Fellow Profile — Pabi Ambikainathan

University: Ryerson University

Major: B.Com, Business Technology Management

Startup: Interset

City: Ottawa, ON

Hometown: Toronto, ON

What does your startup do?

Interset provides a threat and risk detection platform that helps companies quickly and accurately detect threats to intellectual property and sensitive data. Our platform uses behavioral analytics, machine learning and big data to surface anomalous activities before IP and/or data is stolen.

Describe a typical day at your startup: (role, day-to-day)

Typical day? Ha, that doesn’t exist! As a Product Manager, I’m usually working with engineering, sales, marketing, or customers. This includes writing specifications, driving and refining product enhancements, researching the market, and helping to formulate product strategy. Above all though, I’m helping to create the best experience for our customers and make it easier for them to learn about security threats in their companies.

What do you love about working at a startup? (What are the benefits of working at a startup?)

We make bold statements and we’re entirely focused on eliminating IP and data theft around the world. Oh, and you work with some really really smart people. It can be intimidating sometimes, but that’s good because it forces you to up yourself to super saiyan levels. Dragon Ball Z, anyone? We’ve got snacks and cold beers as well, but they don’t excite me as much as building a company, and transforming the way cybersecurity is approached.

What’s a social issue that you are particularly passionate about?

Access to technology locally and around the world. As a kid, I vividly remember how receiving a computer from the City of Toronto opened my eyes to a world of possibilities. Even though technology is becoming much less expensive, there are still many kids who face challenges because of limited access to technology.

What’s your favorite book?

Harry Potter, the entire series — it taught me imagination, courage, and perseverance. I like to think those are shared characteristics of successful entrepreneurs.

If you could tell your third year university student self one piece of advice, it would be to…

Normal people do normal things, don’t be normal.

What is the best part of being a Venture for Canada Fellow?

Getting to know and be around other fellows, of course! It’s really something special when you find people that share your interest in entrepreneurship and making the world a better place. The Venture for Canada network also provides many opportunities to meet and connect with successful entrepreneurs and startups.

What do you hope to accomplish in your career?

I want to make an impact and leave a mark behind in both my career and life. How I’ll get there is going to be the interesting bit, stay tuned!

Why should someone apply to Venture for Canada?

If you want to learn the ups and downs of startups and what it takes to build a company, then this is for you. To end off my post, I’m going to echo Jennifer, another VFC fellow. If you feel excited when you read about Venture for Canada, there is no doubt that you should apply!