Recently, Jeff “Doc” Larson had the pleasure of being a guest on the Trep Story Podcast, a podcast hosted by Sarah and Russell Mann of Entrepreneurs themselves, the Manns host various entrepreneurs (or “Treps”, for short) on their weekly podcast.

On July 27, 2021, Doc was interviewed about his unique journey to entrepreneurship. Upon moving to northern Idaho, Doc quickly realized there wasn’t much of a market for former counterintelligence special agents. But it was this very experience that led him into the field of cybersecurity.

With a military career in counterintelligence, Doc spent decades learning how the bad guys think. “Thinking like the enemy is how you mitigate their power and effectiveness,” he says.

Applying this tactic to cybersecurity was a natural next step for this Army Veteran turned civilian Pacific Northwesterner. On the Trep Story podcast, Doc details his relocation to the Coeur d’Alene area, his connection with Garret Oetken and Paul Swaim through the Innovation Collective, and the 2 year process that resulted in 3 patents and full funding for the world’s next bleeding-edge cybersecurity software.

The Starpoint Difference

Doc is the CEO of Quantum Star Technologies, the latest company to apply deep learning to the cybersecurity industry. But they’re doing it a little differently.

Instead of relying on hashing and strings of data, Quantum Star’s latest malware detection technology, Starpoint, uses deep learning to identify malware at the binary level. Essentially, Starpoint can detect never-before-seen threats and polymorphic malware using artificial intelligence. And it does so faster and more accurately than the current market competitors.

With the core engine taking up only 35 MB of space on any given system, Starpoint’s patented multidimensional malware detection technology boasts not only unparalleled speed and accuracy, but is lightweight enough to exist on, or in, any technology at any level.

Startup Challenges

Developing a new technology and ensuring that the world knows about it comes with its own set of challenges.

“We’re trying to cut through the noise,” says Jeff “Doc” Larson of Quantum Star, “It can be difficult to make yourself rise above everybody else while using the same terminology that’s already out there. But we’re different. Our claim to fame is – we are an integration technology, meaning that we want to make everybody that much better. There are mainstream malware detection technologies out there that we make up to 80 percent better, just by being added on as a pre-filter.”

Integration is the name of the game for Quantum Star Technologies. Throughout the Podcast, Doc highlights how integrating Starpoint with a company’s existing cybersecurity posture will keep that company’s networks secure and cost them less money in the long run. That’s because Starpoint detects unknown, zero-day threats – does it quickly and at scale. He references the various cybersecurity hacks in the media lately (i.e. SolarWinds) and how Quantum’s technology effectively detected these threats within seconds (as opposed to weeks and months with the traditional methods we see in the industry).

Starpoint works – and it’s faster and lighter than it’s industry competitors, which has afforded Quantum Star more opportunities than the average pre-revenue start-up. The strong relationship with their funding partners, Kingdom Capital, has put Quantum Star in front of fortune 500, enterprise level, and even government agencies that seek improvements in their existing cybersecurity posture.

Growth Through Entrepreneurship

The Mann’s recognized that Quantum Star holds promise for a strong future. In hopes that Doc would later return to do a follow-up podcast, they asked him to identify some metrics and challenges by which he could measure the company’s future growth. Doc shares that as a start-up, growing the business and contracting customers has been the focus for the last year. Admitting that signing contracts is the initial goal, Doc hopes to look back measuring Quantum’s success by how much good they’ve done, not only in their local community but on a level of global impact.

It’s common for (successful) entrepreneurs to value criticism and learn from mistakes. That’s an important part of the journey. But Doc wants to take the acquired knowledge and feedback, and turn around and help others on their business journeys. To him, this could manifest itself in a few different ways.

Naturally, he’d like to reach a point with Quantum Star that allows them to give back financially to the community. But another collective goal is to eventually scale back and help the local mom and pop shops that suffer cybersecurity risks each day. Starpoint’s technology is strong enough and smart enough to detect global threats before they cost fortune 500 companies millions of dollars. But local businesses suffer from malware risks and ransomware attacks just the same. Improving a company’s cybersecurity posture can save their network, their customers, and their bank accounts. With the knowledge to help, Quantum Star hopes to eventually provide a form of their technology to smaller companies.

A Personal Perspective

The personal journey of Jeff Larson and the Quantum Star team provides valuable insight into the joys and challenges of entrepreneurship. Doc’s genuine humor and knack for storytelling offers a truly personal perspective to this episode. While he admits it was his honor to join the Mann’s for this interview, the honor also lies with the listener – who will catch Doc’s contagious, emboldened encouragement for whatever business venture they choose to pursue.

Learn More About Trep Story

The Trep Story Podcast exists to encourage and educate entrepreneurs. Through their interviews with various interesting entrepreneurs, Sarah and Russell Mann aim to help entrepreneurs shorten the learning curve and think outside the box when it comes to various business ventures. From life coaches to restaurant owners to software developers – Sarah and Russell Mann’s Trep Story Podcast brings an array of valuable content to the entrepreneurial world. You can find all past episodes on their website here.