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A Kiwi playbook on going from IT inspiration to a global digital business

Divina Paredes | June 27, 2016
For Andy Prow, CEO and co-founder of RedShield, the next step beckons - taking the ‘security as a service’ business global.

"The Kiwi two-degrees of separation is utterly gold dust," says Andy Prow, CEO and co-founder of RedShield Security.

RedShield provides 'security as a service' and Prow is currently focusing on taking on customers across the globe.

"We are literally entering the next phase of RedShield," says Prow, whose company won the innovation category at the inaugural  CIO100 awards in New Zealand.

"We have proved the technology in New Zealand. We now have a first set of large international customers. It is now time to replicate and expand."

He is working with the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise Beachheads' programme, which helps Kiwi enterprises enter overseas markets, and also engages with KEA, the global online expat community of Kiwis.

"We can arrive in London, and we will know someone who knows someone," he says on the vital connections these networks can bring.

He does not name the customers due to commercial confidentiality, but states these are in the UK and the United States, where they are also setting up subsidiaries.

To scale to that level, the company has found strategic partners for both locations.

"While finding the perfect customers, we have to find the perfect delivery partners at the same time," says Prow.

Overseas, he describes RedShield as a New Zealand company. "We are still a Kiwi business and I use the trusted brand of entrepreneurial Kiwis."

But before taking the product global, "We utterly made sure the New Zealand operations were running beautifully. I have to be confident with the team here in New Zealand that we can start our global business, without disrupting what we already have."

Prow underscores the importance of moving fast, and to do this the company had to back its own initial trips overseas. They met with prospective customers - who also became their first international customers - during these trips, and continued the conversations remotely.

"Too often we have the strategy nailed down perfectly before we leave. For me, that was too slow," he states.

"Sometimes you need to back what you are doing, make the jump and see where it goes. You have to take the punt when you can prove your Kiwi technology will sell globally."

Spotting a global opportunity

He says RedShield works to shield high-value, vulnerable web-apps and websites from attack.

"It is a world-first service to be targeting 100 per cent vulnerability mitigation, using its unique ability to be able to create individual shields for every security flaw that exists in our customer's apps," Prow claims.

As a concept, RedShield was an innovation born in 2012, on the back of the RedEye business he and his partners founded in 2009.

 

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