Aim for the Clouds
Guest post by István Lám and György Szilágyi, founding members of Tresorit Kft.
We first met at the GE Foundation Scholar Leaders Program and soon afterwards, we teamed up and became two of the founding members of a promising new software company, Tresorit Kft., making cloud-based file sharing secure by using new encryption technology. The regional GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders Program was a huge help in setting up our own business and we are determined to reach high – by aiming for the clouds.
Tresorit was founded a year ago and is based on a technological innovation from three students and a professor at the Budapest Technical University. Our technology is an excellent solution to cloud security issues. Luckily, others thought the same.
In the past year, Tresorit won a number of honored international awards and prizes, received the help of experienced IT experts and entrepreneurs, and last month secured a substantial $1.7 million investment from Euroventures IV venture capital investment fund and nine private investors. Tresorit, which has already grown to 11 team members, aims to become a market leader among cloud-based service providers.
The Program, fostering the future leaders in the CEE region, did its very substantial bit to make our promising success story possible. One of the mentors, Ernő Duda, whom we met with at the Leadership Development Program of this scholarship in 2010, introduced us to the investors of our current company. Ernő also helped us a lot to build up the company. The greatest support we received from GE’s Scholarship Program is encouragement for our activities, and the leadership skills we both started developing at this time. We did have some management experience before, but we realized that leading a company requires a whole new set of skills, and in this sense the program has been instrumental to our success: meeting successful business leaders both inside and outside GE was very inspirational. Winning the scholarship also strengthened our faith that we were following the right path. Moreover, we literally founded the company from the financial benefit of the scholarship.
The numbers of this program are impressive: over the past 10 years, GE Foundation has invested nearly $2 million in the development of 430 students from four CEE countries. GE leaders donated over 2,500 volunteer hours to help students develop their skills. The goal of the program, which celebrated its 10th anniversary this summer in Budapest, is to offer financial and professional support to participating students to develop their leadership skills and to contribute to the creation of an internationally competitive, and also socially responsible, new generation of leaders in the CEE region, who can also help benefit their communities. The network of these emerging leaders will also hopefully support the cooperation between all the participating countries (Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Romania) on all levels.
Please see a video report on the 10th anniversary of the GE Foundation Scholar-Leaders program, including an interviews with István and other alumni here.