Ernst & Young has announced that Sedicii has won the EY Startup Challenge Competition.

The competition was run in a bid to find new technical products that should help EY clients to better respond to the data privacy issues surround the forthcoming EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), particularly focusing on the "right-to-be-forgotten".

The Level39 tech incubator is on the 39th floor of One Canada Square. ©Flickr Micu Radu

Under the "right-to-be-forgotten" laws, companies could be forced upon request to remove results for queries that include a person's name, if the results shown are inadequate, no longer relevant, or excessive. EY believes this right will increase consumers’ awareness of their rights to their own data and will mean that businesses will need to consider issues around reputation management, consumer trust, compliance and operational efficiency.

Seven shortlisted companies worked on their ideas over a six-week period before pitching them to a panel of judges at the Level39 tech incubator in Canary Wharf last Thursday.

Sedicii developed and patented a technology based on the Zero Knowledge Proof Protocol that eliminates the transmission, storage and exposure of private user data during authentication or identity verification.

Rob Leslie, founder and CEO of Sedicii, said: “For us, we have learned an immense amount from the EY core team and all our mentors who have helped us fine tune our value propositions and then test them with introductions to real customers.”

Sedicii will be given the opportunity to receive a secondment of an "experienced" EY professional to provide ongoing support and longer-term access to EY’s network, resources and expertise.

Rob Walker, lead advisory partner for EY’s technology, media & telecommunications sector, said: “This was a very tight contest with the startups developing some really brilliant technologies to the business challenges posed around data privacy. The work of Sedicii was very visionary and this is what made it stand out for us. However, we were greatly impressed by every startup and will continue to support them in the coming months.”

EY designed the programme in conjunction with innovation specialists, Pivotal Innovations, based at Level39.

Eric Van der Kleij, head of Level39 and director of Pivotal Innovations, said: “EY's Startup Challenge is a great example of how a large, established organisation can share its expertise with young technology companies, whilst bringing some of its largest global clients to work alongside innovators to hone their solutions.

“All of the participating challenge finalists have developed and enhanced solutions that help large organisations tackle the increasingly critical issues surrounding data privacy that affect just about every kind of business. We are thrilled that EY's first Startup Challenge has yielded such positive results. Many congratulations to Sedicii from all of us at Level39."

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