The Boeing Company (NYSE: BA) today announced the spin out of internally developed messaging security and compliance technology into a new company called MessageGate, Inc., based in Bellevue, Wash.
Established through Boeing's Chairman's Innovation Initiative (CII), which provides employees an opportunity to develop new business ideas from company developed technologies and processes, MessageGate is based on a system that effectively blocks unwanted e-mail, including spam, pornography, and other malicious content, while ensuring that all valid business e-mail is delivered.
The lead investor in MessageGate is Polaris Venture Partners, a partnership of experienced venture capital investors and technology executives who help entrepreneurs build market-leading companies in information technology and life sciences, with Boeing Ventures and Northwest Venture Associates also holding an equity stake.
"The formation of MessageGate is a significant achievement for Boeing because it is a concrete example of how we are fostering a culture of innovation and generating new business opportunities through the entrepreneurial ideas of our people," said Miller Adams, vice president of Boeing Ventures and Boeing Phantom Works Technology Planning and Acquisition, which manages the CII program.
"MessageGate is launching at a time when spam and e-mail security and compliance are major issues for corporations," Adams said. "We believe this technology will prove to be an excellent solution for large enterprises dealing with these challenges."
MessageGate's first commercially available product is MessageGate Security Edition, which provides protection for enterprise e-mail systems by filtering and securing inbound, outbound and internal e-mail from unwanted, sensitive and potentially harmful content. The product installs at the corporate perimeter and dramatically reduces the volume of unwanted e-mail entering the corporate network, improves e-mail security and decreases the cost and support requirements of managing corporate e-mail infrastructure. MessageGate's solution handles millions of e-mails per day and scales to serve any size organization or message volume.
MessageGate is preparing for the commercial launch of its Compliance Edition and plans to deliver a family of enterprise solutions designed to help companies manage other messaging security issues.
"The growing volume of unwanted e-mail combined with increasing regulation created a need for e-mail security and compliance solutions designed specifically to meet the requirements of large enterprises," said David Weld, MessageGate's president and chief executive officer. "By understanding message traffic flow and content, corporations can increase operating efficiencies, reduce costs and lower the risk associated with managing their e-mail infrastructure."
"The MessageGate system was designed to handle the high volume of e-mail in large enterprises, while effectively blocking unwanted e-mails, securing intellectual property and managing corporate governance policies in real world, large-scale business environments," said David Smukowski, Boeing Ventures senior director, who helped create the company and commercialize the technology.
Through CII and other avenues, Boeing Ventures encourages innovators to develop new business-building ideas and provides the support structure to help take them from concept to reality. The ideas typically reflect "next-square" opportunities, such as applying existing technologies to new markets or new technologies to existing markets. If promising, as in the case of MessageGate, the internal ventures are given seed funding, with the possibility of creating new companies and partnerships in conjunction with external venture capitalists and industry partners.
Since CII's inception in September 2000, it has received more than 800 concepts from Boeing employees. Several more of these concepts are positioned to be "spun-out" as separate business ventures. Others have been "spun-in" to Boeing business units, where they are creating value for their customers. Several more are providing additional value through successful licensing transactions. In addition, CII projects are expanding Boeing's intellectual property portfolio by generating new invention disclosures and patent applications.
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