BLAKFX was co-founded by Dr. Robert Statica & Kara Coppa. With office space in New Jersey, New York, and Los Angeles, BLAKFX fosters a global team and partnerships and provides global services. The founders are recognized world leaders in cybersecurity, cyber-defense & resiliency, secure communications, military, aerospace and defense technologies, fintech & startups.
CEO & President
Dr. Statica is the CEO and President of BL∆KFX, and is the world’s Top 1% expert in cyber-defense, cryptography, AI, aerospace and technology with over 25 years’ experience in both private and public sectors. He is an Inventor, scientist, technologist, engineer, and professor with 100+ patents and extensive international experience.
Prior to BL∆KFX, he was the Senior Vice-President – Technology & Research for DarkMatter, an international Tier 1 cyber security and cyber national defense organization . He worked with an international Tier 1 “dream team” to create next-generation technologies that are immune to eavesdropping and interceptions, such as intelligence and military-level secure communication systems and the most secure smartphone in the world called KATIM. Robert also worked on other high-profile security projects for the Blockchain 2020 initiative, banking and e-commerce initiatives, and Dubai Smart City network, to name a few.
Prior to DarkMatter, Dr. Statica was the CTO and Co-Founder of Wickr, (https://wickr.com), a mobile and desktop platform that provides multi-layered encryption of text, pictures, audio, and video calling for the best available security and privacy. Wickr is headquartered in San Francisco, CA, USA and exceeds: HIPAA, FIPS 140-2, and NSA Suite B encryption/security. Wickr is above all military and intelligence community standards for top-secret communications and is based on Dr. Statica’s Cryptegrity, a previous crypto project of 10 years. Wickr has been backed by Tier 1 VCs like Jim Breyer and raised over $70 million in funding and is now the default communication and collaboration platform for the US Department of Defense, many other agencies and many Fortune 100 companies.
Wickr was acquired by Amazon in 2021.
Prior to Wickr, Dr. Statica was the CEO and Co-Founder of United Alert (Florham Park, NJ), the first unified Emergency Alert and Secure Group Communication Service. The service was made available for free nationwide in the U.S., starting with the state of New Jersey and eventually donated to various governments in the U.S. and internationally.
Dr. Statica was also the CTO of Linsafe, Inc. and led the design and development of the first intelligent IPS (i-IPS), able to mitigate threats based on correlating, learning, and adapting to threat behavior, and designed a secure communications network for future combat systems for the U.S. Army. Both technologies were acquired by the NSA and the U.S. Army, and classified.
Dr. Statica has been a professor of Computer Science and Information Technology at the College of Computing Sciences – New Jersey Institute of Technology (http://njit.edu) in Newark, NJ, for over 20 years. At NJIT he created and taught over 15 different courses for undergraduate and graduate studies in computer security, computer and digital forensics, digital crime, e-commerce, wireless networks, network security, programming, systems integration, data communications, network security devices, artificial intelligence, algorithm design, operating systems design, UNIX OS design, and more. He was the founding faculty of the Information Technology Department as well as the College of Computing Sciences at NJIT. Throughout his teaching career, Dr. Statica has taught and mentored over 35,000 undergraduate, graduate, and PhD students and was a member of dissertation committee of numerous PhD candidates.
Prior to his cybersecurity career, Dr. Statica spend many years in the aerospace and defense industry & operations and some of his designs and ideas have been implemented in fighter jets, in space flights (Stardust Space Mission) as well as the space shuttle.
He also spent a few years working on the biggest particle accelerator in the world, the Super-Conductor/Super Conductor US Government Project (SSC)
COO, EVP & Co-Founder
Kara Coppa is the COO & Co-Founder of BL∆KFX. She is a 20 year cyber security veteran from the intelligence, military and financial services industries whose patents and products protect lives, property and empower people. Kara has secured the world’s most critical communications as co-founder of Wickr and is currently on a mission with BL∆KFX to enable the most secure crypto economy in the world.
With professional experience, spanning the areas of information security governance, threat detection/mitigation, risk assessments, and incident response and investigations, Kara has been a hands-on security expert for various industries. Prior to BL∆KFX, she was the EVP of Cybersecurity Services for SIG Homeland Security where she ran the national defense and cyber resiliency projects related to national security operations.
As COO and Co-Founder of Wickr, Kara created and managed the day-to-day operations, including the development and integration of policies and procedures, financial analysis and projections, budgeting, resource allocation, training, administration, risk management, and information security. She was also a key contributor to the innovation and oversight of technology, security, design, and implementation and co-authored many of the United States patents for Wickr’s underlying security technology.
Prior to Wickr, Kara was Vice President of Global Information Security for a Wall Street financial services firm, BNY Mellon, where she managed the integration of the global information security program for mergers and acquisitions. She was instrumental in building a security threat management program to improve and automate threat detection and response while reducing operational costs and resources, and received an award for her outstanding achievement in 2009.
Kara was also an ambassador to the information security team and provided security awareness training sessions across all business units and acceleration programs. She was accepted into the firm’s Women’s Initiative Network (WIN) mentoring program in 2011 and invited by the COO to participate as one of 20 people in the firm’s first Innovation Think Tank Program in 2012.
Prior to her financial services career, Kara spent several years in information assurance and compliance as a government contractor for the United States Department of Defense. She secured and monitored the network backbone operations center to support the warfighter and thousands of global military users. She also improved organizational readiness with the implementation of formalized incident response plans and procedures. Kara pioneered the first intrusion prevention system (IPS) for the military base and transitioned the backbone protection to a proactive, cutting-edge solution.
In 2007, Kara volunteered her time to work with a team of homeland security, information security, and software development professionals to design and build an innovative and free, emergency alert and communication service – United Alert. She worked closely with the New Jersey Office of Emergency Management, the New Jersey Office of Homeland Security, and Preparedness and the Regional Operations Intelligence Center to train staff and roll out the system as NJ-Alert in 2009. The service was donated to the state of New Jersey and other national and international government entities in an effort to raise awareness and protect lives and property.
Kara held a security clearance from the U.S. Department of Defense and has obtained Bachelor of Science and Master of Science degrees in Information Systems. She has been an FBI InfraGard member since 2004 and was a member of the Financial Services Information Sharing and Analysis Center (FS-ISAC) for five years. She has been a Certified Information Security Systems Professional (CISSP) since 2006, a SANS Global Information Assurance Certified Incident Handler (GCIH), a Global Information Assurance Certified Forensic Analyst (GCFA), and holds various industry awards and certifications.
Fitz is an investor, board member and serial entrepreneur and prior member and market maker at the Chicago Board Options Exchange, Chicago Mercantile Echange, and Pacific Coast Stock exchange. While currently dedicated to securing the world’s financial transactions, Fitz successfully led the co-founders of BL∆KFX to raise their Angel, Series A and Series B rounds at Wickr, Inc., to secure the world’s data. At Wickr, Fitz was directly responsible for sovereign, federal, state government, and global military, intelligence, critical infrastructure and enterprise adoption. Fitz holds a B.S. in Economics from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania where he was elected class officer and leader of the prestigious Friars Honor Society.
Associate Founder, Usability Expert, Designer & Conceptualist
With over 20 years of usability thought leadership and visual problem solving, Greg has been a key contributor in launching products with huge corporations, like Apple, Verizon, and AOL and startups leveraging new concepts to change established norms, like Vindigo and Wickr.
His love is in explaining new experiences that go beyond the “technology” to illustrate the inherent potential it empowers. Greg has done this from the early days of the web, e-commerce, mobile apps/experiences, advertising, brand evolution, and secure messaging. He leverages his creative nature and his knowledge of UX, design, technology, and customer advocacy into being more than the sum of their parts. Greg believes that technology can only be truly optimized if individuals understand how it can affect their lives, and that this is how you change the world.
Greg is a classically trained illustrator and photographer from the Rhode Island School of Design. He was a visual and experience designer for large companies, including Apple, AOL, Verizon, Sony, Ziff Davis, ADP, NBC, The New York Times, The Olympics, the Oscars, MTV, U2, and a host of others. He was a creative leader at over 12 startups in NYC and the winner of 3 Webbies.
SVP Secure Engineering & Head of Product Development Associate Founder
• Over 15 years experience delivering secure technical solutions in the world’s top financial institutions – Morgan Stanley, JPMorgan Chase, Barclays, Bank of America, Merrill Lynch, PIMCO
• Expertise in fixed income and derivative products
• In-depth knowledge of data protection, organization role management,
network, database and application security
• Developed and executed security technology for startup and global
• 4+ years experience global trading risk and operations
• MS in Computer Science – NJIT
• MBA – Finance, Venture Capital – Columbia University – NY