Founders

Tomasz Kowalski Secfense
Co-Founder, CEO
Tomasz Kowalski

Tomasz Kowalski – co-founder and CEO of Secfense. From the beginning of his career which started in 2000, he has been developing experience in sales of IT technologies. He has participated in hundreds of hardware and software implementations in large and medium-sized companies from the financial, telecommunications, industrial and military sectors. Together with Marcin Szary, he co-founded Secfense, a company focusing on mass implementation of strong authentication in large organizations and preparing them for the passwordless revolution.

Tomasz has extensive knowledge in the field of cybersecurity and in-depth industry experience that allows him to develop services and technologies that perfectly fit into a dynamically developing world. His business intuition, combined with the skills of managing security services and the proprietary User Access Security Broker technology, helps large organizations stay one step ahead of potential cyberattacks.

On a daily basis, Tomasz cooperates with authorities and regulatory institutions as well as a wide group of industry specialists who provide continuous support in the field of cybersecurity, trend analysis, and threat detection. He takes part in the most important industry events – conferences, lectures, and webinars. He is the author of many expert articles in the industry and business press and media and is often quoted by business and industry magazines including Puls Biznesu and BrandsIT Magazine.

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Marcin Szary Secfense
Co-Founder, CTO
Marcin Szary

Marcin Szary is a co-founder and CTO of Secfense, a company that helps organizations protect their users by introducing any multi-factor authentication method to any application – without changing its code or database. Technology developed by Marcin and his team is used by one of the top European banks, BNP Paribas Polska bank, among others.

Marcin Szary specializes in IT security, digital identity management, and access control. He started his career in 2005 and by 2009 he had already founded his first company. Over the years, he has advised many startups in the area of ​​mobile, telecom, and cybersecurity. He was also responsible for research and development activities in projects related to multi-factor authentication, mobile payments, notification services in GSM networks, and others.

Marcin has worked for corporate clients from the telecommunications, banking, and public sectors, incl. for Allegro, the Sejm of the Republic of Poland, the ING bank, or Nasza-Klasa (social media platform). He has led numerous projects in the field of virtualization, storage architecture, and data security.

Marcin Szary was also the author and designer of the security system, recognized in a competition organized by Orange Polska as the most innovative solution. He is also a finalist of the Visegrad Group competition (Silicon Valley V4 Tech Match) and an alumnus of the mini-accelerator in Silicon Valley.

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Advisors

BUSINESS ADVISOR
Dave Darsch

Dave is a Strategic Business Advisor with over 35 years of experience as an entrepreneur and managing executives of global technology companies.

As an American national living in Barcelona for ~20 years with the extensive US and European network (focused heavily on the ICT and mobile and security space), he has a strong trans-Atlantic and pan-European focus. Dave has been involved in more than 15 transactions involving the purchase, sale, merger, or infusion of capital into companies (such as the Apple acquisition of Shazam). In this endeavor, he implements the proper corporate governance, including compliance with all relevant legal requirements and standards, and ensures effective communication between investors and the company. In addition to his role as a Board Member of a variety of Institutions in Europe, including with the Royal Family at Windsor Castle, he is consistently a guest lecturer at the Shenandoah University School of Business, where he guides business development both domestic and global entrepreneurial groups.

He has a B.Sc.in International Finance, University of Massachusetts, Dartmouth, MA, USA, he is married with three beautiful children and three grandchildren. Dave spends approximately 2/3rds of his life internationally and 1/3 in the USA.

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TECHNOLOGY ADVISOR
Wojciech Burkot

Wojciech Burkot was a co-creator of the famous HERA particle accelerator and the Krakow branch of Google. Today, he invests in startups and develops his quantum company called BEIT. As he says himself, he tries to transfer everything that is best in science to business.

He is a physicist by profession with experience in working at CERN. He was the director of engineering at Google and the director of technology at Allegro. He is a well-known entrepreneur, mentor, advisor and board member in several startups, including EGZOTech, JAM Vehicles, Airly, and a former chairman of the ASPIRE board.
He co-creates Bitspiration Booster – a group of investment funds whose goal is to invest only in strong technological companies, led by competent teams that are ahead of trends in their industry.

Wojciech Burkot invested in Secfense in 2018 and, since then, has been playing an important role as a technology advisor. He participates in many important discussions on business investments, is invited to conferences, gives interviews, and shares his perspective on the market of new technologies and investments in new companies.

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Investors

Bitspiration Booster VC

Paulina Mazurek

Paulina Mazurek is a co-founder and CEO of BEIT and Bitspiration Booster VC – an acceleration program and a VC for startups from Poland and Central and Eastern Europe, whose main goal is to support young technology companies.

Paulina Mazurek inwestor w Secfense

In her daily work, two keywords are important to her: problem and scalability, which is why Bitspiration Booster only invites projects that respond to the important, real needs of people and the world around them, and also have a great potential to scale globally. The program, therefore, focuses mainly on projects from the IT, fin-tech, biotech, and AI, i.e. artificial intelligence, sectors.

Paulina Mazurek has extensive experience in project management. Previously, she worked for large and well-known companies such as Motorola, Google, and Allegro. She has also been involved in volunteering in Ghana, which has taught her how to wisely support and effectively share knowledge.

Bitspiration Booster invested in Secfense in March 2028. It was the first step for the company to start building the User Access Security Broker product and officially start the business.

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Tera Ventures

Stanislav Ivanov

Stanislav Ivanov is a partner and founder of the Estonian Tera Ventures fund, which in its investment portfolio includes the most promising high-tech companies from Estonia, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Lithuania, Poland, and the Czech Republic.

Stanislav Ivanov investor at Secfense

The fund has offices not only in Tallinn, Estonia but also in London, Amsterdam and Helsinki. For more than a decade, the Tera team has achieved remarkable success in helping its portfolio companies enter the US, UK, and Japan markets.
The mission of Stanislav Ivanov and the Tera fund is to enable and facilitate startups to cooperate with international corporations and help in obtaining additional capital from leading
VCs in the world.

Another strength of Tera Ventures is its global network of advisers, which provides portfolio companies with access to specialist knowledge. As the priority for Secfense was to find investors who could offer not only capital, but most of all knowledge, contacts and support in the strategy of entering new markets, the Tera Venture fund became an ideal partner.

Stanislav Ivanov worked at IBM for 7 years before founding Tera Ventures, and also introduced mobile telephony services to the market in the late 1990s. Therefore, he has extensive experience in the telecommunications and IT industry and knows how to manage teams involved in innovative projects.

He decided to invest in Secfense because one of the biggest challenges facing the world today is securing online identity. As he says himself, he wanted to include Secfense in the Tera Ventures portfolio, because the developed User Access Security Broker technology enables the introduction of strong authentication to companies in an automated manner. He also emphasizes that, until now, organizations had to selectively protect applications because it was very difficult, if not impossible, to implement the new technology. With Secfense, implementing multi-factor authentication is no longer a problem and all organizations can benefit from the highest security standards.

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One of the biggest challenges the world is facing today is securing our identity online. That’s why we were so keen to have Secfense in our portfolio. They make it possible to introduce strong authentication in an automated way. Until now, organizations had to selectively protect applications because the deployment of new technology was very hard, or even impossible. With Secfense, the implementation of multi-factor authentication is no longer a problem, and all organizations can use the highest standards of authentication security.

Stanislav Ivanov

Founding Partner | Tera Ventures

Presto Ventures

Eduard Kučera

Eduard Kučera is a cybersecurity expert and partner at Presto Ventures. He gained experience in Avast Software, where he worked for over 8 years. Today, he focuses on developing the Czech venture capital fund Presto Ventures, which mainly focuses on B2B startups, based on solid technology and with the potential to be successful in the global market.

Eduard Kučera investor at Secfense

Presto Ventures (formerly BVC) was founded in 2016 by Přemysl Rubeš, a mathematician and entrepreneur, with the support of Tomáš Krsek, a Czech billionaire and philanthropist. Due to the fact that its headquarters are in Prague, which is in the center of Europe, it can closely observe all the noteworthy innovations and discover the work of the most inspiring entrepreneurs. Most often, he invests in startups at the Seed stage (round size up to € 3M), continuing to act in subsequent rounds.

Presto Ventures invested in Secfense because the fund’s specialists agree that even the best network and infrastructure security is not able to protect users from attacks using social engineering. Eduard Kučera himself says that even if the network and infrastructure are sufficiently secured, attackers can use social engineering and passwords to take control of the system. Czech experts also point out that the current trend is multi-factor authentication. Secfense, which they have invested in, solves the problem of a global implementation of multi-factor authentication (MFA), laying the foundations for a zero trust security model.

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RKKVC

Mateusz Bodio

Mateusz Bodio is the managing director of the RKKVC fund – one of the largest private funds in Poland. His team consists of people supported by a board of advisers, an accounting team, and lawyers. Such an ecosystem allows you to focus on investments, ignoring formalities. As Mateusz Bodio himself says, “it ensures easier adaptation to the conditions of the transaction, as well as the faster speed of its execution”. Mateusz Bodio himself has a legal and economic education, and he gained experience by co-creating two companies: a consulting boutique in London and a transport company in Poland, where he employed several dozen people.

Mateusz Bodio inwestor w Secfense

RKKVC invests in 7-8 companies a year, both in Poland and abroad. One of the investors of the RKKVC fund is a person who had one of the largest cash outings in the history of Poland. He is an entrepreneur with extensive experience, including in the FMCG industry.

The fund focuses on companies that deal with data science. RKKVC tries to look for technology companies that operate in the field of big data, machine learning, and artificial intelligence. Today, its portfolio includes many companies that focus on computer vision. He invested in Secfense a few months ago. Mateusz says, that he found in Secfense founders, the features that the fund cares about the most, i.e. the balance between being an expert in his field and humility, curiosity, the ability to coach others, and willingness to learn and constant search for new information.

Before the fund invested in Secfense and User Access Security Broker, a new technology that solves significant problems with the implementation and implementation of multi-factor authentication in large companies, its representatives talked a lot with existing users and customers.

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– Clients’ reactions were unanimous: it’s that easy to use! We were particularly impressed by the fact that the implementation of Secfense does not require the involvement of IT developers. This gives a huge advantage over the competition, and at the same time opens the door to potential customers who so far were afraid of changes related to the implementation of multi-factor authentication solutions – adds Mateusz Bodio.

Mateusz Bodio

Managing Director | RKKVC

Business Angel

Bartosz Dobrzyński

Bartosz Dobrzyński is one of the best specialists operating on the telecommunications market in Poland. He started his career as a journalist for Gazeta Wyborcza, later became head of offers for individual clients in Orange Polska, and then a member of the management board for Play marketing. It was during his work that Play became one of the leading operators on the market.

Bartosz Dobrzynski inwestor w Secfense

In April 2022, he returned to Orange Polska, where he became a supervisory board member of the Remuneration Board Committee and the Strategy Committee of the Board. On a daily basis, he also advises companies and startups in the areas of shaping their business model and marketing. He is a graduate of the University of Warsaw (journalism, MBA) and IESE in Barcelona (Advanced Management Program).

Bartosz is a mentor and juror in many important industry reviews and competitions. He was the chairman of the Effie 2016 jury group. In March 2022, Bartosz Dobrzyński became a Secfense business angel. On a daily basis, he advises the company on how to communicate with clients to achieve success.

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Business Angel

Mark Schuster

Mark Schuster has extensive experience in building and developing sales channels in companies dealing with new technologies. He mainly focuses on the EMEA market, with particular emphasis on Switzerland, Germany, and Austria.

Mark Schuster Secfense investor

He has exceptional competencies in the field of sales, data center, SaaS, Business Intelligence, and Business Alliances. His knowledge, intuition, and experience significantly influence the development of IT businesses. He studied at the University of British Columbia, London Business School, and IE Business School.

Today, he is the sales director of UiPath – the Robotic Process Automation market leader, which has developed a program that allows for effective and quick automation of business processes.

Mark Schuster has been a business angel at Secfense since March 2022. He supports the company’s specialists in building appropriately profiled sales channels.

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Business Angel

Ela Kozera

Ela Kozera is an entrepreneur at heart. Apart from founding ELMA Ventures, she has worked with numerous U.S.-based emerging growth companies, focusing on marketing, strategic partnerships, and operations. She also led an accelerator program for international founders in the heart of Silicon Valley. She is passionate about entrepreneurship and new technology trends. She believes that each person’s voice matters and everyone can make a difference, following her life’s credo: Respect everyone. Fear no one. Act with impact.

Ela Kozera Secfense investor

Ela invests in purpose-driven entrepreneurs from diverse backgrounds whose passion and mission are to solve the social pains of humanity while transforming the world of technology and science. Ela is a life-long learner and a big dreamer. She loves reading, learning new languages, theater, traveling, and staying active. For her, a day without learning and laughter is a lost one.

Ela earned her EMBA degree with honors from the University of San Francisco. She also completed her studies focused on International Business and Administration with distinction at UC Berkeley. Additionally, Ela holds MA and BA degrees in German Studies of History and Culture from Nicolaus Copernicus University in Poland.

She invested in Secfense in March 2022.

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Testimonials

Before investing in Secfense, we had the opportunity to talk to its existing clients. Their reactions were unanimous: wow, it’s so easy to use. We were particularly impressed by the fact that implementing their solution does not require the involvement of IT developers. It gives Secfense a huge advantage over the competition, and at the same time opens the door to potential customers who so far were afraid of changes related to the implementation of multi-factor authentication solutions.

Mateusz Bodio

Managing Director

RKKVC

Even when the network and infrastructure are secured enough, social engineering and passwords can be used to gain control of the system by attackers. Multifactor authentication is the current trend. Secfense addresses this and allows you to build zero trust security and upgrade your current systems to passwordless applications within minutes, solving this problem right away,” said Eduard Kučera, Partner at Presto Ventures and cybersecurity expert – former Director in hugely successful Czech multinational cyber security firm Avast.

Eduard Kučera

Partner

Presto Ventures

One of the biggest challenges the world is facing today is securing our identity online. That’s why we were so keen to have Secfense in our portfolio. They make it possible to introduce strong authentication in an automated way. Until now, organizations had to selectively protect applications because the deployment of new technology was very hard, or even impossible. With Secfense, the implementation of multi-factor authentication is no longer a problem, and all organizations can use the highest standards of authentication security.

Stanislav Ivanov

Founding Partner

Tera Ventures

We are faced with new challenges every day. We must always be one step ahead of the attackers and know what they are going to do before they do it. We are convinced that the User Access Security Broker will bring security to a new level, both for those working at the office and from home. For us, working with Secfense is an opportunity to exchange experience with developers who put great value on out-of-the-box thinking.

Krzysztof Słotwiński

Business Continuity and Computer Security Officer

BNP Paribas Bank Poland

Two-factor authentication is known to be one of the best ways to protect against phishing; however, its implementation has always been difficult. Secfense helped us solve that problem. With their security broker, we were able to introduce various 2FA methods on our web applications at once.

Dariusz Pitala

Head of IT

MPEC S.A.