Hugo Garcia-Cotte – 赛纷科技（深圳）联合创始人 – Co-founder / CEO, Cypheme, Shenzhen.
DB: You state quite clearly that counterfeit items are clearly a problem especially in China, the app is ready for active use but what are the next big steps to tackling this nationwide and very global problem that exists?
The biggest challenge now is communication. Up to now there was a lack of an effective way to combat the overwhelming flow of counterfeit products, and the extent of the problem is such that brands and companies often feel powerless. We need to let them know that the solution is out there.
DB: The company has had some great press so far from places like ‘Huffington Post’ and others, what comes next in getting this product out there and made well known to the public?
The product is already here. Companies are using it every day. All we need is a few well known clients to spread the word faster.
DB: You have a very accessible demographic for this kind of technology, but what are your thoughts on the other side of consumers who seek out or don’t mind counterfeit items due to their price and likeness?
This is a very important question. At Cypheme, we are not dealing with these cases where consumers are aware of what they are buying. The real problem is when consumers are being actively cheated by ruthless people who make money without regard for the health and safety of others. That is what we are fighting at Cypheme, by providing brands and customers with a tool to protect themselves from these people. No one in their right mind will knowingly give counterfeit milk powder to their child.
DB: The technology has the potential to go so far being the newest of its kind, its diversity of being able to access different industries such as medicine means the tech could be a global innovation. What is your vision for Cypheme?
You probably started reading this article 5 minutes ago and in the time you were reading up to this point, 24 people died because of counterfeit products, counterfeit medicine mostly. 1,917 people die per day because of fake products that’s 700,000 a year. It is more than Malaria! Our technology has the power to solve this problem, so it is our duty to do so and we won’t stop until the trust of every consumer is fully restored.
DB: What prompted the move from the US to China, two completely different markets with different needs, China being quite difficult to adapt into, was there anything in particular that made you want to bring the startup here?
Actually yes. Our initial goal was to prevent counterfeit documents, because there are tons of fake diplomas in the US, but there was an accident in our team. I can speak freely about it now because it is in the past, but it really shocked us at that time; our co-founder’s mother nearly died because of counterfeit medicine. She is fine now so no worries, but at that time we were shocked. After that we decided to act, so we pivoted from protecting documents to products and decided to move to China, where brands and consumers are very directly concerned by this problem.
DB: The DCIC awards must have felt like a great win for the faces behind it all but also the technology. How did it feel to get that recognition, and what are your thoughts about the event bringing all these like minds together from different industries?
The DCIC award is a big step for us. It is a great way to shed more light on an issue that affects countless people, and an important recognition for our work. It was also a real chance to meet other like-minded companies, some of which can benefit from our technology and some of which are very inspiring to us.