StartUs Presents: ITijn

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Cyber security is an increasingly important issue for companies. Austrian startup ITijn provides users with a secure virtual IT landscape. Learn more from co-founder Martijn de Graaf!

Describe ITijn in 50 words or less.

ITijn is a service provider for worry-free IT. High-end solutions used to be exclusively available for large companies. With ITijn’s virtual-desktop solutions this is a thing of the past! Henceforth all companies can benefit from a secure, redundant, flexible, productive, cost efficient and even eco-friendly IT-landscape.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

Last year in autumn we read a research article about business and IT. The research showed appalling statistics. For instance, how 40% of the companies that experience an IT meltdown close down for good.

Around the same time, the iCloud security leaks plastered the headlines. Data security became a big concern for everybody. Still most companies didn’t follow the trend and left their business data at risk. Why? They simply could not afford and maintain high-end IT-infrastructures with high grade security. We decided it was time to change that!

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

Nowadays IT can be very frustrating; you have to run updates, worry about anti-virus, proper backups and configuration. IT should be a tool and used like you use a screwdriver: you take it off the shelf and go to work.

In seven years we will have made sure that our customers did not lose time worrying over their IT-department. Our worry-free IT solutions will also have made sure that our clients were able to grow, without losing productivity and without having to invest in expensive hardware. We will have made a difference in the way people work and live, by giving them the opportunity to work from any location and on any device. Think about generating equal opportunities for everybody: who hasn’t heard stories about young mothers and fathers who want to work from home but cannot because their companies IT restrains them.

Also, we will have increased the level of security that is readily available for every company. Most of all we will have made sure our customers did not spend their time focusing on IT, but on changing the world in their own way.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

We measure our success in the breakthroughs we have in providing a better and safer way to work. Every company that we guide on a better path, be it by our services or just our advice, is an achievement. In order to make sure we don’t lose track of our goals, we are investing time and resources in self-evaluation and helping other companies.

Our future cooperation, with for instance Impact Hub, will provide companies with free workshops. We are about changing the mindset of people in a constructive way.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

As I’m the one responsible for sales and marketing, I read articles and IT related news, write emails, make phone calls and go to meetings. The regular stuff. But there is more because startups don’t have normal 9-to-5 workdays at the office. Being a startup comes with a certain lifestyle, a lifestyle that doesn’t fit into just an office.

Here at ITijn we think that being productive should not be limited to an office. Fortunately we can use our own IT solution to be productive everywhere, in the subway or even somewhere in the Alps.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the secure virtual IT-landscape like you imagined it in the beginning?

Yes, they do. But not just like we imagined, they use it for even more. We designed our secure virtual workspaces to make sure data is protected and securely stored in multiple off-site locations.

Our product is set up to give or customers mobility without compromising security or performance. They can work anywhere, on any device but still have the same experience everywhere. If customers want to work on 3D animations on a cheap tablet, this is possible because the hard work is done in the cloud.

After the first experiences we learned that apart from all that, as a lovely extra, our customers have managed to save on their power bills by using power-efficient zero-clients.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

We financed the startup ourselves. Our business is set up just like our product, we are completely scalable. We use our own product to expand our company right along with our business.

We are never satisfied with what we have and we keep creating more redundant and especially better and secure ways to work. This will make sure our product can keep up to our high standards. The internet is evolving every day and so must we. To make all that possible, the lion’s share of our revenue goes to further development.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

We keep our product up to all the latest standards and make sure our customers have the most productive way to work, without having to compromise on anything. The ferocious competition gives us extra motivation to make sure we stay the best.

Trust is one of the biggest things when it comes to doing business. We have a background in enterprise security and know how important it is to earn this trust and to prove, every day, that we can keep it. Our product reflects this. Apart from proving our worth, customers will also realize and acknowledge the benefits of a worry-free IT department.

What do you look for in team members?

Trust. If you don’t trust your team members, you cannot do business. Aside from that; flexibility, creativity and assertiveness. Team members have to be the people you can rely on. Instead of having to check up on every little thing, you can spend your time being productive. The same goes for your IT.

Why would a talent join your team?

At the moment we don’t have vacant positions but as soon as we do, we’ll need someone for a very wide spectrum of tasks that appear on our ever-growing to-do list. So if we can find a multi-talented workaholic, we think that she/he will fit right in.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

Going live. It was amazing to finally have something real after all the countless days and nights of work that we put in. Our go live was on a Friday, which resulted in the first not-work-Saturday in 8 months!

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Follow your dreams and don’t give up on them. Yes, it’s a cheesy one. Starting a business is hard work and comes with a lot of disappointment and sacrifice.

Finding the right partner is the key to success! Starting a business, from the ground up, is definitely not a one-person job. Sharing the tough times makes them bearable. And from experience: there are simply too many aspects to starting a company and there is too little time to do it all by yourself.


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