The BizSpark startup of the day is LockPath, based in the US. You will find below an interview with Chris Caldwell and Chris Goodwin, creators of LockPath. All the best to them and congrats for being the startup of the day!
Interview with Chris Caldwell and Chris Goodwin, creators of LockPath
Who are you?
LockPath, Inc. is a Kansas City based software company. We are the creators of Keylight GRC, which is a simple, yet powerful platform that lets you define and manage your GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) initiatives by integrating Policy, Controls, Regulations, Awareness, Asset, Threat, Assessment and Vendor data.
How do you feel being the most promising ‘company of the day’ per Microsoft?
We definitely feel honored and humbled considering all of the great new BizSpark companies we have met this year. It is amazing to see all of the great ideas turning into companies.
What did you do before creating your company?
Prior to forming LockPath, we worked for one of the leaders in Enterprise Governance, Risk, and Compliance. We were involved in building and delivering products and services for some of the world’s largest banks, telcos, government agencies, and insurance companies. We currently have day jobs working for a software company in the healthcare sector.
How did you get the idea? What s the genesis?
Currently, the software companies developing GRC platforms have focused only on the enterprise market. Their platforms require an extremely wide mix of skill-sets and expertise to launch and maintain. In many cases, they are needlessly complicated and totally overkill for addressing the majority of risk-related and regulatory compliance issues. For most companies, it is also a very costly proposition. We felt there was a better and more efficient way to tackle these problems and still achieve regulatory compliance. The concept of a GRC platform without the complicated configuration and confusing options was further validated in our day jobs while working with hundreds of healthcare practices who were struggling to escape the scattered spreadsheets and shared folders.
What do you sell? What is your company’s mission?
LockPath provides innovative web-based GRC (Governance, Risk, and Compliance) applications to companies of all sizes, helping them be more productive, make better decisions and build better communication. Our mission is to make easy-to-use software that empowers companies and their employees, improving the work-flow of individuals while providing collective results for the entire company. We launched our platform, Keylight GRC in late 2009 as a solution to improve how companies manage their governance, risk, and compliance initiatives.
What is your market?
Our primary market will be healthcare, followed by insurance, banking, financial services, government, education and manufacturing. Simply put, any organization with regulatory compliance needs.
Any clients? References? Partners?
We currently have 5 pilots launched with plans for 5 more over the next 2 months. We are currently working with 2 well known consulting partners to deliver services on our platform. There are 3 other firms we are currently evaluating. One of our key goals was to be a partner friendly organization, so we are anxious to fulfill that vision.
Funding history? VCs? BA?
We have not approached any VCs, nor have we considered any investment at this time. We have had a few inquiries, but our goal was to first launch the product and pilots. Our next step will be to get our initial pipeline of customers on board with Keylight and achieve measurable results. Following those milestones, we will take another look at our position and evaluate.
Our product certainly has the potential to be used by not only US based companies with overseas operations, but also with international companies focused on compliance.
How many employees do you have? How many developers?
Currently, it is just the two founders, handling all product and software development.
Are you hiring? If yes, what? Where?
Yes, we certainly plan to hire talented people. Our initial hires will most likely be C# developers and support consultants. We have structured our company and tools, so that our employees can be located anywhere in the world, even though the two of us are in Kansas City.
Which platform are you building on? Why?
Keylight is written in C# 3.5 and is deployed on top of SQL Server 2008 / Windows Server 2008 / IIS 7. We chose C# 3.5 for its enhanced developer productivity. Additionally, SQL Server 2008’s advanced features provide the perfect platform for delivering a highly scalable and secure solution to our customers.
Do you have any Software IP? Is there something that you’re the only one to do on the market?
Yes, we currently have a few things in Keylight that are unique and innovative in the GRC market. We are in the process of filing the appropriate protections at the moment.
Who’s your role model?
Collectively, we both have several. The one we have in common is Ray Ozzie, probably because he is extremely technical and also very entrepreneurial. Both of us liked his memo, “The Internet Services Disruption” and from what we have read about him, we admire his approach to things. We have never met him, but hope to some day.
Where do you see opportunities today in the Software/internet areas?
We see opportunities in cloud computing and certainly there are some interesting things that will be done with Azure in the future. It will be interesting to see how corporate security adapts and changes as more companies embrace SaaS products.
Looking for funding? If yes, how much?
We have not approached any VCs, nor have we considered any investment at this time. We have had a few inquiries, but our goal was to first launch the product and pilots. Our next step will be to get our initial pipeline of customers on board with Keylight and operational. Following those milestones, we will take another look at our position and evaluate.
What about the BizSpark Program? What do you think? Are you going to join? Why?
The BizSpark program has been an unbelievable experience. Certainly access to the tools and software has been a huge benefit to us, but we have also developed some meaningful relationships through the program. Because of BizSpark, we found our hosting partner, RackSpace. RackSpace has gone above and beyond to help us build out our production environment and have been a great partner from the beginning.
Any advice to young Software entrepreneurs?
Be persistent and don’t get emotional. Starting a company is difficult and filled with super highs and super lows.
Anything else you’d like to say?
Special thanks to our local Microsoft office, specifically Tim May, who introduced us to the program. When we first started building, we were using open source tools and had ruled Microsoft out from the beginning. We were 60% done with Keylight when we switched over to the Microsoft platform. What we found by switching is that from a development perspective we are much more productive and that the database and web platform are cutting edge. Additionally, the deployments are far easier, there are more 3rd party controls available, and SQL 2008’s advanced security features are excellent. We really have a better product because of the switch to Microsoft.