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#StartupStory: How Simulpass app is resetting expectations for digital privacy

Simulpass is a new app launching this August focused on digital networking without the types of posts required on traditional social media sites. Its mission? To give people a platform on which to securely share information and form connections with others, without the security and authenticity concerns associated with corporate social media platforms.
CEO of Simulpass, Michael Kramer.
CEO of Simulpass, Michael Kramer.

Simulpass is designed to give people the chance to decide exactly what information they want to share with each and every one of their connections, while also ensuring that their information is stored and shared in a safe and secure manner.

The Simulpass team has already been recognised on several occasions for its outstanding work thus far and future potential. The team was awarded a $10,000 grant by Google VP, named the Midwestern Digital Marketing Conference Audience Favorite Pitch Competition Winner, and recognised as a Top 8 B2C Collegiate Brand in the Country by Collegiate Great Brands and a Top 32 University-Based Startup in the Country by Student Startup Madness.

We spoke to the CEO of Simulpass, Michael Kramer who gave us some background on the app and its offerings and how he's working on resetting expectations for digital privacy through Simulpass.

What sparked the idea of Simulpass? When did you get started?

Simulpass came from a frustration with the ineffectiveness of digital networking. Existing options require users to opt-in to being subjects of highly targeted data monetisation and do little to drive meaningful connection. We've been working on development since June 2019.

What is the core function of Simulpass?

The core function is to provide a digital vault, a safe place to store and from which to share your personal information on the internet. The first version of our platform is focused on helping you leverage the information others choose to share with you to help you build stronger relationships. Simulpass does all of this in a blockchain-based, trustless way, meaning that Simulpass could never view any of this information even if we wanted to.

What are some of the offerings?

The product we're launching with is a digital networking platform that makes it easier to keep in touch while you're apart and simpler to find ways to meet up when you have the chance to be together in person.

What are some of the challenges you've faced in getting this project off the ground?

Far and away our hardest challenge has been being bootstrapped while working full-time jobs or being full-time students. Our lack of external capital to this point in the venture has meant doing everything ourselves in every spare moment that we have.

What has been your proudest achievement thus far?

My co-founder and I just finished our graduate degrees and in our time as students, Simulpass was recognised as a top 32 student startup in the USA and one of the top eight university-based consumer brands in the USA.

What advice would you give inspiring entrepreneurs?

There is no better place to start than with research. Fully understand all of the entrants, large and small, in the industry in which you wish for your business to operate and be able to tell anyone in less than 20 seconds why what you are offering/building is different and better.
BizcommunityWhat does the future of entrepreneurship look like to you?

To me, the future of entrepreneurship lies in the no-code movement. Tools like Bubble and the offerings from Amazon and Google allow anyone to develop software without having to take the time to learn the syntax of a specific language. This will open up the world of tech entrepreneurship in particular to so many who previously were unable to consider it as a result of lack of educational resources.

What do you believe are the traits an entrepreneur needs in order to succeed?

A successful entrepreneur needs three things: vision, skills and grit. The vision to imagine what a better world might look like. The skills, whether they be technical, interpersonal or otherwise to build what you want and to make others excited about it. The grit to not back down when obstacles pop up or abandon a project when it takes longer than initially projected.

Where would you like to see Simulpass in the next five years?

Five years from now, I'd love for Simulpass to be people's default way of exchanging personal information. If that were to become the case, it would mean that we've given people security and privacy on the internet and taken power away from companies that abuse user data in ways that make people's skin crawl.

Anything else you would like to add?

We like to think of Simulpass as one of the first digital platforms to prove that we mean that nothing is more important to us than our users. We do this by ensuring that everything we provide is secure, private and offers ways to make users' offline lives' full of deeper connections.

For more information, feel free to visit the Simulpass website and connect with Kramer on LinkedIn.

About Juanita Pienaar

Juanita is the editor of the marketing & media portal on the Bizcommunity website. She is also a contributing writer.
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