Janis Graubins, CEO of Notakey hit the jackpot of last year’s Kickstart Accelerator: He got to do a PoC not only with one but with three of the partners, Credit Suisse, Swisscom and UBS. In the interview he looks back at the programme and tells us what happened in the meantime.
Janis, you’re one of the cofounders of Notakey. How did the idea and concept for Notakey come up?
We “fell into” starting the company, when the Association of Commercial Banks of Latvia asked one of my co-founders, Gints Kirsteins, to help them find a solution for specific problems they had with their existing authentication and authorization solutions. We realized no existing products are suited for banks, and that we were in a unique position to address this problem. While working on a strong and smooth authentication solution, we understood that the need goes even beyond banks and currently have clients in sectors from healthcare to telecommunication.
Why did you apply for the Kickstart Accelerator?
Our number one goal was to do business with partners of the Accelerator program such as Credit Suisse, Swisscom und UBS . In the end of the program we also signed a deal with all three of the partners.
How did the Kickstart Accelerator help you grow your business?
Signing a deal with three of the largest Swiss companies gave us a lot of credibility. Additionally, working together with all three companies allowed us to better understand their business and how to tackle the challenges they are encountering. The experience with Kickstart Accelerator has been very positive, as they were the ones who were helping us a lot in establishing a partnership with these companies.
What has been your biggest success so far?
There are a lot of small successes all the time. We have a roadmap which we are following and currently we have been able to meet our milestones. The agreement with three of the largest Swiss companies has definitely been one of the greatest successes.
What are the major challenges you face?
As we are a small company at the moment, we have to be very smart, which opportunities to pursue and which not. The space of cybersecurity is growing really fast, giving a lot of opportunities. The hardest part is to pick the right ones.
Where do you see Notakey in 5 years?
We want to become the standard in cybersecurity. Currently we are focusing on enterprises, however we already see that there is a high interest from individual persons for access management. I believe in 5 years we will be able to achieve this goal.