I’ve written before about the benefits athletes bring to entrepreneurship and business. This week I had the chance to address these questions with tech entrepreneur Chad Bennett, of Utah. At just 37, he has led two of his three prior companies (as I have) to multiple Inc. 500 wins. He’s an Ironman finisher. And he’s a father of five.
Now he’s publicly launching his newest venture, HEROIC.com, to decentralize cybersecurity and make AI-powered protection available to the masses.
Bennett’s background in cybersecurity began at age 14, when he taught himself to audit online systems for vulnerabilities. Later, he managed cybersecurity for one of the largest computing departments at Brigham Young University. In 2011, he founded Lancera, an enterprise software development and cybersecurity services company that ranked #149 and #146 on the Inc. 500 list of companies. One of Lancera’s clients was my own company, Fishbowl.
In 2015, frustrated with existing antivirus and modern cybersecurity solutions, he merged his experience in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence into HEROIC.com.
What led Bennett to centralize his efforts on blockchain?
“I initially became interested in cryptocurrency in 2012 when I starting mining for bitcoins after reading Satoshi Nakamoto’s whitepaper [A peer-to-peer electronic cash system]” he says. “I recognized the disruptive effect blockchain and cryptocurrencies will have on the future of technology and business. It became the basis for our business.”
Bennett spoke about a future where cyber threats will not only threaten our data and devices but could also affect the lives of the people we love. As an open platform, HEROIC.com encourages users to share the threat data they discover in exchange for cybersecurity-focused cryptocurrency. The data is then available to developers and companies for use in the creation of intelligent solutions on the HEROIC.com platform.
As more users join the network, the more secure everyone in the ecosystem becomes, Bennett explains, creating a new paradigm for cyber protection.
The company has not yet reached profitability, relying on personal investment and revenue from its early customers thus far. At the time of our interview, Bennett said the company is planning to raise additional funds through a token sale (also known as an ICO, or Initial Coin Offering).
Token sales are a newer method of crowdfunding in which people invest in a specific technology or company in exchange for cryptocurrency tokens. They can use the tokens within the software or can exchange them for cash and other cryptocurrencies. According to Cointelegraph, companies raised more than $6 billion via token sales in 2017. Like other forms of investment, cryptocurrency has been buffeted by recent market volatility, but along with the traditional market is showing renewed strength at the time of this posting.