Which entrepreneurs do you admire and why?
I admire entrepreneurs who see the value and importance of serving small businesses. While enterprise-focused startups and consumer products or services seem to receive all the attention, I think there are many opportunities which are overlooked in the SMB market. These small businesses are the lifeblood of our economy and are underestimated and underserved by many entrepreneurs. I genuinely admire and respect the entrepreneurs and startups who acknowledge and embrace this potential.
Why did you start Defendify? What was it about its mission/value that made you want to go all in?
Rob and I were both running small businesses and realized through conversation the lack of options out there for sufficient cybersecurity protection. We were both tuned in to the needs of users like ourselves and found that small organizations were faced with trying to manage their security in-house or somehow finding a way to adapt enterprise-level solutions or engage high-end consultants—both of which were unrealistic for a majority of small businesses. This gap in the market was eye-opening and were surprised nobody else seemed to care or be doing anything about it. That’s when we realized the opportunity and
the challenge, to develop something that was simple and affordable enough for small businesses to utilize because that was the only way they would be able to effectively implement cybersecurity.
What’s one piece of information you know now that you wish you had known when you started your company?
Raising capital to fund the business isn’t something you do on the side or as a brief, short-lived project. As an owner and co-founder, raising money and all the work behind it is part of your full-time job. In fact, it often feels like a second full-time job on top of running the business itself. It can be all-consuming and requires a great deal of time, attention, and effort. Whether you’re working with individual angels, investment groups, or professional VCs, you can’t underplay the volume and volatile nature of work required or importance of investor relations. You have to know this going in and prioritize around it.
What motivates you?
I am truly motivated by the great team that we have at Defendify and the way that we work together to embody our core values. Part of my role in the company is to develop and deliver on our brand promise and empower our team to help make our vision a reality. In my eyes, the only way to get there is through true alignment. Developing alignment from our core value system through execution and by virtue of our awesome team is what drives me each and every day.
In your opinion, who are the type of people who are successful working at startups?
Having a can-do attitude and the enthusiasm necessary for constantly solving problems in resourceful ways can really define the success of employees and the company as a whole. And you must have team members that truly believe in the vision and values of the company—you can’t fake that part, and if you do, you won’t succeed.
Entrepreneur Andrew Rinaldi Co-Founded Defendify, an all-in-one cybersecurity platform that powers providers and protects businesses.