Ever since childhood, Garrett Oetken has been interested in making things. What began with woodworking evolved into technology early on. His amateur hobbies of filmmaking and computer graphics brought him swiftly into the technical world.
After one high school computer science class, Garrett learned that coding peaked his interest the most.
“I’ve always had a passion for building cool things. Now it’s my job to do exactly that! The medium has changed, but the concept is the same.”
Garrett pursued a degree in Computer Science at North Idaho College. While in school, he took a particular interest in cybersecurity and made several strong connections within the school’s IT department. Upon graduating, he attended University of Idaho. He became a U of I intern at Safeguard Equipment and later became their Lead Software Engineer. While he was working and attending school, Garrett was working on his own passion project.
The Birth of Starpoint
With his specialized knowledge and experience, Garrett sought to develop an AI-based software that would stop threats and protect systems. While in school, Garrett met Jeff “Doc” Larson at a networking meeting hosted by the Innovation Collective, an entrepreneurial community in Coeur d’Alene, Idaho. Doc, being a former Counterintelligence agent, had a passion for security, and Garrett had the AI knowledge to contribute to the cyber component. In Garrett’s mind, the marriage of physical and cyber security was cooler than Iron Man!
“I wanted to blend AI and cyber security. I knew that if I could make an algorithm that works on the level of 1’s and 0’s, then I could find and stop cyber malware. My filmmaking background in 3D space helped us develop the Starpoint Technology.”
-Garrett Oetken, CRD Quantum Star Technologies
Garrett and Doc sought feedback from a tech professional in the industry. Enter Paul Swaim. Paul had been the Director of Network Technology for NIC during Garrett’s time there. Having reconnected at these networking meetings, Paul took the time to hear them out. They collectively knew that they had something special. And from there, Quantum Star Technologies was formed.
The Starpoint Journey
Quantum Star named their revolutionary technology “Starpoint”. The first time that the team ever ran the Starpoint engine, they weren’t even looking for malware. The goal was simply to have the engine distinguish the difference between a .mov and .pdf file. It worked better than expected. Starpoint functioned as intended right away.
The excitement over this promising performance prompted the team to collect malware for testing purposes. Continually building upon the system’s Deep Learning, Starpoint improved to reduce the time to detection of malware from what traditionally took months & weeks to hours & minutes. In just 2 years (and after a lot of hard work), Quantum Star earned full funding from Kingdom Capital in September of 2020.
“We really couldn’t have asked for better partners than Kingdom Capital. Their level of integrity and expertise relevant to our industry has been a blessing.”
-Garrett Oetken, CRD & Co-Founder, Quantum Star Technologies
Living The Dream
Since the beginning, Garrett admits it’s been an incredible experience. Although start-ups generally experience many ups and downs, Quantum Star’s journey has been a positive source of growth for the entire team. Working on a project he’s passionate about with people that he genuinely admires often causes Garrett to exclaim that he’s “living the dream”!
“The best thing about working at Quantum Star is the feeling of accomplishment – not only in the coding – but in the cause. What we’re doing gives us the opportunity to help others – at work and in our free time. We help other businesses by integrating our technology into their cybersecurity posture, and we can help other people in our community with the relationships we build, both inside and outside of work hours.”
When Garrett is not busy developing and programming, he can be found enjoying the outdoors and faith & fellowship with friends.