HOPZERO, among Concordia University Texas’ first IncubatorCTX member companies, is revolutionizing the way companies think about protecting their data from security breaches. They have a different approach than most data protection programs.
“Our product acts as a virtual leash, preventing critical data from going too far,” Co-founder, Ben Haley, a 2012 Concordia University Texas MBA graduate, said. “While firewalls work to keep people out, our technology keeps that valuable data in.”
A software engineering professional veteran, Haley’s life took a turn in 2009 when his company NetQoS was acquired by CA (formerly Computer Associates).
After this transition, Haley wondered what made NetQoS successful, and what could they could have done better.
A twist in Haley's story
“That led me to Concordia’s MBA program in 2010,” he said. “I wanted a convenient location, but I also liked the Christian leadership aspect of Concordia’s program. Over the next two years, I worked on getting a more solid foundation by studying weekly with my cohort and professors to understand aspects of business that were foreign to a software engineer.”
A few years later, Dr. Lynette Gillis, Dean of Concordia’s College of Business, asked Haley what his future goals were.
“I have always loved working with startups, and she asked me if I could help out with the Incubator starting up at Concordia,” Haley said. “I decided to sign up as a mentor.
Eventually mentorship transformed into membership, and led to HOPZERO’s admission into IncubatorCTX. HOPZERO founder Bill Alderson had recruited three partners, but they needed a central location to Lakeway, Steiner Ranch and Georgetown to collaborate.
IncubatorCTX was the logical place to go. After its opening in May 2017, the HOPZERO team found entrepreneurial programming and access to mentor and business services to be beneficial.
The IncubatorCTX difference
HOPZERO completed the very first Venture Forth entrepreneurial boot camp, a partnership between Tech Ranch and Concordia, in November of 2017.
“I highly recommend the Venture Forth program as it makes you focus on the entire business, not just the product,” Haley said. “You learn how to market it, sell it, etcetera.”
His team also understood the benefit of utilizing CTX students.
“We knew having access to the Concordia MBA students who are excited to take on projects would be helpful.”
Things are going well for the company. They were recently accepted into Capital Factory Accelerator, a program that gives Texas startups a competitive advantage in attracting talent, advisors, investors and customers.
Haley hopes to focus on sales and marketing next year. Today, HOPZERO performs network security audits and makes recommendations for clients, securing their networks using a process called HOPsnap. The company will soon complete development and launch the entire suite of security products, designed to obviate risk in networks of every size.
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Concordia University Texas has a select opportunity for Austin tech companies to partner with the Computer Science program and provide Computer Science students with real-world experience while gaining valuable solutions for their organizations.