Paul Cypher of CypherWorx

An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Paul Cypher, the founder and CEO of CypherWorx, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of CypherWorx – what problem were you trying to solve and why?

I started CypherWorx because I had the challenges that our clients have. As a Vice President for Operations and then Executive Director of non-profits, and later as a consultant for numerous education and social service organizations, I saw the challenge in providing associates with the training required by federal, state, and industry regulatory bodies. Finding affordable, easily accessible required training was very difficult. CypherWorx was founded to solve that challenge for small business (for-profit, governmental, and non-profit). We are now a leading provider of training and professional development for child care providers, emergency services, K-12, higher education, small businesses, and zoos/aquariums.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?

The biggest challenge was understanding how startups are funded and identifying funding for a tech startup in the Rochester area. Secondary to that was understanding how much ownership and control you have to give up for tech startup funding in Western NY versus other areas of the United States. Tertiary is having the funding to grow the necessary sales/marketing staff and investment to scale a national SAAS-based business.

What does the future hold for CypherWorx?

Because of the nature of tight growth funding in the Rochester area and the effects of COVID-19, we will organically grow in a more strategic manner and continue to explore more explosive expansions of our offering through partnerships and channel relationships.

What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Rochester?

I think that the Rochester area has gotten better in terms of resources for angel and concept funding. Our area is woefully under-funded and has almost no infrastructure for early and middle stage growth resources to compete with other areas that are much stronger in supporting the lifecycle of tech startups. The successful local tech startups that have received significant funding for scalability have done so outside of our area.

What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I would advise that aspiring entrepreneurs take the journey. Even with all of the ups and downs I have encountered, I would do it all over again (albeit differently in some areas). Take the time before you take the leap to reach out to as many entrepreneurs as you can to understand areas where you can learn from their experience. Learn the funding mechanisms available to tech startups like the one you want to create, and give a lot of thought on the front end to the type of business you want to build and the level of control that you want to maintain. Take advantage of all of the local resources available to you, such as RIT co-ops and other support services.


For more exclusive interviews, see our full Profile of a Founder series

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