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Infogressive founder Justin Kallhoff sat down with Brian Lee from SPN to talk about his business and experience at the Pipeline Entrepreneur Innovators Awards .
Kallhoff asked audience members to look to their left and right. One of those people has Malware on their computers, he informed them.
His pitch focused the risks and holes in everyone’s cybersecurity. He said it’s not the first time he’s been presenting and been able to hear a pin drop.
“We try not to just build off of fear, we try to stay in the reality of business and the risks to it but it’s sort of inevitable with media,” said Kallhoff. “Some people do need to be scared into learning about the problem and how it could impact their business overnight.”
Infogressive provides managed cyber security software as a service (SAS). Selling SAS allows some economy of scale for the company. It takes less manpower on Infogressive’s side to manage the accounts of their clients.
Growing with cooperation
Kallhoff started the company 10 years ago and has since gained over 800 customers in 44 states and 20 countries. Infogressive has been able to grow to this point without ever needing to take outside capital or taking out loans.
“We did all this grass roots, the hard way, for 10 years,” said Kallhoff. “Through Pipeline and the explosion of the last year, there’s been a lot of conversations [happening] not just for investors but partners.”
He said that those partners, both local and national, want to figure out how to work together.
Security is such a huge problem that Kallhoff believes in utilizing coopetition and working with, rather than against, competitors to make better gains in cyber security.
He thinks that with $2.1 trillion at stake in cyber security breaches, staying on top of security is necessary for everyone.
“It’s a big problem and you know it’s just [getting] started,” said Kallhoff. “People now hear about ransomware and board rooms are kind of aware, compliance initiatives are coming around, but I would say that small business owners have not yet quite figured out what they’re in store for.”
Challenges in cyber security
Cybersecurity is not an easy thing to take on or else there would be lots of other businesses competing in the market. Keeping up with scale and getting people trained fast enough to keep up with demand is currently one of Infogressive’s biggest challenges. Industry-wide, 1.5 million jobs go unfilled.
“From an engineering standpoint, keeping up with hackers, methodologies, the technology changes so fast that we’re in a constant state of learning,” said Kallhoff. “I always tell engineering prospects that we’re trying to hire that if [they] don’t have a lust for learning, don’t work here.”
When Kallhoff joined Pipeline a year ago, he felt a lot of uncertainty about what was to come.
“Part of the magic of Pipeline is that you don’t know what you’re getting into, which is kind of exciting but kind of scary,” Kallhoff said.
He learned about Pipeline from friends or peers and they didn’t tell him much, but from seeing how it transformed their businesses he figured out the power of the Pipeline network.
“I had no idea really what it meant then but I had a sense of what an honor that I had been given,” said Kallhoff.
What’s next for Infogressive
Infogressive implemented an entrepreneurial operating system at the same time as entering Pipeline, so the transformation has been huge. Right now he’s managing a team of 18 with 7 engineers and 3 other leaders.
“I’m an engineer by trade so I miss a little bit of the nerd stuff,” said Kallhoff.
Regardless, he’s happy to be looking forward and to be able to focus on the business rather than being in the business. He says the next challenge is how to scale Infogressive out under the current leadership team.
Out of everything he’s learned and everything to come, Kallhoff has learned that cybersecurity is a tight knit industry where people are willing to help one another. He advises newcomers to the industry to utilize the community.
“It’s all about relationships. Never underestimate the power of who you’re sitting next to.”