Deloitte’s Fast 50 Rising Star 2016
Focusing on innovation and entrepreneurship, the Fast 50 programme ranks the top fifty fastest-growing technology companies in Belgium, selected by revenue growth over the previous four years. The programme recognises young companies and start-ups with revenue potential who have been active in the industry for less than four years as Rising Stars.
Meet the 2016 Rising Star winner
GuardSquare is a software company specialising in mobile application protection, serving customers in the financial and e-commerce industries. We depend more and more on apps to manage our lives, including sensitive data such as purchasing and banking activities. With cybercrime becoming so widespread, security software is increasingly important.
The GuardSquare enhances app performance by making security solutions smaller and faster than competitors in the market. Designed to ensure the source code is impenetrable to hackers, the company’s multi-layered security software was developed over many years, evolving from a free open-source product to commercial software.
Today a diverse workforce in Belgium does all the development. The start-up has a positive cash flow and the commercial structure has being strengthened since the company profited from a revamped sales process in 2016. An ongoing challenge is finding skilled software engineers to continue improving the solutions. Co-founder and CEO Heidi Rakels advises other entrepreneurs to keep focused throughout the distractions and opportunities along the way.
GuardSquare stood out from the other nominees because they operate with a very scalable, innovative business and sales model. Their solution for securing mobile apps sells itself online, so they don’t have to invest in an extensive sales team. This is especially the case within the financial sector, given that a large portion of their clients are banks.
Sam Sluismans, Partner Strategy & Innovation, Deloitte Private
There are many programmes to help start-ups but this one is unique. Deloitte is raising awareness for young companies to help develop their brand and positioning in the market.
Heidi Rakels, CEO and Co-Founder of GuardSquare, a Booster Programme 1.0 laureate and 2016 Rising Star