In addition to working on Breezeshare, I also am an IT Security Analyst. This past week, I traveled to The Venetian in Las Vegas to attend a conference for a software called Splunk. Splunk is a platform that allows users to easily ingest and analyze data from thousands of different sources. This tool is very useful when running a company because it is essential to be able to identify different trends and patterns in your data. As a security analyst, I use Splunk to investigate security incidents within my corporate network.
There was over 11,000 people in attendance at Splunk .Conf 2019. It was unlike anything I've ever seen. The CEO of the company gave keynotes about the future of Splunk and what new technologies they were implementing. There were hundreds of sessions that people could attend based on your career path and interests. Dozens of different technology companies had exhibits in the showcase room in effort to attract new customers. The whole time I was at the conference, I thinking about what it would be like to have an event like that for Breezeshare.
When looking over the sessions that I could possibly attend, I noticed that Robert Herjavec and the Herjavec Group were hosting multiple sessions throughout the week. Robert is a shark on ABC's Hit Show "Shark Tank". He has a staggering portfolio of investments worth hundreds of millions of dollars along with being the CEO of Herjavec Group, a cybersecurity company. Robert is exactly the type of person that could help take Breezeshare to the next level. The high cost of founding a tech startup causes many companies to seek outside investments from angel investors and venture capatalists such as the sharks on Shark Tank. It costs upwards of $500,000 to create the first versions of your favorite apps such as Twitter and Pinterest. Instagram costs over one million dollars to develop!
I sat in the very front row of this event to be sure that I would be seen and noticed. It wasn't very hard, considering I was one of the very few Black people at this conference (and the youngest). When the time came for questions, I told Robert that I founded a video conferencing platform for music creators called Breezeshare and asked him "At what stage should a startup company begin to invest in security tools such as Splunk or Endpoint Detection and Response?". He went on to say that it was a tricky question because startups have limited resources and very narrow goals at their beginning stages. However he did say this, "if your program is including file transfers or anything like that, the security should be implemented immediately". This is extremely important because as a program that does support filesharing, we want to protect the confidentiality and integrity of our user's information - which is our top priority.
Towards the end of the event, the Herjavec Team stated that Robert would be doing photos at their booth in the next fifteen minutes. I sprinted back to my hotel room to change into my Breezeshare shirt. It was important that our brand would be displayed in the picture. When it was my turn to meet Robert, he said "Hey, you asked me that question at the event!". I wanted to make sure that he remembered my face and what Breezeshare was. We took a photo together and I gave him my card as he told me good luck with the business. The next day, I attended his event, asked more questions, then took another photo with him. I figured that by the third time of me meeting him, there would be no way that he would forget me.
I've always read that investors invest in founders, not companies. Planting those small seeds with Robert was essential because now Breezeshare is on his radar. He may not be ready to invest right now, but as we continue to build our company, that may change! Maybe Breezeshare will even fill out an application to go on Shark Tank. How cool would that be?