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FireID: Jenny Dugmore

Headlines screaming fraud have made 2009 a tough year for Internet banking, but they’ve also served to confirm that the market is ripe for FireID.

Juliet Pitman

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Jenny Dugmore

Developed by the Cape Town-basedcompany of the same name, FireID is a groundbreaking mobile authenticationsystem that allows users to log into almost anything that requires personalauthentication – without the need to remember passwords, receive one-time passwords(OTPs) via SMS, or carry any other form of authentication hardware like tokens.

“The system can also be used for onlineshopping or to log into an office VPN or extranet,” says company CEO JennyDugmore. The authentication process begins when a user tries to log in to anonline application. By downloading FireID on their mobile phone, they are ableto generate an instantaneous OTP, which they then type into the applicationlog-in screen. The FireID authentication server approves the OTP and sends a responseto the website, which allows the user to log in. “What makes FireID so secure is thefact that the OTPs are generated offline so there is no chance of SMS’dpasswords being intercepted,” Dugmore explains. A mathematical process meansthat the FireID server and the user’s FireID application on their phone areable to generate the same one-time-passwords in sequence. “Another uniquefeature is that FireID is compatible with almost any make of mobile phone andit can be used to generate OTPs for a range of different applications, all fromone phone,” Dugmore adds.

With so many unique features, it’sunsurprising that FireID initially attracted seed funding and is busyfinalising another round of capital investment. It’s also generated anoverwhelmingly positive response from both the local and international market.“Locally, some large financial institutions are currently in the pilot stagewith us and we are very bullish about the development potential of theserelationships. We’ve approved some significant resellers and are working withgovernment institutions that have shown huge interest in what the product cando for them,” says Dugmore. The company launched its US presence inApril this year and recently appointed Lawrence Levine as its president. He isan internationally renowned authority on information technology and security,particularly in the banking industry. “The Americans are primed forincreasingly sophisticated mobile security and authentication solutions, and weat FireID are excited to provide that,” said Dugmore. It’s been a great year for the companybut Dugmore is quick to point out that Internet security is an ever-movingtarget. “We’re constantly working on new innovations to make sure we stay onestep ahead of fraudsters,” she concludes.

Juliet Pitman is a features writer at Entrepreneur Magazine.

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25 Of The Most Successful Business Ideas In South Africa

Find out who’s making waves in numerous industries and how they managed to differentiate themselves in local and international industries.

Nicole Crampton

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“Disruption is all about risk-taking, trusting your intuition, and rejecting the way things are supposed to be. Disruption goes way beyond advertising, it forces you to think about where you want your brand to go and how to get there,” says Richard Branson.

South Africa has its fair share of innovative and disruptive businesses taking both local and international industries by storm. From cutting edge space technology to reimagined logistics, and innovative business models, here are 25 of the most successful business ideas in South Africa:

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Colin Timmis Says ‘Position Yourself For Success By Starting With The Numbers’

People pay first who they feel pressure from, so people will pay you when they feel pressure from you.

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Entrepreneur Colin Timmis founded South Africa’s first cloud accounting practice in 2011, Real Time Accounting. Then, a few years after being appointed as South Africa’s first Xero partner Colin became Xero Country Manager South Africa. Xero is the emerging global leader of online accounting software that connects small businesses to their advisors and other services.

Related: Pat Pillai On How He’s Helped Over 5000 Entrepreneurs Using 3 Key Steps

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Two 20 Year Olds Reshape Entrepreneur Landscape With New Social Investment Platform

The Merge vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

Merge Connect

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It’s no secret that finding the right investor for your venture is a challenge that most entrepreneurs face. The current process of finding investment is one that is outdated, and limits entrepreneurs due to a lack of time, and network that is needed to find the right investor. But, this doesn’t have to be the case in today’s digital society, says Zander Matthee and Brandon Bate, co-founders of Merge.

“By making the Internet the middleman, we are able to connect with each other much simpler and faster than before” was Zander’s response. “We have taken advantage of this, and have created a digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors” added Brandon.

Merge is a social platform that connects entrepreneurs and investors. It aims to simplify, refine and accelerate the process of finding investment for entrepreneurs, and the process of finding investment opportunities for investors. From idea to developed, the platform allows entrepreneurs to present a brief outline of their venture to a network of all investor types. While doing this, entrepreneurs are able to browse through, and connect with investor profiles that suit their requirements.

Related: 8 Codes Of Success That Helped Priven Reddy of Kagiso Interactive Media Achieve A Networth Of Over R4 Billion

From Private Investors to Venture Capital, and everything in between, Merge allows all investor types to join. Investors have the opportunity to personalise their feed to suit their investment preferences, and will be able to connect with innovative businesses – that are looking for investment – at their fingertips. Only once there is a mutual interest in each other, are users able to enter a secure private chat where they can discuss further and share documents under the protection of a digital NDA.

The two boys became good friends during their time in high school at St Stithians Boys College. However, it was only in their last year, 2016, that they decided to pursue their dreams and create the platform. They didn’t know how to code, so rather ironically, they needed some form of investment to get the platform off the ground.

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“We knew we had a mountain to climb, but we believed in our vision and that we were really trying to make a difference, and if we could get others to see that, they would be onboard.” said Zander.

Related: Lessons From The Rich And Famous: Manage Your Money Like Oprah To Avoid Going Into Debt Like Nicholas Cage

Chris Peters is one of these individuals that bought into their vision, and became Merge’s first investor. As a successful entrepreneur and part time investor , Chris saw how much value the platform could bring to all entrepreneurs and investors alike. His marketing and strategic background gave him insight into how Merge could play a vital role in a lucrative space, Brand involvement.

“Entrepreneurship and SME development are two key factors that drive economic growth in developing countries like South Africa. That is why brands are currently getting involved, and looking to support entrepreneurs through various means. We have built a platform that allows these brands to successfully market, and execute on the programmes they have created to assist entrepreneurs.” said Chris

Merge was created to assist all entrepreneurs and investors in finding exactly what they are looking for, regardless of age, race, sex, financial position or social status. That is why anybody can sign-up as an entrepreneur. As long as you are determined and willing to work for your dreams. For too long has the investor space been seen as an “elite club for the select few”, and Merge is here to change that. Whether you’ve gotten your bonus at the end of the year and looking for new investment opportunities, or are an active investor, you can sign-up. Whether you’re currently working, or a retired industry leader, you can join as a mentor.

Their vision is to become the ‘go to’, digital meeting place for entrepreneurs and investors, and to truly make a difference in the world.

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