Startup entrepreneur

IT-Seal: Developing a business model for a tech startup that identifies IT security problems caused by human behavior

The startup idea: Helping enterprises to protect their trade secrets by analyzing their vulnerability to social engineering

The idea for IT-SEAL was pitched by Alex and David on the Startup Weekend Darmstadt 2015. The startup idea is to offer a social engineering analysis to identify IT security problems that are caused by social engineering, that is cyber-attacks provoking employee misbehavior to overcome technical security mechanisms. Based on this, they can provide enterprises with recommendations and action plans on how to decrease the threat of industrial espionage.

David had elaborated the audit for master thesis. At that moment, Alex and David wanted to explore possible applications and clients, and elaborate a viable business model.

The teamwork: Elaborating and validating a profitable business model around the social engineering analysis

Alex and David were supported by Sebastian, Chris, Xin, Hugo, Sebastian and me. We considered different value propositions to apply the core technology, as well as different clients to offer it to. We validated the value proposition and developed a business model. I contributed by helping how to get started with a core value proposition, but think strategically on how to expand the core competencies and value proposition over time.

Alex and David were very driven to make their business idea real. They have done a great job in involving everyone in the team and in ultimately taking responsibility for a great startup pitch on Sunday evening.

Alex and David win the 1st prize for “Best business concept” at the Startup Weekend Darmstadt 2015, and later a startup grant.

The result: “Best business concept” for Alex and David with support to start their IT security business

Alex and David have validated their idea of a Social Engineering Audit and elaborated a business model. They have won the 1st prize at the Startup Weekend Darmstadt 2015, and are eligible to apply for a Techstars Accelerator program and for a German founder’s grant. Any of these would allow them to found their startup, code and sell their audit to IT security consultancies to ultimately help enterprises to protect themselves from industrial espionage.

“With Nicole Schaller we have worked successfully during the startup weekend in Darmstadt. Her experience and structured input were very helpful and have allowed us to develop our business model further.”

Alex Wyllie, founder + CEO of IT-Seal