Why New Brunswick Is Canada’s Cybersecurity Hub
Insight From the University of New Brunswick to building his startup in Fredericton, Eshan Mokharti knows the value of the province’s growing tech hub.
Co-founder of Sentrant Security, Ehsan Mokharti, credits his entrepreneurial success to the cybersecurity ecosystem in New Brunswick.
Mediaplanet: What inspired you to pursue a career in cybersecurity?
Ehsan Mokharti: Keeping cyberspace safe and secure at a time where technology is booming across the globe seemed like an interesting challenge for me. Cybersecurity is dynamic, complicated, fun, and rewarding; this combination is a rare, which I very much appreciate about this field.
MP: How did your university mentor you for a successful career?
EM: At the University of New Brunswick, our research group held weekly meetings with industry partners and collaborated on different projects with multiple entities. Working with leading-edge companies not only enticed me to pursue an entrepreneurial journey but it gave me valuable insight into where the current challenges exist.
MP: In your opinion, what was the most important thing you took away from your educational experience? How did that influence your career development?
EM: The world of research is very broad, which means finding the right outlet is crucial. The most important matter I learned from my university experience was how to find the area with the highest priority for applied research and how to verify the progress against real-world metrics. In R&D, realizing that you are not doing the right thing is the first step of doing the right thing!
MP: How has the cybersecurity ecosystem evolved since you began your journey as an entrepreneur in the industry?
EM: Cybersecurity is an ever-changing domain. It has become more dynamic and exciting day-by-day. Since I started my journey in this field, there seems to be no downtrend for cybersecurity in the foreseeable future.
MP: What could be one of the biggest challenges faced by a cybersecurity startup when trying to develop their business?
EM: Not figuring out what to prioritize. Cybersecurity is as challenging as it is promising. Trying to solve a problem and commercializing the solution needs a sequence of timely actions ranging from quality R&D to sufficient funding and proper sales, marketing, and partnerships. It’s a tough journey but definitely doable.
MP: What would you identify as key areas aspiring cybersecurity entrepreneurs should focus their services on in order break into the Canadian marketplace with a unique advantage?
EM: There are huge national and international opportunities ahead for the Internet of Things and in artificial intelligence.
MP: Why did you choose to start your business in Fredericton?
EM: There is a high-quality talent pool with the University of New Brunswick’s top-notch computer science graduates. Local investors — like the New Brunswick Innovation Foundation and Technology Venture Corporation — are very supportive of innovative entrepreneurs. And with the Government of New Brunswick recently launching a cybersecurity initiative and with the new Canadian Institute for Cybersecurity at the university, this seemed like the ideal spot to start an entrepreneurial journey.