HOPZERO Founders Rely on Concordia’s IncubatorCTX
Austin-Born Technology Rethinks Network Security
Austin, TX, April 11, 2018
HOPZERO, one of Concordia University Texas’ first IncubatorCTX member companies, is revolutionizing the way companies think about protecting their network data from security breaches.
“HOPZERO acts as a virtual leash to keep your most critical data from going too far,” explains co-founder Ben Haley. “Most data protection programs, like firewalls, work to keep people out. HOPZERO’s technology instead works to keep the most valuable data in.”
A veteran software engineering professional, Haley holds a Master’s of Business Administration from Concordia’s very first evening class in 2010-2012. He says his MBA studies showed him what he already did well and what he could improve, really “making the difference” in his budding entrepreneurial career.
Haley’s familiarity with Concordia’s collaborative spirit and convenient northwest Austin location actually led to HOPZERO’s membership in the incubator. HOPZERO completed the first Venture Forth entrepreneurial boot camp, a partnership between Tech Ranch and Concordia, in November 2017. Founder and network security analyst Bill Alderson had recruited three partners by fall 2017, but they needed an economical, central location to Lakeway, Steiner Ranch and Georgetown to collaborate.
At IncubatorCTX, which opened in May 2017, the HOPZERO team found entrepreneurial programming and access to mentors, students, and business services.
Haley also knew the value of access to Concordia MBA students who would be eager to take on strategy projects like the one he had completed as part of his own MBA program. Haley’s cohort had volunteered their talent with United Way, developing a business plan that helped secure a $750,000 investment from Verizon to integrate mobile apps into education programs for special needs children.
HOPZERO’s first interaction with the Concordia community came in February when they coordinated a product demonstration for the university’s computer science students, faculty, and incubator members. The feedback HOPZERO’s creators received helped the team to hone its messaging before a “proof of concept” lab event at the U.S. Navy Postgraduate School for all military branches.
HOPZERO was born on June 28, 2016, says Alderson, when he spoke at a U.S. Air Force cybersecurity symposium. Alderson says military security specialists and generals kept complaining about network security breaches that 40 years of firewall innovation had not addressed effectively. “Finally, I just said, I think I can help you with that.” He filed for a provisional patent about two months later and started tapping talent to make HOPZERO’s vision a reality.
“We started this company to deny access before compromise can occur, by limiting how far data may travel,” says Alderson. “From cyber terrorists to international hackers, malware or viruses, our customers have serious threats, which we will solve with HOPZERO’s security solutions.”
Today, HOPZERO performs network security audits and makes recommendations for clients, securing their networks using a process called HOPsnap. With venture capital funding, the company will complete development and launch the entire suite of security products, designed to obviate risk in networks of every size.
HOPZERO will display its technology and roadmap at the RSA Security and Innovation Conference on April 17-19, in San Francisco, where the company was selected as one of 40 early-stage entrepreneurs to exhibit. RSA’s events are the largest security conferences in the world.