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Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Ryan Schonfeld, founder of HiveWatch, a physical security platform that has raised $25 million in funding. Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Unique Founder Background: Ryan began his career as a police officer and detective, which gave him a unique perspective on the technological needs within law enforcement and corporate security, leading to the foundation of HiveWatch.
  • Transition to Tech: After experiencing the limitations of technology in law enforcement, Ryan pursued a master’s in IT system design, focusing on the digitization of antiquated spaces, which paved the way for his transition from law enforcement to tech entrepreneurship.
  • HiveWatch Mission: HiveWatch aims to address the inefficiencies in corporate security programs, offering a software platform that simplifies the management and analysis of security data to protect people and assets effectively.
  • Market Need and Solution: HiveWatch serves as an orchestration platform, described as the operating system for physical security, which integrates with existing infrastructure to provide a unified operational picture and reduce false alarms, a common efficiency drain.
  • Rapid Deployment: Unlike legacy systems in the physical security space that have an average 14-month deployment cycle, HiveWatch targets a 30-day implementation period, highlighting the platform’s efficiency and ease of integration.
  • Market Perception and Evolution: The physical security market has been traditionally resistant to new technology, but HiveWatch is navigating this landscape by distancing itself from the negative connotations of PSIM (Physical Security Information Management) systems and moving towards defining a new category.
  • Growth and Traction: HiveWatch has seen significant traction, growing from 25 to over 65 employees within a year and securing early customers with plans for further expansion.

Actionable
Takeaways

Focus on Simplifying Complex Systems:

HiveWatch's mission to streamline corporate security programs demonstrates the importance of simplifying complex systems to enhance efficiency. Startups should consider how their solutions can reduce complexity and improve usability for their clients, especially in industries burdened by outdated or disjointed technologies.

Rapid Deployment as a Competitive Advantage:

Ryan pointed out the significance of deployment speed, with HiveWatch aiming for a 30-day implementation period versus the industry standard of 14 months. This approach can serve as a model for other tech companies, emphasizing the strategic advantage of rapid integration and customer onboarding.

Navigating Market Perception and Evolution:

HiveWatch’s strategy to distance itself from the negative perceptions of PSIM systems while evolving the category showcases the importance of clear positioning and category creation in startup marketing strategies. Understanding and actively shaping market perception can be key to overcoming initial resistance and establishing a new solution.

Building a Direct Relationship with End Users:

Unlike traditional channels in the physical security industry, Hive Watch focuses on direct support and interaction with its customers. This customer-obsessed approach ensures that end users receive the best possible experience and support, a practice that can be crucial for startups aiming to disrupt established industries with multiple intermediaries.

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