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We are doing Techstars Boulder W2021!

January 18, 2021

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Today we’re excited to announce that we’ll be joining the Winter 2021 class of Techstars Boulder — virtually of course!

Our decision to join the program came after meeting Andres and the Techstars team. We examined where we are as a company and what our goals are over the next 12-24. We came to the conclusion that Techstars would help us achieve those goals much faster.

How it happened

We applied to Techstars in the fall of 2020. We had several rounds of interviews, and ultimately were told we were accepted in November. Serendipitously, the Techstars program, which runs from February through April, aligned with our timeline for public launch.

Haekka <> Techstars alignment

With a product currently in beta, we had and continue to have, several milestones and goals that mark our path towards general availability. Of course, when we started out 5 months ago we needed users, which meant setting an initial goal of onboarding 20 companies so that we could garner feedback, fix bugs, and implement new features. Since then, we’ve onboarded well over 20 companies. Additionally, we’ve tracked several other product growth metrics that you can see below.

We want to continue making this graph go up and to the right. We believe that joining Techstars, and truly taking advantage of the program, will help us do that.

Our funding situation

As noted in a recent blog post, we raised a pre-seed round of funding last summer. As with any round of funding there’s a date by which you must achieve some goal. That goal could be profitability so you don’t have to raise money again. Or that goal could be some other growth metric that then allows you to go out and raise more money. For us, this round of funding was entirely focused on getting out of beta into a generally available product. Which circles back to why we are excited to be a part of the Techstars Boulder class and what we plan to accomplish in the next 3 months.

Our goals for Techstars

1. General Availability

There is a critical mass of features we plan to deliver for our generally available version of Haekka. All of these features will be anchored on our Slack app — which will include the following product tiers:

  • Training. Provide, out of the box, modern training for Security Awareness, SOC 2, HIPAA, PCI, GDPR, and CCPA. Companies rely on this tier to address all training requirements for security and compliance audits. Training is already the core value of Haekka, and is available to all Beta users.
  • Engagement. Haekka will deliver topical security tips as well as more in-depth deep dives on security concepts ranging from anonymization to risk management to motivations of attackers. Companies rely on this tier to build a culture of security and improve employee security hygiene. Engagement features are currently in development, and will be made available to Beta users in the coming weeks ahead.
  • Phishing Simulation. Educating employees on Phishing is a critical part of any security awareness program. As a result, Haekka will deliver phishing simulations to employee inboxes, specifically targeting subjects relevant to technology companies and provide corresponding training in Slack. Companies will rely on this tier to defend against the most common type of cyberattack. Phishing features are currently in development, and will be made available to Beta users in the coming months ahead.

> Haekka’s mission is to minimize human risk by empowering every employee with education and tools.

2. Fundraising

We had conviction when we raised our pre-seed round last summer. We spent a lot of time talking to the market before raising. We also had previous funding experience under our belt, as Ryan and I spent 6 years leading a startup in a regulated industry. Along the way, we saw and felt the pain of privacy training, compliance audits, and helping employees make the right security decisions.

Despite that conviction, at that stage, we were still early — pre-product. Now, with 100s of users, boatloads of documented feedback, and organic growth metrics during our beta, we have even more conviction about our differentiated approach and the timing (why now). We want to accelerate not just to our launch, but our path to predictable growth.

We plan to raise a seed round of funding coming out of Techstars this spring. Techstars has a strong network of funds and investors. Perhaps more importantly, Techstars has as much experience as anybody helping startups like Haekka achieve fundraising.

Virtual FTW

Ryan and I have worked remotely together for over 6 years. We have created relationships, managed teams, built products, and grown a customer base remotely. We consider the virtual aspect of Techstars Boulder an asset for Haekka. Additionally, we hope our previous remote experience will help the other teams joining the program.

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