Why I started Rownd

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My name is Robert Thelen, and I am the CEO and co-founder of Rownd. A little about me: I am a USAF Veteran where I served for eight-years. I had a number of roles, from leading hundreds on the flight-line, to a combat advisor team lead in Afghanistan, to government acquisitions. During all of this, I loved leading and prided myself with building teams and people up. After leaving the military, I went to business school and then found myself at IBM as a Senior Product Manager. I learned so much at IBM: How to bring products to market, how SaaS works, and the ins and outs of APIs.

Rob's daughter, Maren.

When my daughter was born, everything changed. I started to look out into the status-quo and got mad and concerned. I grew up along side the internet and slowly gave away my rights time and time again, but my daughter was born into a world where her identity, her name, her personality, her entire life would be owned and exploited by the powerful. Growing up, I had a choice, but now we don’t. IOT is everywhere, every car is connected, having a smartphone is a prerequisite to living in the modern world. Foreign policy is decided on twitter, education is delivered over computers, we are all connected. For my daughter to live her best life, she MUST own her personal and private data. We all have to. That is why I created Rownd, to prove that we can do better. Data Ownership is hard for many reasons, but why not tackle the technological barriers first?

Then I started to look for like minded people and that brings us to the present. Every member of the team has the same passion and a similar story – we all have a passion for personal data protection, and we all have a personal reason why we are fighting for a new world. Learn more about Rownd and our mission!

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