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Client Spotlight: Facekey Corporation

Facekey Corporation

Facekey Corporation, Annette Starkweather and Yevgeny Levitov, Founders 

Annette Starkweather and Yevgeny Levitov founded Facekey Technologies in 1999. Facekey manufactures security products that use biometrics, fingerprint and face recognition, for identification. Annette has decades of experience in business development, management strategies, and alternative financing requirements, with an emphasis on financing and the oil and gas industry. She serves as the CFO for the company. Yevgeny had more than thirty years’ experience in the image recognition field. He previously served in engineering and management positions for one of the largest manufacturers of medical equipment, and a global manufacturer of wiring devices. Yevgeny serves as President of Facekey.

Headquartered in San Antonio, Facekey has pioneered and patented a family of biometric products and solutions that utilize face recognition or fingerprints for identification. From small businesses to global enterprises, Facekey’s family of products have a proven record with employee time and attendance tracking, asset protection and crisis management.

The company had the opportunity to acquire face recognition technology, which they believed was necessary for access control.  All the access control products available allowed access with the right card, but could not tell if it was the right person.  In addition, the access control products required many cable runs and lots of labor.  Facekey decided to develop security products to run on the network that could identify the right person via by recognizing their face. They believed this would reduce the cost of the system and provide a much higher level of security.The goal of Facekey is to provide security products that actually provide security and reduce the cost of operations. The business will be able control access to their facilities and reduce the cost of labor and materials during installation and the cost of admin during use.  No cards are required.   The result is a system with accurate identification, low cost installation and operation, which will help business operate safer and be more profitable.

Annette and Yevgeny are long-term clients of the SBDC, since 1999. They started working with Crystal Darby in 2015. The three have met often to focus on marketing, specifically to help with determining their target market. Through the help received from the UTSA SBDC, the company has been able to structure a viable marketing plan.  This includes development of a new web page, development of new marketing collateral, and beginning an extensive email-marketing program.  These efforts have resulted in increased sales and strengthened the company’s ability to move forward.

Facekey is working with Diebold, a financial self-service, security and services corporation, internationally engaged primarily in the sale, manufacture, installation and service of self-service transaction, electronic and physical security products, software and related services for global financial and commercial markets. As a result, Facekey anticipates an increase in sales this year. They have three full-time and one part-time employee, which were retained from their recent expansion. Facekey has not formally sought any loans.  Currently, the company is assessing their best sources for procuring funds for marketing. In the short term, they need to grow sales so they can provide good paying jobs in San Antonio.  Their task to meet the goal is to strengthen their dealer/reseller channels. Longer term, they would like to become the “GO TO” vendor for manufacturers if they have a product, such as a cabinet or equipment, that requires identification for access or to start/use.

“Facekey has depended heavily on advisors and training programs to get the company to its current position. Helping us think through the profile of our target market has been a very specific task. Currently, we are meeting frequently to study and resolve ongoing issues as they appear.”  Annette Starkweather and Yevgeny Levitov