CoWork Oasis co-founder’s startup, hatch, gets all four “sharks” at NMSU’s Aggie Shark Tank

Taken from the Las Cruces Sun-News article by Ali Linan on October 27, 2017.

LAS CRUCES – As the fifth and final presenter, Robert Herrera, co-founder and CEO of Hatch, was able to get a couple of sharks to bite, accepting a deal that would invest up to $200,000 in his company.

“Today we live in an interconnected world that none of us are ready for,” Herrera said.

Hatch is an encryption as a service product that would provide IoT hardware – a system of interrelated computing devices – and platforms with data encryption. It provides authentication and security to protect consumer’s data.

Presenters had five minutes to pitch their entrepreneurial ideas to a panel of “sharks” as part of Aggie Shark Tank, which was held at the New Mexico State University Music Center’s Atkinson Recital Hall Thursday.

Herrera described the need for the device as keys to a home, where there is one key to a home but copies of the key could get into the wrong hands. There is also the chance that there are two keys, where the second one is “under the mat” and is easily susceptible to being used by anyone.

Hatch would fix this problem by using a method of encryption that would change the passwords to access daily.

“It’s like you’re getting a locksmith to your house every day to not only change your keys but also the locks,” Herrera said.

The encryption would be faster than hackers can keep up with, while also being cheap enough to be a part of everyday products without taking up a lot of memory.

All four sharks thought Herrera’s product was the most investment-worthy product of the evening, and the most timely.

Two sharks — Estela Hernandez, an enterprise advisor at Arrowhead Center at NMSU, and Beto Pallares-Venegas, managing director and co-founder of Cowork Oasis, an innovation community for El Paso entrepreneurs — decided to bite, potentially each investing $100,000 in two $50,000 segments, barring other agreed upon conditions.

The other two sharks were real estate developer Mickey Clute and Sisbarro Dealerships owner Lou Sisbarro.

“This subject is right on, especially with Equifax having all kinds of issues with being broken into,” said Clute. “And this is getting down to the individual level.”

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