Tell us about yourself?
I have quite a diverse background, working in SEO/digital marketing and then eventually developing and deploying OSINT methodologies for a digital risk protection company I co-founded, named TurgenSec. I studied at King’s College London (KCL) and graduated with a degree in Geography, which I have never used.
What do you think is the single biggest misconception people have when it comes to startups?
That is a great question. There are loads of misconceptions about founding and running startups, I would say the biggest is that you need funding. The established trajectory of many startups involves giving away large amounts of equity quickly for money. That is not always needed. In many cases, you can validate your product in the market, get some revenue and then either scale with your own income or take on some modest debt and retain that all-important equity.
If you could go back in time to any moment from your journey, and give yourself one tip, what would it be?
Do not do responsible disclosures. It might be the ethically correct thing to do, but businesses react terribly and really do not care about the privacy of their customers.
What makes you stand out as an entrepreneur?
I have had a very interesting journey as an entrepreneur and through several businesses I’ve developed a pretty diverse skill set. I think that is my single biggest strength (and weakness).
What are some of the best working habits you’ve gained over the past couple of years?
Founding a startup can absorb your life. I often find myself working late into the night and seven days a week. Taking some time to walk alone for at least an hour a week can really help to both clear your head, boost your productivity and you’ll soon find you have your best ideas on the stroll.
Give us a bit of an insight into the influences behind the company?
TurgenSec is a digital risk protection company. We were created to address the blatant failures in attack surface management that led to our responsible disclosures. We focus on:
- Securing the exposed attack surfaces across the largest global networks.
- Building confidence across the most complex of supply chains.
- Generating actionable threat intelligence for the highest value targets.
Where do you see your business in five years?
We aim to grow fast over the next 5 years. Upscaling is always a challenge and because we deal with long procurement cycles, that compounds the pain. We have lots of new technology and tools that we plan to release so that should help boost our growth.
What do you think the biggest challenge will be for you in getting there?
Long procurement cycles are the bane of our existence. Negotiating for 6 months, and then waiting 3 months to be paid, is by far the biggest challenge.
Talk to us about your biggest success story so far?
We have had great success, but the biggest achievement I would have to say would be our attendance at the NCSC’s accelerator in Cheltenham. It was an amazing experience to both develop new technical capabilities with support from the best intelligence service in the world and grow as a team.
How do clients and customers find you? Are you much of a salesperson for yourself?
We are a company of engineers, so sales do not come easily to us. If you are looking for attack surface management across a disparate and complex infrastructure or threat intelligence then you can visit our website, turgensec.com.
What one tip would you give to fellow startup founders?
Do not give up equity unless you have to, and surround yourself with lions.
And finally, what do you hope the future brings both you personally, and your business?
I am excited for the future of Turgensec and the growth we hope to achieve. We hope to be able to bring new clients onboard and grow our existing OSINT capabilities to improve our service.
Personally, I hope that the Philippines government does not assassinate me.