Original article published here at AustinStartups.com
By Hugh Forrest
Is it possible for companies to protect their customers with data privacy that complies with regulations and is easy for developers to use?
This privacy-as-a-service API platform provides peace of mind to companies and the customers they serve in the world of AI and smart devices by building a new privacy infrastructure for the internet.
By introducing the ability to safely search and share encrypted data, StrongSalt improves security and accessibility and creates potential for broader adoption of data encryption. StrongSalt also lowers costs for companies by removing friction from encryption while making it accessible for all developers via the API platform.
Since raising $3 million in seed funding in September, StrongSalt announced its Open Privacy application for searching and sharing encrypted data in cloud services and enterprise applications. StrongSalt has also announced three searchable-encryption-related patents secured from the United States Patent and Trademark Office.
One of 50 finalists for SXSW Pitch 2020, StrongSalt Co-Founder and CEO Ed Yu will pitch his company in the category of Enterprise and Smart Data Technology before a live audience and a panel of expert judges (12:30 to 1:30 pm Saturday, March 14).
Winners in each of the 10 categories will be announced at the Pitch Awards Ceremony, at 6:30 pm Sunday, March 15. SXSW attendees are also invited to Meet the Finalists from 10:30 am to 12:30 pm Monday, March 16. All SXSW Pitch events take place at the Hilton Austin Downtown.
Yu shared thoughts about his plans for StrongSalt, his favorite food, and why he admires a watchmaker.
What is your top goal for StrongSalt for 2020?
Expand our customer base so more data can be protected once and for all. We believe we have the perfect tech, so we are looking to match that on the business side.
With the exception of StrongSalt, what tech trend is your team most excited about?
We are excited that privacy has become more important to many people, including policy makers and individuals. From a tech perspective, we are excited about how fast edge devices, including mobile devices, are improving both in processing and networking capabilities.
If you weren’t working for StrongSalt, what would you be doing?
I’d probably be developing a game. That was actually the reason for me to get into computer science, but somehow I never crossed the path with the game industry.
What has the startup experience taught you about life?
Don’t be stressed — tomorrow is another day.
What’s your favorite thing about being based in San Jose, Calif.?
It’s in the heart of Silicon Valley, but against the traffic in the morning.
What do you think is the most overrated virtue?
Passion. Usually it doesn’t last and people forget that “the path to hell is paved with good intentions.”
Which talent would you most like to have?
Sleep any time anywhere.
What’s your actual super power?
Which living person do you most admire and why?
“In order to create something that nobody expects, you have to take risks, and the beauty of being independent means you can.”
— Thierry Stern, current owner of Patek Philippe
I admire his courage to challenge the status quo when Patek is at the top of high horology [the art of making clocks and watches], both in terms of reputation and financial weal. It’s easier to change when you are in a slump, but it takes more when you are on the top.
On a more personal level, I celebrate independence and the courage for a person to say what he wants in the age of social media and political correctness where people are afraid to say how they really feel as if by sugarcoating the words we fix the problems. Online bullying is a real danger in our democracy and the effects are magnified when people hide under the pretense of progression and justice.
Tell us about things you love.
I’m probably the biggest foodie you’ll ever meet and I literally eat almost anything. I’m a big on mechanical things, so I’m a watch collector and I appreciate non-electric cars because I’m a software person so anything electrical is too boring for me. I like to fly (propeller planes) or dive when I have time. I used to be a globetrotter. I can be extremely introverted so I enjoy things that I can do alone or with a very small group. I’m a typical nerd in that I enjoy books (fantasy), board games, video games, anime, and comics. However, I’m not a trekkie nor a “Star Wars” fan.
What do you eat when you are low on energy?
What motto or quote do you live by?
Just do it.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever gotten — or given?
People overestimate what can be done in one year, and underestimate what can be done in ten.
Look for more interviews with other finalists in this space between now and the start of SXSW Pitch on Saturday, March 14. Visit this page to see all previous interviews in this series as well as a list of all finalists.
If you are an entrepreneur, check out the SXSW 2020 Startups Track, which runs March 13–17. This track brings together founders and funders and showcases exciting new companies, products, services, and business models across different verticals and industries.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.