Charlottesville-Based Tech Firm Recognized at IBM App Competitio - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

Charlottesville-Based Tech Firm Recognized at IBM App Competition

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A Charlottesville-based tech firm is coming out on top of a competition against billion-dollar software developers.

OpenQ is a winner in IBM Connect's 2014 App Throwdown. OpenQ has created an application, called SafeGaurd, that is designed to protect companies - like financial, pharmaceutical, and retail - on social media to reduce the risk of exposing private information.

The company's team went into the international competition in Florida feeling like an underdog. Now, thousands of techies at that conference know what's happening in Charlottesville.

Above a diner and a men's shop on Charlottesville’s downtown mall you'll find OpenQ, co-founded by University of Virginia Darden School of Business alum Jim Zuffoletti.

“We're really pleased to have been people who've come out of Darden and stayed and built a company,” said Zuffoletti.

The tech development firm's president FaceTimed with NBC29 from a Florida conference where OpenQ is celebrating a win in IBM's application throwdown.

“I think at the beginning we thought, 'Oh, we don't have a prayer,'” said Zuffoletti.

The company competed against 34 application developers from around the world.

“OpenQ SafeGuard is really designed to detect and prevent the dissemination of that information to the inappropriate people,” said Zuffoletti.

Zuffoletti describes SafeGuard as anti-virus for social media.

“We think this is an industry that's going to grow to be the size of the Internet security market, which right now is about $50 billion a year,” said Zuffoletti.

Now, OpenQ is leading the way.

“We love the tech community in Charlottesville a lot and it's going to keep us there,” said Zuffoletti.

OpenQ's SafeGuard is being used by Fortune 500 companies worldwide. Right now, it employs about 50 people in offices in Charlottesville and around the world.
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