Building a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation. One TechAward at a time To the untrained eye, Bermuda may be a tiny dot in the Atlantic. To the tech-savvy investor and to the twenty-first century employer, it is a hub where technology and innovation are often a way of life. The country’s comfort with technology is quite obvious during Global Entrepreneurship Week (GEW), when the whole country takes part in the month-long celebration of entrepreneurship and innovation with a well-populated calendar of events and activities. One such event, which was established in 2006 by the Bermuda Government’s Department of E-Commerce and has since grown into the focus of the week, is the Technology Innovation Awards. The aim of TechAwards is to recognize the Bermuda residents and organizations who provide technology solutions that showcase Bermuda as a location that consistently acts as a launch pad for not just innovation, but for achievement as well. The public is the driving force in the country’s effort to recognise the outstanding achievements being made in Bermuda’s information technology industry: nominations for the different categories come from the community. The four TechAwards categories are: 1) Innovation of the Year – International, 2) Innovation of the Year – Local, 3) Innovative Youth Program of the Year, and 4) Mobile Application of the Year. The nominations are submitted to a panel of judges who evaluate each nominee and select the top three entries in each category for recognition during GEW’s culmination event. During TechAwards 2014, the International Innovation of the Year was presented to Trunomi, a pioneering company that has developed an online personal identity protection tool for the financial services industry. Holding a number of US and Global patent filings as well as trademarks and copyrights all registered and held by its Bermuda office, Trunomi is empowering consumers to take ownership of their own personal data and away from institutions and Big Business. In winning this prize, which is presented annually by the Department of E-Commerce, Trunomi joins other Bermuda-based technology firms including global encryption leader QuoVadis, financial services firm First Atlantic Commerce, and software development and consultancy company Nova Limited. Trunomi, a startup which has offices in Bermuda, Silicon Valley and London, provides software for identity verification. Its main products, TruHub and TruMobile, manage verification for customers of financial institutions and are designed for banks to manage compliance, customer onboarding, and customer due diligence (CDD). The B2Me solutions enable institutions and their customers to not only create auditable 'Golden Source' digital datasets comprised of customer identification data, but also to easily access and share them anytime, anywhere; securely and in full compliance with global privacy and regulatory requirements. Trunomi’s TruMobile app introduced a Know Your Customer (KYC) communications platform through which consumers are able to manage their Personally Identifiable Information (Pii). TruMobile not only allows users to store Pii document bundles, but also to share them with institutions such as banks and healthcare providers. Trunomi’s TruHub is a solution for regulated entities that leverage cloud-based sharing to benefit from an efficient customer onboarding process that is ‘five times faster at 20 percent of the cost of today’s manual, inefficient process.’ The data sets are friendly to both real-time surveillance and KYC auditing, which greatly reduces the regulatory risk as well as the time and cost that come with training. In addition to individuals controlling their own Pii and to institutions increasing their onboarding efficiencies, Trunomi’s technology could empower consumers and institutions even further. When applying for products such as mortgages and credit cards, individuals can now submit the digital datasets to several retail bankers at once. The benefit of that? Receiving multiple competitive offers. In addition to winning a TechAward, Trunomi has also been selected from 800 applicants to be one of London's FinTech 50 and has been described as a ‘game-changer transforming the future of finance.’ The company has also, more recently, won the Best Enterprise Solution Award at the Benzinga Fintech Awards Gala in New York City. Trunomi’s products are timely for Bermuda, as the country is increasingly aware of the importance of privacy and of the protection of personal data, recognizing the complexities and concerns of the digital age and the global environment in which we operate. Indeed, the Island is currently developing its own privacy and data protection legislation which will be designed to meet international best practice. In Bermuda, keeping personal data safe and secure continues to be equally paramount for individuals and organisations. The legislation therefore intends to address these challenges in a way that it appropriate for its size as a small jurisdiction, providing additional confidence for international businesses and their clients. And although small in size, Bermuda is large in impact, as Trunomi’s Stuart Lacey alluded to when he summed up the sentiments of many of the TechAwards winners: “We are honoured to be recognized for our technology achievements, especially in the very early stages of our company. To be associated with such a prestigious award, one that works to promote Bermuda as a truly global, innovative and sophisticated technology and e-business hub, is quite an accomplishment.” “Bermuda is a fantastic location to innovate and be an entrepreneur,” says Lacey. “Top notch developers, leading edge IT infrastructure, sources of capital, and phenomenal corporate and jurisdictional governance are all well-established and readily available right on the island.” Truly, Bermuda is an ideal context for technological companies. It boasts excellent fibre optic connections, a talented service pool, a robust IT, legal and regulatory framework, and significant access to capital for investment and expansion. It enjoys global branding as a secure, safe and friendly jurisdiction for business and for companies, and Trunomi sees itself having a role in enhancing these strengths: by representing the best of Bermuda on a world stage, and by showcasing it as “a center for incredible idea and technological development, and a welcoming, supportive, well-regulated and forward-looking jurisdiction,” as Lacey concludes. Bermuda’s TechAwards recognize notable achievements in information technology on the island and motivate and encourage the development of the ICT sector through academic, industrial and charitable pursuits. They continue to prove, year after year, that Bermuda is an epicentre of technology and e-business in the region. They also show that, perhaps more importantly, the Island remains a global leader in technology innovation and a prominent e-business jurisdiction every day, everywhere, for everyone. Bermuda’s TechAwards recognize notable achievements in information technology on the island and motivate and encourage the development of the ICT sector through academic, industrial and charitable pursuits