Lancaster startup takes aim at key-access technology, hiring up to four

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For everyone who has ever fumbled to unlock the front door or garage or to disable the alarm — you know who you are — a Lancaster startup is offering its patented technology to come to your rescue.

ECKey turns any Bluetooth-enabled cellphone into a secure device to unlock the car, house, garage door, gate, office, alarm system, or access control system without the need for keys, fobs, cards or remote controls. 

Nick Willis, an inventor in New Zealand, founded the company there in 2005, and has sold about 2,000 units. The company moved to Pennsylvania last year and is now ramping up to begin domestic production and distribution this fall, says President and CEO Paul Bodell. 

There will be two products for starters. One is a complete stand-alone system in which the phone becomes the keypad and proximity reader. The other is an enterprise-wide system that can be used to retrofit large systems like those found in universities and office campuses.

ECKey is on track to raise about $1 million, including a $150,000 investment from Ben Franklin Technology Partners of Central and Northern Pennsylvania, says Bodell. He's working on building a distribution and dealer network and is assembling a small staff  for sales, marketing, customer and technical support, says Bodell. Within a year, he expects to have about five on the payroll altogether.

Source: Paul Bodell, ECKey
Writer: Elise Vider

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