Where did you get the idea for your start-up?
Beltran Borja Fiz Pontiveros. – “DigitalUs was born at the Snt in the University of Luxembourg. I was working on a project that attempted to deanonymise online users by trying to link information they made publicly available to other media sources. It soon became clear that this linking process (also known as ‘entity resolution’) could be applied to a plethora of sources, from social media and other public sharing platforms to obscure forums and leaked information.
We received funding from the FNR to create a proof of concept along business partners, which has led us to our current KYC solution. By starting with a small amount of data on a user, and through multiple search and match iterations, we are able to augment the initial data to generate a user’s online public footprint. Most Know Your Customer solutions today operate under a proprietary data silo mode, meaning they work as a large database of collected information and sell access to it. On our platform searches are launched upon request and no data is stored locally, we could deploy this using privacy by design approach that is of particular importance in the dawn of the GDPR era.
Do you have any advice to give to those who are still hesitant to get started?
“In my experience most people will answer this in some variation of Shia LaBeouf’s ‘Do it!’ meme:
However, the truth is that hesitation is usually born out of fear for a particular set of events going wrong and making you doubt the success of the venture. So I would recommend taking some time and try to analyse what risks are causing the hesitation and try to understand and minimise them.
We often hear that it is essential to make mistakes. What do you think about this?
“Given that most entrepreneurs creating a start-up aim to be a unicorn, I would argue that the correct sentiment is that ‘it is statistically inevitable to eventually make mistakes’, but it sounds less catchy.”