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Zally CEO: Founders should seek a ‘brutally honest mentor’

Zally founder Patrick Smith

Patrick Smith is the founder and CEO of Zally, a cybersecurity startup aiming to make passwords obsolete.

Founded in 2022, Zally replaces traditional text-based passwords with “advanced behavioural biometrics and AI”.

Passwords are often a weak point in cybersecurity, accounting for 90% of data leaks. The pre-revenue startup says its technology can authenticate users with one line of code and no hardware.

The Manchester-based startup has secured £1m in funding from angel investors and has 11 full-time employees.

In this week’s Founder in Five Q&A, Smith explains why startups should define their mission early, seek a “brutally honest mentor”, and shares how he founded his first business at age 10.

1. What advice would you give to a first-time founder?

Patrick Smith: Define your mission and vision early on, ensuring they address real problems. Seek a brutally honest mentor, distinct from friends or family. When hiring, prioritise skills that complement yours, aiming for individuals who surpass your abilities....