécnica de Madrid (ATVS), since they realized that the biometrics technology for voice recognition, an area they had been working for the last 15 years, was sufficiently robust and was demanded by the market. This starting point was important to understand the later evolution of AGNITIO: ATVS’s research activity led to a degree of maturity that was close to a finished product (its products are already working at many companies and institutions such as the Spanish Police), and the invertors personal contacts led to an incipient commercial network. 

Another characteristic of great importance for the firm’s success, was the researchers’ decision to seek partners with corporate experience on management of technologies based firm’s.  Through their personal contacts they met three entrepreneurs that became enthusiastic about the business idea. These entrepreneurs were previously working at other companies as R+D, engineering and business development directors, all of them with international experience.

The clarity and carefulness in planning are very important factors for starting a business adventure like AGNITIO. In this sense, the Entrepreneurship Program from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid has  provided  valuable support in all the developing stages of the company and this support has continued after the business creation in areas such as the technology licensing, business incubator and communication events.

AGNITIO’s founders explain it this way: “With all these ingredients plus our capital and that of our families plus state financial aid such as The Proyect NEOTEC CDTI, AGNITIO is on the track. With sales in the USA and in Europe and with a clientele that guarantees sales for the next years according to our business plan. We think we have been successful in the initial phase, and we are now entering the following phase of consolidation and growth that may take a couple of years. We hope to keep having the support from Universidad Politécnica de Madrid, sometimes critical, and sometimes discrete, but always necessary.