What The Tech Episode 29: “Avoid the safe path” with Daniel Rizzi of We Watch

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What makes working in the startup space so appealing to many founders is that the mission—especially for early-stage tech startups—isn’t hampered down by corporate politics. While there of course is politicking and a bit of gamesmanship involved in launching and funding a business, tech founders by-and-large share a love for learning and solving big problems. At least, that is, opposed to the ‘status quo’ work life (aka “safe path”) that many corporate gigs deliver. 

As the pandemic took hold back in 2020, Daniel Rizzi was among the many entrepreneurs who reevaluated their day-to-day and started exploring a career outside of the corporate 9-to-5. He left that gig and leveraged his law degree to build relationships with founders in the tech space. He had always had a love for technology and problem solving, and with work slowing down at his corporate role, he had the perfect opportunity to take up coding and harness a new skillset. 

The ‘perfect’ opportunity is often unexpected

Today, Daniel is Co-Founder and General Counsel for We-Watch, an unique social justice startupthat perfectly characterizes out-of-the-box innovation. 

Daniel’s mission is to help make the world a safer place without compromising people’s data privacy or freedoms. To do so, he’s embarked on a unique social enterprise with We-Watch that essentially harnesses the power of community for social and criminal justice.

With the We-Watch app, users can find people who were nearby and witnessed when a specific incident—take, for instance, a vehicle collision—occurs, enabling the user to contact the witnesses to see if they can share observations or media related to the event. From there, the user can consolidate relevant information and media in the We-Watch app, helping them obtain recourse in conjunction with concerned parties and authorities.

It’s a truly innovative and very timely solution that can be a silver bullet for numerous scenarios. But while Daniel is a co-founder in his own right, he’s also an advisor to founders across Canada, helping them raise the capital they need to scale while navigating around any potential legal roadblocks to their success. 

A unique social justice innovation

As Daniel Rizzi explains, getting witnesses to share both testimony and media with authorities and stakeholders when an incident occurs is a major hurdle. This is despite most people having access to phones that can help capture these incidents in real time. With We Watch, Daniel’s team is using technology to close that gap.

One of the benefits of being a Canadian founder is that there are a wealth of grants and tax credit programs from the federal and provincial government supporting innovation. From MITACS to SR&ED, his team is exploring all of the non-dilutive funding mechanisms in place to help drive product development without handing over equity.

Founders need to be clear headed about what they actually want to achieve. Often, finding a second opinion and talking with accelerators, incubators and other founders in your community can help firm up your startup mission and refine your goals.

Watch the full video version of Daniel’s interview on Boast’s Youtube channel here.

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