Many firms make security platforms that protect files for corporate use. These generally add encryption to control sensitive documents such as contracts or other legal documents.
But William Brown, founder and CEO of SeKur Technology Inc., an incubator business in Bethlehem’s Ben Franklin TechVentures, said those security products generally are geared just toward documents and are more for corporate users.
He saw a need for such a security platform to encrypt shared data in the form of photos, videos and audio, as well – things that members of the general public might want to share, but securely.
He developed a product, SeKur XFR, to address those security issues, and now his company is at a critical juncture in terms of funding for the initiative.
His business is at a turning point, Brown said. While the back-end design is complete and the front-end user interface has been designed, work remains on the coding of the front end of the system. And that takes money.
While he has gone before for venture capital, this time Brown joins the growing list of upstart tech professionals seeking to use crowdfunding to get their product up and running. He set up a crowdfunding page at Rocket Hub, seeking the $100,000 he needs to finish the product – a secure file-sharing platform that will give everyday users total control over any file they share. In other words, the original user controls whether or not the recipient of the file can open it, print it or forward it.
“We’re trying not to do venture capital because we are a smaller company and they want a bigger percentage of the company that we’re not willing to give up,” he said.
But he’s found that crowdfunding isn’t always the easiest way to raise money.
Brown described himself as a technology person, not a social media person, and he made a common crowdfunding mistake of setting up the crowdfunding before the social media promotion.
“I found out the hard way that you have to launch your social media efforts first,” he said.
That has put the fundraising effort off to a slower start than he would have liked, and put him in the position of having to quickly raise awareness and rally public support for the product he’s developing.
Brown said he still has confidence that crowdfunding is the way to go. He has 13 days left in his Rocket Hub campaign, and the crowdfunding site has been supportive of extending the deadline so he can reach his goal.
He said he understands he has a long journey. He’s hoping with the proper outreach, he’ll get there.