Innovator of the Week
CEO of One Touch Trust
Please provide your 30-second pitch about your company.
One Touch Trust is an identity verification platform that helps merchants prevent fraud using ID and biometric information. A merchant can choose to verify their customers’ identities when a fraud flag is thrown, for different billing/shipping addresses, new customers, and other custom filters. If a merchant receives a chargeback, we automate the dispute process, saving them time and money.
Who or what was your best resource for starting your company?
Wasabi Ventures is a huge resource for One Touch Trust as well as the New Hampshire startup ecosystem. I met TK in Durham, NH when he was giving a lecture about Startup Financing at the Alpha Loft. During that conversation he explained the Wasabi Ventures Academy, which has a Startup Foundations program to help founders create a startup from the idea phase to the launch phase.
After completing the Startup Foundations Program through Wasabi Ventures, I decided to continue on to their Entrepreneur-in-Residence Program. During this time, Wasabi Ventures helped me refine my idea for a cybersecurity startup focused on preventing malware from entering your computer.
During this time period, Crystal Taggart, the CTO of One Touch Trust, was also an Entrepreneur-in-Residence with Wasabi Ventures and we worked together on a number of projects and even competed at one point against each other in several startup competitions. Crystal was reaching the final stages of project development and getting ready for the beta launch of her product in September 2016. Crystal and Wasabi Ventures presented me with the opportunity to become the CEO of One Touch Trust to assist with the business, operations, and marketing components in order to bring the company to market. I happily accepted this role and since Crystal and I had already established a great working relationship, it was a natural transition into the role.
All of this would not have come together without Wasabi Ventures. Not only did they help with mentoring, but they assisted with development, accounting, marketing, finances, and everything in between to help make One Touch Trust a success.
What was your biggest obstacle in starting your company and how did you overcome it?
The biggest obstacle for me was the many “hats” a founder wears when creating a startup. At any given moment, you are the CEO, CTO, CFO, Marketing Director, Developer, Network Administrator, Social Media Expert, Sales Guru, Technical Support, Graphic Designer, Web Developer, and also the guy to take out the trash at the end of the night. Wasabi Ventures and Alpha Loft were the key to successfully managing all of these components.
As an Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Wasabi Ventures helped by sharing the responsibility of the above components so that as a founder, I could focus on growing the business correctly and efficiently. Wasabi Ventures provided One Touch Trust with developers for our iPhone app, marketing specialists for our social media accounts, graphics designers for our logos, marketing videos, and everything in-between. Not to mention the mentorship that TK and Chris Yeh have provided us has been invaluable throughout this process. Without their guidance, we would not have been able to build this startup in this short time frame or launch our company out of beta in the next 30 days.
What’s the best advice you have received?
Creating a startup from nothing is very challenging. There are many roadblocks and many people who will shoot down your ideas because they think they are not realistic. I have come up with hundreds of different business ideas over the last five years and all of them have reached a roadblock of some sort. In reality, to create a startup, you need to push boundaries and break through the roadblocks. When people tell you, “Well it sounds cool… but that’s never going to work,” then you may have just found a possible market-changing product.
Never let the word “no” stop you. There are millions of great ideas out there, but not enough founders to start them. Do whatever it takes to reach your dreams, and do not let anyone tell you your ideas are not possible. In the startup world, creating the impossible is truly possible.
What about the NH lifestyle appeals to you?
New Hampshire is a great state. I live near the seacoast, so having the ocean 20 minutes east, and the mountains 45 minutes north is a win-win for someone like me who enjoys spending time outdoors. The other positive is the easy access to Boston. I can hop on a bus or train from my hometown and be in the city in a little over an hour.
For the startup world, there are many advantages to being in New Hampshire. We have a strong startup ecosystem here, which is due largely to the different organizations in the state that help promote the startup world. For example, Alpha Loft has multiple locations throughout the state and has events almost daily to help educate young entrepreneurs and spark innovation. New Hampshire also has some of its own startup greats such as Dyn, who is a big supporter of local innovation in the state.
What does the future look like for your company?
The future looks bright for One Touch Trust! We have just released our mobile application and we are in the process of setting up beta customers on our site to give us some solid feedback and to fine tune our infrastructure and code. Once we have our foundation solidified, then we will be continuing to expand through sales and partnerships to bring ID verification to the online world.