Data Security Solutions for Fintech Startups

The fintech sector has brought consumers an endless stream of modern offerings that have enabled them to ditch several outdated banking and lending products. Companies now have advanced B2B payment solutions at their fingertips, and online financial solutions have never been more convenient – largely thanks to the progress made by fintech startups. But, despite being on the cutting edge of digital financial products, young fintech companies are at a disadvantage in a wildly important arena: data security.

Read More: Article Provided by Very Good Security


National Geographic Channel features San Diego as the only U.S. city in its acclaimed documentary series “World’s Smart Cities.” San Diego was chosen for its strong technology sector, local innovators, green practices, smart public planning and an unparalleled quality of life. Other selection factors included San Diego’s size of population, demographics/cultural diversity, livability, economy and business climate, educational institutions, leadership and strong sense of community.

Local Hackathon Highlights San Diego Status as One of World’s Smart Cities

In 2015, National Geographic featured San Diego as one of the “World’s Smart Cities”. In 2015,that made San Diego the only Smart City featured in North America. While today there are emerging challengers that include Austin, Portland, Columbus, Denver, and San Francisco, San Diego remains at the forefront of leading innovations that improve the city we live in.

One example of this was last week’s Smart City Hackathon held in conjunction with San Diego Startup Week. Hosted by Cleantech San Diego, CyberTECH, City of San Diego, General Electric, AT&T, and Intel, the hackathon gave entrepreneurs and developers free access to CityIQ’s real-world datasets, Intelligent Cities APIs, engineering support, developer resources, and the opportunity to explore how an application using real-time data from the thousands of CityIQ nodes throughout the City of San Diego will help solve problems with traffic, parking, public safety, urban planning, and environmental challenges.

Earlier this year, GE Current, Intel, and AT&T announced that 3,200 intelligent nodes are being placed on streetlights throughout the City of San Diego, powered by GE’s CityIQ™. This makes San Diego one of the first large scale deployments of “smart city” tools. The goal is to make the
city a safer and smarter place, monitoring traffic and pinpointing crime.

GE Current is the $1B Energy Services Company launched by GE in late 2015. Current combines GE’s commercial and industrial LED lighting, solar, energy storage and electricvehicle business with the predictive analytics of the Predix industrial internet platform to solve complex energy problems.

Developers received quick presentations and code samples, food to them going throughout the night at CyberTECH’s NEST CoWork space in Hackers Hill, and tons of juice and caffeine to stay awake.

Many hackers brought together teams in advance, attending the pre-workshop to get a jump on thinking about their ideas. Other developers sought teams to collaborate on ideas. Throughout the night, they experimented, whiteboarded ideas, and took the occasional cat nap.

By 10:30 am the next morning, all coding stopped, presentations were put together, and judging began. Each team had three minutes to present and demonstrate their idea. The judging team, consisted of:

  • Kiva Allgood, Managing Director, GE Ventures
  • Maksim Pecherskiy, Chief Data Officer, City of San Diego
  • Austin Ashe, General Manager, Intelligent Cities, GE Current
  • Jason Anderson, President & CEO, Cleantech San Diego
  • Eric Green, Sr. Program Manager, IoT, AT&T
  • Ace Sklar, Security Engineer

Apps were judged based on:

  • Ability to clearly articulate what the app does
  • Originality of idea
  • Technically creative and/or challenging implementation
  • Applicability to the City of San Diego’s unique challenge

Deciding wasn’t easy as the ideas presented to make San Diego a better place were innovative and took advantage of the excellent resources that the sponsors provided. The winners were:

First Place :Dream Biz – Created an app to help business owners find the ideal location for their store front
Second Place :See Things – Created an app to help report possible drunk drivers
Third Place :Park A – Created a parking optimization app

The San Diego Smart City Hackathon truly showcased San Diego’s continuing status as a leading smart city, and the ongoing collaboration among organizations, technology providers and entrepreneurs that keep us on that edge.

This event will stress the importance of cybersecurity and offer unique challenges and opportunities to the San Diego Community. The City of SD recognizes the potential this occasion could bring to the city and has provided financial support to take this event to the next level.

Code with us for Hack-o-ween

Join us for Hack-o-ween, a VR/AR Hackathon produced by the AT&T Developer Program and CyberTECH. Hackathons are coding competitions, where individuals and teams build apps and games from scratch over a specified time period. The apps are then pitched to judges and prizes award for the best apps. Hackathons are a great opportunity to learn new technologies, network with fellow developers, enjoy some food, most importantly have some fun!

The Hackathon will be held in downtown San Diego at CyberTECH’s cybersecurity incubator and shared workspace, CyberHive, starting the evening of Friday, Oct 27 and ending the evening of Sunday Oct 29. See the full schedule below.

It’s Hack-o-ween!

Code in costume if you want! Bring your favorite cosplay, neopixel wearable, or that SpongeBob outfit. Street clothes are fine also!



The following is a list of the weekend’s agenda:

Day 1 – Friday

6PM – Dinner is served and networking
7PM – Event kickoff
8PM – Pitch ideas, form teams, and start coding!
9PM – Equipment loaning
12AM – Venue closes for the night; you may continue working on your project offsite.

Day 2 – Saturday

9AM – The fun continues with breakfast served in the morning! Work with the teams from Day 1 to complete the app.
1PM – Lunch is served
7PM – Dinner is served

CyberTECH will be open OVERNIGHT on Saturday! Thank you to CyberTech for keeping the hackathon non-stop!

Day 3 – Sunday

9AM – Breakfast served
1PM – CODE FREEZE. First round of judging. Lunch is served
4PM – Top teams present and winners announced


The following prizes will be awarded after the fast pitches are completed and the judges have convened:

Best Hackathon Overall App
$1000 in Amazon gift cards for the team
Membership to CyberTech ($1680 value)

Best Smart City Hack
$500 in Amazon gift cards for the team
3 month hot desk at CyberTech ($750 value)

Best VR/AR Hack
$500 in Amazon gift cards for the team
3 month hot desk at CyberTech ($750 value)

Judging Criteria

Apps will be judged based on the criteria below and weighted accordingly.
33% Weight – Ability to clearly articulate what your app does
33% Weight – Originality of idea
33% Weight – Creative use of technologies discussed at the event


Hackathon Legal

Hackathon terms:

We expect all participants to abide by the Hack Code of Conduct:


Social Media

Follow us @attdeveloper and @CyberHiveSD for live updates and photos from the event
Use #atthack in your tweets
Like us on Facebook


Darin Andersen is a distinguished Internet of Things (IoT) and cybersecurity professional with over 15 years of experience in the security industry. In 2013, Mr. Andersen founded CyberTECH (CyberHive and iHive Incubators), a global cybersecurity and IoT network ecosystem providing cybersecurity and IoT resources, strategic programs and quality thought leader IoT Forums across the nation. Darin is also founder of CyberUnited, a cybersecurity, big data and predictive analytics firm that applies a behavioral psychology framework via machine learning, data, analytics and inferential algorithms to determine and prevent identity and insider threats within the enterprise, academic and government organizations.


SD3D Printing
At SD3D Printing, we are standardizing digital manufacturing by developing an end-to-end 3D printing automation platform. Our platform allows users to scale up production efficiently, enabling short-run and just-in-Time (JIT) production of end-use parts. By leveraging advanced process automations, production costs and lead times through our platform are up to 80% lower compared to traditional 3D printing methods.

President/CEO: David Feeney

Founded/launched: 2013




  • 3D Print Kiosk: 1855 First Avenue, Suite #103, San Diego, CA 92101
  • 3D Print Kiosk: 211 North Ervay Street, Suite #351, Dallas, TX 75201
  • Factory: 7925 Silverton Avenue, Suite #510, San Diego, CA 92126

Quotable: “SD3D is leading the convergence between industrial IOT and additive manufacturing, which we believe will provide a catalyst for the next industrial revolution.” – David Feeney

Notable trends/ideas: The concept of short-run production through additive manufacturing (3D printing) is being normalized throughout many industries. Projects that previously would have never been launched are now making it to market and providing a positive impact to lives of millions of users while supporting their domestic economy. Instead of being made overseas, these parts are now made within just a few miles of the end-user.


  • David Feeney, President/CEO): David is an experienced manufacturing engineer, project manager and entrepreneur. With six years of direct experience in the automotive and industrial equipment industries as a manufacturing engineer and project manager, David understands the needs of the target client. As the technical co-founder and CEO of SD3D, David brings an extensive track record of successfully implementing process automations for manufacturing industrial equipment on product lines valued at over $100M annually.
  • Bennett Berger, Co-founder/President: Bennett’s experience comes from the world of management, sales and client relations. After graduating from the UC Santa Cruz in Business Management Economics, Bennett worked as an account executive managing hundreds of clients for an insurance agency. From there he went into sales for the Medicare industry, running both group presentations as well as individual meetings.
  • Marshal Haupt, Chief Engineer: Marshal graduated from UC Davis in 2009 with a BSEE degree. He initially began his career working in the design and development of photovoltaic inverters. After five years working in subsea robotics at FMC Technologies, Marshal turned to communication control designs for industrial control equipment. Most recently, Marshal worked with a flow control meter manufacturer on a CANbus communication control network. He is using that expertise directly in his role at SD3D.
  • Junhua Wei, Research Engineer: Junhua graduated from Texas Tech University in 2015 with a PhD in mechanical engineering. His research and work are focused on 3D printer hardware development, 3D printing materials preparation, and functional device.


Interesting anecdote/client: SD3D is the dedicated supplier of sunflower decorations for Nothing Bunt Cakes franchise facilities across North America. Before SD3D came on the scene, these sunflower decorations were originally hand carved by a local woodworker. When the woodworker retired, Nothing Bunt Cakes turned to SD3D Printing to continue production and provide just-in-time manufacturing for their new franchise facilities.
To maintain consistency with the original flowers, Nothing Bunt Cakes chose to use the coarsest resolution available to retain the grainy texture and the “hand-carved” look. So, next time you see a Nothing Bunt Cakes store, check out the sunflowers hanging on the wall behind the cash register. If your eye is trained on what to look for, you should be able to tell they are 3D printed.

Contact info:

SD3D is located within NEST at X-Hive, the distinctive CoWork space at 1855 First Avenue, Suite 201, San Diego, CA 92103.

To inquire about available space, contact Darin Andersen:

By Fer O’Neila Knowledgebase Technical Writer at a security software company and a Ph.D. student.

Why every cyber security professional needs to know about the Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS) conference

In the final week of June, the Rady School of Management at UC San Diego hosted the 16th annual Workshop on the Economics of Information Security (WEIS) conference. Over the course of two full days, seasoned researchers presented and discussed the tools, processes, and methodologies that inform cyber security technologies as well as national and international cyber security policy.

As a first time attendee, I will share my perspective of the sessions and the conference as a whole.

What is WEIS—Why haven’t I heard of this?

WEIS is the leading forum for interdisciplinary scholarship on information security and privacy,
combining expertise from the fields of economics, social science, business, law, policy, and computer science. From the WEIS website, the conference pages describe how its unique expertise in interdisciplinary fields contributes to information security and privacy, as both continue to grow in
importance, with threats proliferating, privacy eroding, and attackers finding new sources of value.

Themes and highlights from the sessions

Nearly all of the presentations were empirical research studies that used economic statistical models to look at correlation and causation of behaviors and events applied to cyber security topics. This type of research is important because of the constantly changing information security landscape. I thought that the presentation by Hasan Cavusoglu An Empirical Investigation of the Antecedents and Consequences of Privacy Uncertainty in the Context of Mobile Apps elucidated nicely how uncertainty in economics relates to cyber technology applications, marketing efforts, and information security systems. That is, uncertainty is the consequence of incomplete information, and this relates to the models and frameworks for how people make decisions with incomplete information and the outcomes as a result (for instance, consequences or benefits).

If one were able to combine all of the information from all sessions, you would have a tremendous ability to predict levels of security vulnerability based on intrinsic and extrinsic factors such as market share, competition, lack of security patching etc. For example, Sam Ransbotham investigated the The Effects of Security Management on Security Events to determine whether a security event at a competitor affects a firm’s security management practices. He found that breaches do increase active port management (observable activity), and that firms respond to breaches at other firms in their industry.

There were 25 presentations and there was so much information shared that I can only encourage others to look at the session topics and read the abstracts to the papers that interest you—and also note that the WEIS website does an excellent job posting links to every paper presented at all WEIS conferences since 2005.

Practical applications from robust research

When I posted that I was attending WEIS this year, several people in the cyber security industry commented that the sessions looked “academic,” but I didn’t quite understand what that meant. The conference presenters were a mix of pioneering and influential information security researchers, top government security directors, leading security and privacy lawyers, and prominent security think tank researchers, among others too many to list. The conference was full of strategy and policy information for how cybersecurity risk should be managed and business decisions made based on empirical evidence.

Next year’s conference will be held in Innsbruck, Austria, mid-June. I encourage you to review the papers on the conference website for the topics that are relevant to your industry to see the most current research available related to cyber and information security.

For a comprehensive overview of every session, one of the founding members of the conference, Ross Anderson (a pioneer and world leader in security engineering), liveblogged the entire conference, which you can view on his website:

Selected examples of some predictive results from the sessions

For industry professionals that question what benefit they would receive by attending WEIS, I have compiled a selected list of presentations that provide applied research for various cyber security topics.

    • Inferring Security Performance of Providers from Noisy and Heterogenous Abuse Datasets Concentration metrics reveal attacker and defender economics, such as how attackers can gain advantage by scaling their operations, and this in turn can be used to study the effectiveness of
      countermeasures. For example, this research shows that the size of provider, popularity, and price leads to exposure and incidents. Therefore, better security procedures leads to less security incidents.


    • An Analysis of Pay-per-Install Economics Using Entity Graphs Platon Kotzias presented an economic analysis of Potential Unwanted Programs (PUP) operations of commercial pay-per-install services used to distribute PUP. Most of the major PUP are properly signed by Microsoft. In 2014, there was a sharp decrease in the number of PUP samples. The research found that 5% of unique IPs accessing Google have injected
      advertisements and that three times the number of malware are PUP warnings, according to Google’s safe browsing report (USENIX 2016). This means that PUP defenses implemented in 2014 from Google, Microsoft, and Symantec, have affected the pay-per-install market:


    • Impact of Security Events and Fraudulent Transactions on Customer Loyalty:
      A Field Study Sriram Somanchi found that customers are likely to end relationship with a bank with an adverse security event, but these models are affected by a bank’s dominance in a market and by the length of time after the event. This research is important to understand customer behavior
      related to fraud and can be used to help predict which customers are more likely to leave a bank for certain adverse security events (and when).


    • Make Notifications Great Again: Learning How to Notify in the Age of Large-Scale Vulnerability Scanning
      This was Interesting research that attempted to determine the most effective way to notify domain owners about a vulnerability. For example, they created a demonstration video of the vulnerability and sent a link to the site owner. However, using traditional communication channels and methods (for instance, email), most notifications bounced. Even when the resource owners were reached, they would not remediate the vulnerabilities, some of them don’t read the notification or understand them (the vulnerability remediation). Their research proposed some recommendations: Move away from email; use alternative information sharing mechanisms such as Api (but have to opt-in), “nudges” with threatened legal action, and hosting
      remediation advice at trusted sites.


    • Standardisation and Certification of the `Internet of Things’
      Ross Anderson’s paper reports a project for the European Commission and demonstrated that maintaining critical software, such as medical devices, vehicles, and power grids is going to continue to be a big problem. Ross discussed the strategic educational challenges as safety and security become intertwined where safety engineers will have to learn adversarial thinking while security engineers will have to think more about usability and maintainability. He outlined his current teaching at Cambridge for first-year undergraduates, when they get an introductory course in `Software and security engineering’ where security and safety are taught as two aspects of the same mission: designing systems to mitigate harm, whether caused by adversaries or not.


  • Security Breaches in the U.S. Federal Government
    Min-Seok Pang found that for every 1% increase in cyber spending, there was a 5% decrease in security incidents (phishing, malicious code, social engineering, policy violation etc.). Further, the more dispersed (not concentrated) offices are, the fewer security incidents it encountered.
    Not surprising was that legacy systems were more likely to experience security incidents, but a very useful finding found that more cloud spending resulted in fewer DDoS attacks


Skylift Global manufactures and provides heavy-lift UAVs (Unmanned Aerial Vehicles) to safely and efficiently deliver shipments of all types that weigh several hundred pounds. Skylift’s UAVs are preferred options for transport situations in which the use of helicopters is deemed too expensive and/or dangerous and the use of consumer drones is deemed too weak and unreliable.

Top flight (from top clockwise):
Robert Bartlett, Chief Engineer; Amir Emadi, CEO; Jesse Moore, CTO; Reza “Ray” Nemovi, Chief Innovator

President/CEO: Amir Emadi
Product/Service description:heavy-lifting aerial vehicles (drones)
Founded: July 2015
Expected launch: January 2017
Location: 1855 First Avenue, Suite #103, San Diego, CA 92101
Quotable: “We can lift and carry heavy goods, supplies, and equipment with a drone. Ultimately, we will give every human the freedom to fly safely and reliably.” – Amir Emadi

Notable trends/ideas: “Similar to the role of cell phones as an essential lifeline in Africa, UAVs fill a void in transportation,
particularly in remote areas and Third World countries. The marketplace has lately begun to regard drones as more than mere toys or weaponry. Concurrently, delivery-centered businesses such as Amazon, UPS, Uber and Chipotle, to name a few, are committed to pursuing unique ways to reduce the time and cost of customer delivery.” – Amir Emadi

  • YouTube
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  • Amir Emadi (President/CEO) recently left a startup he helped build to $1m in revenue in less than a year. Amir has worked for 15 years in operations, marketing, and political advisory roles. While with the World Trade Center in San Diego, his focus was on the local ecosystem. He has since addressed policy and infrastructure voids in the Middle East and rural Africa.
  • Jesse Moore (Chief Technology Officer) previously managed a multi-billion-dollar IT infrastructure for a global Fortune 15 company. With several startups under his belt, he has exceptional talent in identifying new technology integrations that support Skylift’s long-term objectives.
  • Reza Nemovi (Chief Innovator) is the visionary and inspiration behind Skylift’s technology. He ranks as one of the best radio control pilots in the world, giving him a unique understanding of commercial UAV flight. (Please see in-depth profile below)
  • Robert Bartlett (Chief Engineer) brings a unique technical background that combines safety and high performance, giving life to Skylift vehicles. He previously researched and developed auto parts using advanced composite materials for endurance racing teams such as Nissan, Toyota, Porsche. He has also been in the machine and fabrication business for the last 16 years.

Triumph Over Tragedy: The Inspiration Behind Skylift Global
To celebrate his 27th birthday in 2000, Reza Nemovi took part in a Labor Day weekend skydiving event above Lake Elsinore. A professional, Olympic-caliber skydiver with over 500 jumps to his credit, he regularly competed against top military athletes and was in elite physical condition.
But something went terribly wrong.

After a 50-second aerobatic freefall, he deployed his parachute and began to descend to the drop zone (landing area). Upon his final approach, he went into his routine, high-speed dive — but quickly realized his parachute had a developed a hole between two of the cells.
Realizing he was in trouble, he executed emergency crash-landing protocol by tucking arms and legs in tight while putting on full breaks in hopes of slowing down enough to roll upon impact.

Unable to cushion his landing, Reza smashed into the ground at 40 mph, leaving him unable to move, paralyzed from the waist down.
He had shattered his tailbone, sacrum, broken his pelvis, destroyed his L4-L5 spinal segments and sustained damage to multiple areas of his spinal cord. The damage was so severe that a team of doctors opted to place him in an induced coma for almost a month, not believing he would survive.
Reza then underwent an 18-hour surgery with only a 10 percent chance of survival. After a month, he had survived but was told he’d never walk again. Since he was expected to be in a wheelchair forever, his physical therapist told him to only exercise his arms, which were muscular as ever – but not his legs.

But Reza was convinced that, somehow, he’d fully recover. He wouldn’t let anyone tell him otherwise.
Another month passed before his family was able to take him back home to Chicago. Although the physical therapy center there was unrivaled, Reza’s pain-ridden body had difficulty adjusting to the cold weather. Multiply “pins and needles” by a thousand and it’s scarcely possible to comprehend the pain he endured. But he went through his daily rehab regimen, no matter how excruciating the pain.
Muhammad Ali once said that he hated every minute of training. Yet he forced himself to be “The Greatest” with these words: “Suffer now and live the rest of your life as a champion.”

That became Reza’s mindset. By the time he returned to his hospital in California six months later, he was miraculously able to show that he was
already gaining some movement in his lower extremities. Over the next few years, with the help of a walker, he was able to take his first tentative steps.
Another four years passed before Reza finally rid himself of a wheelchair. During that time, over months of painful, sleepless nights, he found solace in his love for the sky and his background as an outstanding auto mechanic. Together, those passions led him to a new hobby – building remote-controlled planes and helicopters.

Over the next 10 years, Reza went on to become a world-class RC pilot and led the conversion from gas to electric-powered RC helicopters. He even helped with the development of the “flying dress” drone named Volantis that famously flew Lady Gaga around in a 2013 demo.
Indeed, in many ways, he has led the way to what we now know as the modern-day drone.

Skeptics told our Skylift Global team that we would never be able to build the vehicle we sought – that it defies the laws of physics. But with Reza’s story as our inspiration, we’re certain we have the collective will to succeed as champions.

Contact info:

  • Amir Emadi (President/CEO) recently left a startup he helped build to $1m in revenue in less than a year. Amir has worked for 15 years in operations, marketing, and political advisory roles. While with the World Trade Center in San Diego, his focus was on the local ecosystem. He has since addressed policy and infrastructure voids in the Middle East and rural Africa.
  • Jesse Moore (Chief Technology Officer) previously managed a multi-billion-dollar IT infrastructure for a global Fortune 15 company. With several startups under his belt, he has exceptional talent in identifying new technology integrations that support Skylift’s long-term objectives.
  • 844-475-9543 ext. 701


To inquire about available space, contact Darin Andersen:

  • 619-341-4036


CEO/Founder: Daniel Magy
Product/Service: Drone Management Solutions
Founded: 2016
Location: 1185 First Street, Suite #103, San Diego, CA 92101

Quotable: “CITADEL’s goal is to secure the skies from nefarious drones. To do this, CITADEL has built a proprietary system that deploys a shield around high-risk targets and gives security teams the ability to automatically ‘depilot’ a drone as it encroaches into restricted airspace.
“All of this is accomplished without disrupting normal communication devices like Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and cellphones.” – Daniel Magy

Notable trend: “The presence of a U.S. anti-drone system, while a seemingly sensible counter-measure against the Islamic State’s fondness for using the remote-controlled aircraft, is a small glimpse into how the American military is adapting to evolving battlefield threats in the wake of its two protracted ground wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.” (Washington Post, July 15, 2016)

Contact info:

CITADEL is located within NEST at XHive, the newly-opened CoWork space at 1855 First Street, Suite 201, San Diego, CA 92103.

To inquire about available space, contact Darin Andersen:


Product description: First introduced in 2014, Kona Deep bottled water is now widely available in more than 20 states, led by Hawaii and California, and at several thousand retail outlets. The story of how the product reaches consumers is remarkable: The pure-water source originates from a deep ocean current formed by melted glaciers in Greenland and Iceland. That water sinks to the ocean floor due to differences in salinity, density and weight. There, it begins a 1,000-year journey flowing through oceans around the globe. Along the way, it travels over underwater volcanic fissures, soaking up beneficial electrolytes and minerals before arriving at the Island of Hawaii. Kona Deep accesses that mineral-rich deep ocean water 3,000 feet beneath the ocean’s surface just off the coast of Kona on the “Big Island” of Hawaii. The water is desalinated using reverse osmosis while preserving its natural mineral and nutrient content. Nothing is added to the final product, which is clear, pure and smooth-tasting.

CEO/Founder: Patrick Turpin

Bio/background: A co-founder of the healthy snack Popchips, Patrick Turpin turned his entrepreneurial spirit to premium bottled water. With the same spirit that made Popchips a popular alternative to salty potato chips, Turpin and his team launched another winning product – this time in the ultra-competitive field of bottled water. A resident of Manhattan Beach, Turpin previously spent 20 years with leading food and beverage companies, including Costco Wholesale, where he served as vice president and launched Costco’s highly successful gas station operations, among other ventures. Turpin earned a BA in economics from Claremont McKenna College.

Significant fact: Domestic sales of premium bottled water have skyrocketed more than 300 percent over the past five years. That figure is expected to grow to 20 to 30% annually for the next few years

Why CyberTECH membership: “Kona Deep is an entrepreneurial startup that leverages technology in desalinating our unique deep ocean water source to create the world’s best water. The desalination technology allows us to remove salt while keeping electrolytes and minerals that hydrate you faster than regular botted water or even sports drinks. Having known Darin Andersen and seeing how CyberTECH has brought together such an amazing group of tech entrepreneurs and the community that’s been created, we see value on multiple levels to being involved.”

Quotable: “I am passionate about creating innovation in mature consumer products categories where one can deliver unique solutions that meet unmet consumer demand. Often times people overlook opportunities in mature product categories thinking that everything that can be done has already been done.”

Greatest challenge you’ve had to overcome: “When we launched Popchips, we started with three different product lines: rice, corn and potato-based chips. Consumers found our offering confusing and initially it didn’t work. We quickly made a decision to discontinue the rice and corn lines and focus on popped potato chips as our ‘hero line’ of product. That worked and we grew rapidly from there.”

Advice for entrepreneurs: “My lesson for other entrepreneurs is that you need to be quick and decisive to make necessary changes to your business model when launching. Follow the facts but also listen to your gut. Often times those initial decisions you make after launching are critical and you have to make those decisions with less than perfect information.”

What future holds for Kona Deep: “We will roll out Kona Deep to the Midwest and East and look to be the leading brand of this new category, deep ocean water. We foresee Kona Deep being a $50 million to $100 million brand in the U.S. market.”

Executive contact:
Patrick Turpin, CEO