‘Get yourself a good team’ and 3 other lessons for startup founders in cyber security

CyRise
CyRise
Sep 6, 2018 · 3 min read

We chatted to CyRise mentor and CEO at Forticode, Tony Smales, about his experience as a startup founder. Tony created Forticode when he recognised the world was becoming more connected, more technology dependent and thoroughly compromised. The flagship product is Cipherise, a mobile-first identity verification product, allowing individuals to be in control of their credentials instead of the businesses they use or work for.

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Cipherise, the flagship product from Forticode.

In his 8 years of being the sole founder, Tony has learnt a lot. Realising that his technology-rich solution wasn’t user-friendly, he binned 1 million lines of code and pivoted to create a new version of the product. That was 2 years ago. The success of that move saw Forticode secure over a million in funding and the first flagship customer. Tony generously shared his biggest learnings below.

1. Get yourself a good team

2. Understand how you’re going to fund your growth

3. Build your technology around a real need

4. Solve a problem that’s high on the priority list

Above all, if you’ve got the gumption to take action and have a shot, then by all means have a shot. Australia has great talent. If this is an area of passion for you, then the most important thing is to back yourself.


Want to know more about the CyRise program? Click here to book time to chat with with CyRise CEO, Scott.

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Tony Smales, CEO at Forticode.

Tony Smales is the CEO and driving force behind Forticode, a Melbourne-based cyber security startup. He’s a great advocate for Australian talent in the cyber security sector, and believes homegrown security solutions can have a big impact both locally and globally.

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