Christian Renaud of Palisade Systems talks technology, raising capital
Christian Renaud has years of experience working in technology companies up and down both coasts but now chooses to dedicate his time to growing a company in his hometown of Des Moines. His venture, Palisade Systems, Inc., is a provider of security solutions for regulatory compliance. Their products monitor data leaving an organization through a variety of electronic means and ensures that the wrong information doesn't leave the network.
Christian describes their operation, "We watch the traffic leaving an organization's data networks and we look for sensitive data. That can be patient records, could be credit card numbers, social security numbers, student records. It could be a particular NFL team that is a customer of ours – their playbook. Every company has something they want to keep secret and safe, we keep it secret and safe."
The product had been offered traditionally as a hardware appliance, typically purchased by large organizations. Last year, they launched a new offering of their technology as a managed service through channel partners, allowing it to be more affordable to smaller organizations with similar needs.
"The need for regulatory compliance doesn't stop at the Fortune 500, it finds it way all the way down to smaller businesses. Often times that's financially onerous for them so they need to do something. So this managed service provider work that we started last year, that's really where we see the majority of the growth coming from and the demand coming from," Christian said. "The demand for regulatory compliance is trickling down market and getting much more broadly horizontal, versus where it started initially, with Fortune 500 and Wall Street."
Palisade was founded by Dr. Doug Jacobson, a computer engineering professor, and other researchers at Iowa State University to commercialize technology invented on campus. Palisade's products utilize that technology through an exclusive license by the school's research foundation.
2009 was a busy year for Palisade as they moved their offices from Ames to Des Moines and completed a $2.6 million capital raise from local institutional funds such as Equity Dynamics, Principal Financial Group, and DeWaay Capital Management, as well as individual investors.
"Palisade is where it is because of the intelligence of the employees and the hard work of Doug Jacobson and others, as well as the aptitude and intelligence of our board of directors – which are a lot of our investors. They've added considerable insight and direction to the company."
In the video below, Christian tells more of the 13-year history of Palisade, along with more information on their products and experience in raising capital. In another part of the interview Christian offers his thoughts on the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Des Moines. That interview will be included in a subsequent post.