Author: Jared Dauman

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About Jared Dauman

Jared Dauman is an Olin Junior double majoring in Entrepreneurship and Political Science. Passionate about journalism, technology, and user engagement, he is interested in startup environments that focus on empowering companies and consumers through media. Outside of the classroom, Jared serves as the Production Director for WashU’s Social Programming Board, works as a Content Creator for PluggedIN, and loves to travel and connect with new people around the globe.


The below post was republished with permission from PluggedIN, an automated talent recruitment and matchmaking platform specifically focused on startup companies. PluggedIN was founded by Colleen Liebig, who serves as an Industry Career Specialist & Advisor at Olin, with specialization in entrepreneurship.

Every day, the world becomes more interconnected. From refrigerators and thermostats to televisions and smartphones, the number of devices connected to the Internet has grown exponentially in recent years. While many see this as a central advantage of the digital age, hackers have also taken note of this increased connectivity. At any given moment, experts estimate that there are more than 10 million identified threats on the web, seeking to find and exploit even the smallest vulnerability. Although major industry players are racing to find solutions, the space is ripe for innovative approaches from creative, ambitious start-ups.

One of these young firms is Bandura Systems. Based in St. Louis, the start-up offers a suite of cyber security products that can protect against as many as 100 million threats in real time. As a B2B company, Bandura has successfully served firms in financial service, healthcare, education, and several other industries. Further, the company has formed a series of strategic partnerships with other cyber security firms to provide customers with comprehensive solutions.

Last week, we had the opportunity to learn about Bandura’s work with co-Founder and CEO Suzanne Magee. During our conversation, Suzanne shared a host of insights into how she entered the cyber security field and why it is the perfect space for entrepreneurial ventures. Some highlights from our discussion include:

  • How Suzanne founded Bandura by discovering a problem in cyber security solutions, developing a passion for the industry, and then building a business to meet unfulfilled needs
  • What is ransom ware and why it has become a growing concern for many businesses and industries
  • Striking the right balance in cyber security between competing interests, like convenience versus security and innovation versus regulation
  • How we think about hackers, their ideologies, and where they come from
  • Why cyber security is ideal for entrepreneurship and how the industry offers deep pockets and significant market opportunity

 




RippleNami

The below post and podcast was republished with permission from PluggedIN, an automated talent recruitment and matchmaking platform specifically focused on startup companies. PluggedIN was founded by Colleen Liebig, who serves as an Industry Career Specialist & Advisor at Olin, with specialization in entrepreneurship.

“When we look to hire people, we look to see that we can get along as a team. We say that they need to pass the barbecue and beer test. Would we want to sit down and have a barbecue and a beer with this person?”
—Jaye Connolly-LaBelle, CEO, RippleNami

Imagine the last time you needed something. Whether it is the nearest grocery store or best-rated dry cleaner in the area, a quick Google search would provide an accessible answer and even a map to take you to your destination. While these benefits of a connected society are often taken for granted in developed nations, people in many parts of the world do not have access to these resources. From 6-hour searches for suitable drinking water to nonexistent information about the nearest primary school, unconnected people in developing nations struggle to get the basic information relevant to them.

Out of this need arose RippleNami. Although the startup is less than two years old, RippleNami has set out to provide unconnected people with simple mapping technologies to better visualize the resources or situations relevant to them. Working with NGOs, logistics providers, aid organizations, and governments in several developing countries, the company has already begun to realize its mission and establish a global presence.

We had the opportunity to learn about RippleNami’s unique work during a podcast episode with CEO Jaye Connolly La-Belle. During our conversation, Jaye shared a host of insights into how she became involved in the project, manages a global team, and helps work towards RippleNami’s mission on a daily basis. Some highlights of our discussion include:

  • How Jaye transitioned from her career in finance and accounting to connect with RippleNami’s founder and help operationalize the idea
  • Why she embraces a globally distributed team and how she hires the right employees in developing nations
  • What leadership strategies are key to running a start-up and why successful entrepreneurs must be able to handle all aspects of the business
  • How RippleNami is building its simplified mapping technology and where the startup sees itself in the future
  • Why Jaye felt St. Louis was the right startup ecosystem to grow RippleNami, and how the company is participating in two accelerator programs (Capital Innovators and Prosper Women Entrepreneurs).