Eugene, Ore. — Raistone, Inc., a financial technology startup co-founded by Eugene resident and Fertilab tenant, Greta Geankoplis, just celebrated a very pivotal month. On March 1, Raistone was awarded first runner-up in the DEMOvation Challenge at Bank Innovation 2016, a conference for financial services. And yesterday, Raistone’s patent was published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, granting the company exclusive rights to bring their technology to market.
Raistone was one of only 10 finalists selected from more than 1,000 U.S. and international applicants to present at DEMOvation Challenge. At the Seattle conference, Raistone won the audience vote, but finished second to SayPay Technologies on a close vote by the judges.
“We’re the happiest second-place team you could imagine,” said Geankoplis. “Raistone is still an early-stage startup, and many of the companies we competed against, including the winner, are fully launched. I believe that speaks volumes for our growth potential in this industry.”
The DEMOvation Challenge is for startups launched within the last 24 months that possess unique technologies or business models, or that present the greatest innovations for the banking industry. Launched in January 2015, Raistone is a digital asset transfer and distributed escrow system that enables banks, exchanges and other financial service businesses to fully control digital transactions or security trades while never holding the digital assets. Raistone eliminates risk associated with holding digital assets, lowers operating costs, simplifies the exchange of digital assets and enables full regulatory oversight and reporting of digital transactions.
After a rigorous discovery process, which included searches of national and international patent authorities, Geankoplis and her team received a “Positive International Search and Opinion” report and their technology was confirmed suitable for its international patent (PCT) application status. She said the significance of the patent application report was not lost on the young company.
“We believed we were on to something we hadn’t seen in the market, and we received validation from the Bank Challenge that this is an important and unique solution for an emerging technology,” said Geankoplis. “The patent application report was something we have been waiting for, and with that we’ve achieved everything we can, at least for now, from an intellectual property standpoint.”
Raistone is headquartered in Los Angeles. However, as the CEO of a technology company, Geankoplis can work virtually from anywhere.
“I live where my heart and my family are, and they’re here in Eugene,” she said.
Geankoplis, who has lived in Eugene with her husband, Patrick Sullivan, since 2014, said that the presence of Fertilab has had a significant impact on her ability to lead her startup effectively from afar.
“It’s a physical space and a creative space for collaboration,” she said. “The task of a CEO is very isolating. And to try and do that alone, at a home office is a recipe for suboptimal creative results. Fertilab enables me to source ideas on how to solve problems by going to the other tenants. They’ve helped me find and connect with high-tech resources, both in Eugene and online, for things I didn’t know how to do.”
Fertilab executive director Shula Jaron said that the organization was founded in part to help entrepreneurs like Geankoplis.
“It wasn’t very long ago that Eugene didn’t have the entrepreneurial ecosystem to support someone like Greta — an executive of an emerging startup, whose team is based elsewhere,” said Jaron. “We couldn’t be happier for Raistone’s success, and if Fertilab contributed to that success in any way, it validates our reason to be here.”
Raistone was founded in January 2015 in Los Angeles, CA. The company is at the seed stage and, following the DEMOvation Challenge, are talking with several major US-based banks about developing a proof-of-concept. Raistone’s technology delinks controlling a digital asset transaction from the need to hold the assets. It is a distributed escrow system, and assets move peer to peer during a transaction. It enables the intermediary to perform all regulatory compliance functions for transactions without ever taking custody of the asset.
About Fertilab Thinkubator
Fertilab Thinkubator is a non-profit organization that drives economic development through innovation and entrepreneurship. It provides co-working space, training, and hosts networking and educational events for local entrepreneurs.