Written by Claudia May 23, 2024

Interview Cervitiy – Part 1 | About Certivity

We spoke to Nico Wägerle from Certivity about his start-up journey to dive deeper into topics like how to start a business, how to build a company and what milestones and hurdles you face on your way to entrepreneurship. He gave us some insights of his start-up.

Certivity Team

How did you find each other as co-founders and where did the idea for Certivity come from?

We are four co-founders. Two technical founders with a software background – Jörg and Sami. Then Bob, who is a regulatory expert, and myself. By the way, I am the youngest in the group and we have everything from 32 to 52 in the co-founder team. Bob, myself and Sami worked together in the previous company, an autonomous driving company in Munich. We met Jörg, our technical co-founder, at an accelerator programme in Stuttgart. And it was a perfect match.


What defines you four in working together?

The most important thing for us when working together is transparency within our team, to be able to communicate everything openly and without hesitation: To be transparent, to share all the feelings, thoughts, basically everything that you do on a daily basis. Because this is a marriage that will continue for the next few years. And that’s why you need to be transparent with your partner in every step you take. You should never feel uncomfortable sharing all this.


Where did the idea for Certivity come from, what inspired you to start?

I was a regulatory counsel for the automotive industry for more than seven years and I the problem we are now solving now was the one I had to solve by myself in my previous career. I was advising on compliance for autonomous vehicles and we had a huge amount of regulation that needed to be mapped to the engineering world and I was responsible for keeping that in sync. It was a huge problem and a huge task with constant changes and without a tool it is impossible to manage and we managed it through Excel. That’s where the idea came from to build a software solution to get rid of these Excel files and to be really scalable for the future.


What milestones have you successfully passed since you founded Certivity?

There are several milestones that you pass along the way of starting your own business. But for me the most important was that we had our first AR customer. This means that this customer subscribed to the software on a yearly basis. And that was a huge win for the whole team. The second milestone, of course, is to get an investor on board. That’s a big deal. And I think those are the two most important milestones in our journey so far. And of course scaling the team, hiring, inspiring people… there are dozens of milestones that you pass along the way. This is just a glimpse

What do you currently lack, where are the hurdles or barriers?

As of this year, we have a new strategy in place. At the moment we have customers in different customer segments – from start-ups to medium-sized companies to large enterprise customers. We are doing well in the start-up segment, which is all well and good. But what we lack – in terms of enterprise customers – is the structure that they expect. They expect certain processes, IT security, ISO certification for IT security. And they expect that from asmall company like us, and we are currently working hard to archive all these certifications, but this is something that I would dream of being able to do a lot faster.


Where do you want to go in the future?

From a business perspective, we have a clear ambition: to make compliance as easy aspossible and as automated as possible. So we dream of a fully automated complianceprocess, where the underlying system can use AI to assess whether the product you aredeveloping is compliant or not. That is our ambition.


You are part of the UnternehmerTUM and Legal Tech Colab Ecosystem. What doors
have been opened for you through this connection?

We have been part of XPRENEURS and the Legal Tech Colab and the most important thing is that you learn how to build the company. Especially with XPRENEURS: they told us a lot about sales cycles, how to approach sales processes, and that’s a huge benefit, especially for founders who don’t have a background in starting a company or product development or whatever. They have super nice coaches. We had a super sales coach who really helped us tremendously to improve our sales process. But also the whole ecosystem, meeting like- minded founders was great. It is crazy how many cool people I met along the way that opened doors to potential customers. So this is a really valuable network that UnternehmerTUM and the Legal Tech Colab really offers to the founders out there.


About Certivity

Certivity is bringing together the legal world, which is mostely paperbased and not digitized with the engineering world which is already super digitized and on their platform both worlds come together in order to digitize the process of regulatory compliance.
Learn more about Certivity in our Blog-Post and on their website.