Location: The District
Funding: In July, the company completed a Series A round of $550,000 with investors New Markets Growth Fund; Walker Ventures; and Frank Bonsal, an individual investor.
Big idea: FortiusOne is the brainchild of Sean Gorman, a George Mason University graduate who used publicly available information to develop a method of mapping infrastructure to analyze vulnerabilities and interdependencies. His doctoral dissertation in 2004 unnerved national security officials, who sought to classify his research. Gorman started his own company based on that research in July and said he is now collaborating with the government agencies that wanted his research classified. He said his software helps organizations prepare for imminent disasters as well as determine which investments will best fortify their facilities. "Instead of developing business continuity plans that sit on a shelf, we want to deliver a business continuity capability so you can react in real time to turbulences that happen on a daily basis," said Gorman, president and chief technology officer.
Example of use: An oil company could combine the software with real-time weather feeds to determine how a hurricane might damage oil platforms, pipelines and refineries, Gorman said. "You could run that simulation to see how much damage and disruption there will be, and then begin to move capacity out of that region." The software also could help oil companies decide where to pre-position diesel generators to get production back online, he added. It's about "figuring out the best recovery strategy with your current resources."
How it works: The software takes the operational data of a large organization; maps the infrastructure it relies on; and runs a disaster simulation that analyzes how the infrastructure would be affected, pinpointing inefficiencies and points of failure. "It's taking those operational networks and physical infrastructures and understanding where the value is created between them and also where the vulnerabilities are," Gorman said.
Big-name customer: The company is performing subcontract work for Systems Planning and Analysis Inc. supporting the Homeland Security Department.
Price: The company performs consulting based on time and materials, but Gorman said he hopes to develop a subscription-based business with various levels of service.
Who's in charge: Gorman and Dan Abraham, chief executive.
Employees: Six full-time and three part-time.
Web site: www.fortiusone.com
Partners: George Mason University's School of Public Policy and the University of Maryland's Robert H. Smith School of Business.
What the name means: "Fortius comes from the Olympic motto, 'Citius, altius, fortius' -- 'Faster, higher, stronger'," Gorman said. "The company's about having stronger infrastructure, so we thought it fit well."
Quote: "It's not only understanding your operations," Gorman said. "A lot of times where companies fall short is understanding physical infrastructure they're dependent on but don't own."
-- Andrea Caumont