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Leaders Insights: Patrick Horgan, valid8Me

Patrick Horgan, valid8Me pictured receiving the Tech Industry Alliance Tech Start-Up of the Year Award from Enterprise Ireland’s Ciara Concannon. Also pictured are Lauren Piper, valid8Me; Larry O’Donoghue, Cork BIC; Ciarán Corkery and Carol Cashman; valid8Me

Rounding off our Leaders’ Insights series for the year, we speak with CEO and Co-Founder of valid8Me, Patrick Horgan who is responsible for leading the development and global rollout of valid8Me, comprising general operations, business development strategy, and client relationships.

Having graduated from University College Cork with a BSc in Computer Science, Patrick’s career spans the investment management and professional services industries, including time as Head of Technology Projects with Aspect Capital where he worked with the Executive Board to identify and deliver Aspect Capital’s strategic objectives. This involved new product launches along with iterative product development of their suite of systematic trading strategies and investment solutions. Prior to Aspect Capital, Patrick worked with Accenture as a financial services consultant.

Here, we learn more about valid8me and Patrick’s journey with this rapidly growing start-up.

valid8Me was recently announced as our Tech Start Up of the Year – can you briefly describe what you do?

valid8Me provides enhanced  anti-money laundering (AML) compliance for businesses in a radically future proof and cost-effective way, while also offering clients a more secure and convenient onboarding experience. It’s different because it is the first solution to tackle the problem by offering a unique reusable digital identity, that works universally for all consumer and business types. This creates a network effect which compounds in value as more people use it, evidenced by accelerated time to revenue and reduced client onboarding times.

What made you decide to take the entrepreneurial path?

It wasn’t preconceived, instead purely opportunistic! Essentially we saw an opportunity to solve an enormous cross-industry problem and became wholly consumed and obsessed with executing the idea of valid8Me.

Day to day, what do you love the most?

Working with and building our growing team in valid8Me as well as introducing valid8Me to new clients and helping them realise the value from the platform.

What are some of the key challenges you see coming down the track for founders and is there anything that can be done to help overcome these?

One of the key challenges I see coming down the line is the hiring and retention of good staff. Faced with so many other issues, finding good team members to drive the company forward will be key to our success. I believe that deeply caring about staff, their growth and development, along with creating a supportive and fun environment plays a big part in retention.

What has been your career highlight so far?

Going on the journey with the team of taking valid8Me from just an idea on a whiteboard into the end-to-end platform it is today.

Any advice or insights for anyone looking to start their own business?

In the context of a tech product / SaaS business – ‘get out of the building’, talk to your target market, understand your target market, obsess about solving a problem for them and define your value proposition; solve and deliver for one client, make them ambassadors and champions for your product or service; rinse repeat with the next client! And if you’re in the world of SaaS, focus on making that a repeatable and scalable process and lock down your distribution and go to market strategy.

Read the Mom Test and seek feedback outside of your circle of family and friends. Expect to make mistakes, especially early on, but retrospect, iterate and go again and create the right culture to support the learnings.

Progress over perfection always, it’s all about speed of execution.

List the top 3 attributes you believe make a good leader:

  • Resilience
  • Empathy
  • Positivity

Patrick,  our community always like a good recommendation, be it books, podcasts or places to visit for some downtime, can you quickly let us know:

  • Who is your role model and why?

Can’t say I have one in particular, though I do take inspiration from many people across all spectrums – e.g. Richard Feynman, Paul Kimmage, Gareth Fitzgerald and Adam Terry.

  • What books have you read that you would recommend?

Turn the ship around – David Marquet

  • Favorite place to hang out in the South-West?

Schull and surrounding area in West Cork

  • Any good podcast you enjoy listening to?

The Prince

And that’s a wrap for our Leaders’ Insights for 2022. We will be back in 2023 with more great insights from across our Cork and Kerry ecosystem of #startups, #scaleups, #multinationals, support agencies and organisations which continue to make our South-West region the best place to build a business. Stay tuned for more by following us on LinkedIn and Twitter and signing up to our newsletter.


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