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As the upcoming EIT Digital Challenge is closing in fast, tech startups only have limited time left to apply and get the chance to become a true european player. And to give an example of what that would mean, we will be providing numerous interviews with alumni startups that won the challenge in previous years. First up is Friso Stoffer, CFO and business developer at Storro.
A safe alternative to cloud services
Storro is essentially a safe alternative for cloud services where sensitive files can be saved and shared. Organisations can subsequently create their own network of locations for saving and sharing. Companies can also do this without external help, giving them more control over their own data. Storro automatically encripts the data and cuts it into small partitions to be saved in the network of locations. Lastly, no use will be made of external cloud services. This makes using Storro the safest place to store your data.
Storro won the Digital Infrastructure category of the EIT Digital Challenge 2015. This week, we interviewed Friso Stoffer, CFO and Business Developer at Storro, on their current state of affairs, their latest achievements and on the role that EIT Digital has played in their development.
How did Storro get founded and how did you progress before participating in the challenge?
Stoffer: “Although the idea of Storro already existed for some time, in 2012 we finally started developing it. This year, we got a Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) funding because of our innovative nature and the potential of our technology. It took quite some years to actually get to this point. At first, we consisted of a team of 6 people, while this amount had already increased to 8 when we participated in the EIT Digital Challenge in 2015. This was made possible because of another product that we already had launched, but also by being careful with our money. And since September 2016, Storro has been available on our website. It gives us such a good feeling, knowing that the product is finally being used now.”
At what stage is Storro right now and could you tell us about what you have been up to recently?
“During our time at EIT Digital, we were still busy developing our product and realizing our vision. And at the beginning of this year, we closed some big investment rounds. Although we already have a good product that we are offering to users, we are still busy finalizing the development of the service.”
Storro’s current users include Dutch companies Surf, Signum Interfocus, Onvio, UPWEGO and the international company Trefecta. And as you can probably tell, these are very different businesses in an even wider array of branches. This is made possible because of Storro’s many different applications and uses. Let’s name a view important ones. Using Storro, advisory firms can securely share sensitive files with their clients. Because of this, neither party has to set up a secure infrastructure, and subsequently get uneven control over the information. Strong partnerships can be build by using Storro as a collaborative platform. Secondly, banking HQ’s can securely communicate periodical reports with management. Lastly, notary firms can securely publish documents to clients.
What has participating in the EIT Digital Challenge done for your company?
“EIT Digital guided us in multiple ways. We have had intense assistance and personal contact during the development of our product. They participated during brainstorming, educated us through numerous coaching sessions and were a big help during our first financing rounds. Eventually, EIT Digital set up meetings with multiple investors.”
You were the winner of the Digital Infrastructure category in the EIT Digital Challenge 2015. What is the current state of affairs in this category and what is your vision of the sector?
“So, there are a couple of things that are currently of importance in the sector. While it is a wide sector, focused mainly on security and infrastructure, the concept of privacy is very important. And with the emergence of a General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), the concept of privacy will only get more important over time. Of course, this is something we are very aware of. Companies that are still using the cloud to save data will have a hard time because of the GDPR, even when the data is encrypted.”
Of course, Storro could be a possible solution to these challenges. Their peer-to-peer blockchain-based application will make it possible for organizations to securely transfer data. Lastly, sensitive data will be safe, as the company creates its own network of locations.”
Are you part of a tech scaleup that, like Storro, wants to become a true European player? Do you want to gain international visibility and access to an international market? If the answers to these questions are yes, what are you still waiting for? The EIT Digital Challenge 2017 is open for applications.
Scaleups can apply until October 8th, 2017.