Preparture - Interview with Iyobosa Ero

Iyobosa Ero is the Lead Cybersecurity Engineer at a Global PR Firm. He is a member of the ISC2 and ISACA which are international organizations focused on cyber-security and it's implementations and has served as the Organizer of the SIEM MeetUp group in Chicago. He has 12+ years in IT and Cyber Security. Iyobosa's greatest strengths are his solution driven, creativity, drive and leadership. He thrives on challenges, particularly those that expand the company’s Cyber Security reach. Iyobosa holds a Bachelors of Engineering degree from Finland and an M.Sc from DePaul University and now pursuing his Doctorate in Cyber Security. In his free time, he is a backup singer at his church, Iyobosa loves to travel while spending quality time with his wife. We have conducted an interview with him.

What inspires this startup idea 'Preparture'?

I must admit, people have different stories of what catapulted/promoted them into starting a new venture. Mine, however, started with a Prayer to God through Jesus. As a Christian, prayer has always been a part of my childhood and my adult life, daily. Preparture started with a Prayer, asking God to provide me with an idea, that in its value will be worth more than the current lottery winnings, LOL, which was about 300+ Million Dollars at the time. Thus came a situation in-which I and my Girlfriend, now wife were traveling. We were traveling internationally at the time and returning to Chicago. Though we checked out of our hotel at the appointed time, our fight was not until 6 hours later. Being bored of waiting at the airport till departure time, it dawned on me that there wasn't a solution out there that can assist travelers for last minute activities, which assisted them (on a personal basis) in telling them how much time they have to get to a chosen location of their interest, what time they have to spend while at that chosen location and what time they had to leave to catch their departure on time irrespective of their location. Well, we spent the next 5:30hrs at the airport.:-(. We arrived Chicago, and the idea to develop a solution that can assist travelers and commuters alike with their time, and make sure that they could accomplish what they set out to do, on a time frame that they have set within the app. After several weeks of researching, the idea was viable but needed a name. I and my wife were brainstorming the name of the idea for hours - and she screamed "Preparture".

Who do you aim to reach? Which target group does your app helps and what makes it so unique?

The target group of Preparture is very large. Preparture is aimed at travelers, tourist and commuters who love planning their time on a very personal level irrespective of their location/language. Using I and my wife's situation described above is an example. Take another example, a tourist who is in a foreign country but wants to see what's around them by their interest. Interest such as restaurants, parks, museums, aquarium and more. They can plan or schedule out how to get there and know how much time they have to be/spend at each planned places to make sure they have a full tourist experience at the end of the day. Now, another example, take a parent(s) who drops their kid off, goes to work, pick their child up after work, groceries, then make it in time for dinner. Since Preparture takes live traffic into consideration during its calculation and also integrates into the smartphone map, the parent can now have a more effective day. Its uniqueness comes from how we approach that problem. Preparture is designed to be fun (as you can see with the UI) and interactive but shows the users the necessary information they need to be more time-efficient and effective.

When new travelers arrived in a new location, how does your app helps them to find something 'to do' in the shortest possible time?

The users easily provide simple information to the app which includes: Current location, final location and time at the final location. After that, the user picks their interest, such as restaurants, museums, amusement parks, Movie Theater, Night clubs, Zoo and much more. The user can choose up to 15 interest. Preparture then searches the places that are open and presents those places to the user. After the user picks, for example, a restaurant, amusement park, a movie theater, Preparture presents the user, for each place, how long it takes to get there, how long they should stay and what time they should leave to head to the next places. The users can also save it to the day they want to perform these activities by saving it to the Preparture calendar or in their smartphone local calendars such as iCal or Google Calendar. This, in turn, enables the user to know if they actually have time to be at 3 places instead of just 1 or vice versa.

Why did you choose to pursue Cybersecurity? What do you think are the greatest opportunities in this industry?

From my early childhood, I have always be fond of technology, communication to be exact. Thus my background in Telecommunication and Production Economics and a Masters in Network and CyberSecurity. Since I have always had a passion on how Telecommunication and Networking, it was easy to now protect (CyberSecurity) what I have a passion for and what better way to be a CyberSecurity professional.

CyberSecurity as a whole is a great opportunity. We are able to take part in every part of a business/organization strategic process and planning. From a new business development and the required technologies involved in supporting the organization to its execution. So to name or write about the great opportunities, I will need to write a 10 pager or more. LOL.

How do you leverage on your solution-driven and leadership strengths to attain your goals in your business?

The fun thing with being a technically minded person is that we are always learning. As a security professional, we always meet challenges. From new business development to new technology execution and research. Maintaining the utmost infrastructure security while driving the business is the key. So we are highly adaptable! This is the key to having a new business and making it succeed. If a certain solution doesn't meet a requirement, then look for another. At the end, the expected goal is attained. With my leadership strength, I have been able to put together a team of developers and social media manager. Though of an entirely different cultural background and knowledge, we all have one goal; to have a successful venture. The balance between both teams and strategic thinking is the key.

"And to be honest, if I don't have a solution or I seemed stuck, I simply ask God in prayer, and that so far, has always been my source of wisdom."

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