Portyr helps companies with the new General Data Protection Regulation

EU’s new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) coming into force is just behind the corner. There will be big changes on how companies can keep the customers’ data safe. Still, majority of the companies haven’t prepared for the changes it brings along. Sebastian Nemeth together with Otto Markkanen and Katharina Schilli saw potential in the new situation. 

“In my first years in Helsinki I made friends with lots of lawyers. One of them was Otto, who focuses on Privacy and Data Rights legal matters. We chatted about many topics and Otto explained the immensity of the GDPR and the task that companies have in front of them. I convinced him that it wasn't an impossible challenge to solve. To help navigate the complexities we reached out to Katharina for her expertise in human-centered design. That's how we started talking about our solution, which helps companies comply with these strict laws, but also lets users manage their own personal data securely and simply”, Nemeth explains their business idea.  

The fellow entrepreneurs established a team called Portyr, which offers a Software as a Service product giving companies some sensible first steps in dealing with the upcoming General Data Protection Regulation, as well as concrete future steps to scale up compliance as necessary. 

Collaboration is the key to survive 

The team, consisting altogether six people, have been spending time in Kiuas Incubator in Otaniemi. They are currently building the first functioning prototype.


"Besides building the protype, we're colloborating with the industry design, tech and legal patners and professionals who have all taken an invaluable role in shaping our focus and direction. Their well-regarded Team Up event was also a great stage for our pitch, getting our foot in the door with high quality investors and mentors. When we needed a space to relax, work and focus, Kiuas was always there for us. They're a generous bunch, we're very grateful to them and I highly recommend any ambitious startup to reach out to them." 

 All entrepreneurs face challenges at some point of the journey, and so has Portyr.

"Because the GDPR is a relatively new phenomenon, educating potential customers about its importance and the correct approach is essential. In many cases, we're offering a product that companies don't know they need yet and this is a significant challenge. Also, many companies are already taking their own steps towards GDPR compliance. Convincing them of the benefits of a collaborative, platform approach to the GDPR is also challenging. In the long run, the requirements of the GDPR mean that companies must work together and that nobody can do it alone.” 

 The team is actively looking for companies who are interested in getting ahead with their GDPR compliance, who are seeking some guidance, but can't commit doing it themselves or to outsourcing the project. 

“We're discussing this with a few connections, and hope to give them early access to our product in the coming weeks. Pilot customers get free early access to our product, free advice and open collaboration to shape the product for their needs.”