Naples entrepreneur out to get a lock on web-based document storage, security

Lexey Swall/Staff 
 Thirty-year-old Christopher Jensen, right, a Barron Collier graduate and Chicago entrepreneur, recently launched VaultWorthy.com, a secure online document storage platform. Jensen along with his father, Clark Jensen, co-founded the user-friendly system designed to organize and protect critical documents while allowing trusted advisors, including family members, accountants and attorneys, to access them as needed.

Photo by LEXEY SWALL, Naples Daily News // Buy this photo

Lexey Swall/Staff Thirty-year-old Christopher Jensen, right, a Barron Collier graduate and Chicago entrepreneur, recently launched VaultWorthy.com, a secure online document storage platform. Jensen along with his father, Clark Jensen, co-founded the user-friendly system designed to organize and protect critical documents while allowing trusted advisors, including family members, accountants and attorneys, to access them as needed.

— All successful businesses have the same beginning: a great idea.

Christopher Jensen, a 30-year-old venture capitalist and Naples native, believes he has one.

It's called VaultWorthy.com, described on its website as "a secure document storage platform" — basically, a virtual safe deposit box in which to store one's most important documents.

"Being in the venture capital business, I constantly have ideas or I'm tweaking business models," Jensen said. "I had this one idea and it wouldn't go away. It kept evolving in my head."

As a managing principal of Anderson Pacific Corp. (APC), a Chicago-based private investment firm, Jensen began thinking in early 2011 about the fate of the vital documents he shared with his business partners, should anything happen to any of them.

"Inevitably, a lot of these documents could be overlooked," said Jensen, a graduate of Barron Collier High School and Indiana University. "I started thinking that it would make sense for me to get a safe deposit box at some point. Then I realized I'm not home enough to have a safe deposit box.

"What if I could develop an online safe deposit box that you could access anywhere at anytime?"

On May 1, VaultWorthy.com was launched. For $12.95 a month, subscribers can store up to 50 documents — ranging from passports and birth certificates to wills, insurance policies, medical records, investments and deeds — in their vault.

Termed "succession management," a client also can choose up to five vault trustees — family members, attorneys or financial advisers — who would have access to some or all of the documents pending permission, death or a level of disability.

To bring his initial idea to fruition, Jensen partnered with SproutBox.com, a Bloomington, Ind., software/venture capital firm. Jensen also received financial backing from his father, Clark Jensen, a Naples businessman involved in the building, development and banking industries.

"I'm the kind of dad that would say, 'Chris, I appreciate your energy and enthusiasm, but I don't believe in this product," said the elder Jensen, who received his MBA from Northwestern. "When Chris came to me, I said, 'That's a good idea and I'll put money on it.' I'm not the kind of dad who would give you money and say have some fun. This is a business deal."

On May 1, VaultWorthy.com was launched. For $12.95 a month, subscribers can store up to 50 documents — ranging from passports and birth certificates to wills, insurance policies, medical records, investments and deeds — in their vault.

Clark Jensen, who sits on boards of various local professional, civic and nonprofit organizations, serves in an advisory capacity, helping his son refine the company's purpose, clientele and marketing strategy.

Through his voracious reading, Chris Jensen came across SproutBox, which rather than money, chooses four hand-picked startups each year and provides the computer coding personnel and resources necessary to bring a company to life.

SproutBox developed the entire VaultWorthy site and software in exchange for equity in the company. No money changed hands. Simply put, Jensen is the product's inventor and designer and SproutBox is the product's manufacturer. SproutBox staff handles the site, so Chris Jensen's company doesn't need employees.

"My initial reaction (to the idea) was skeptical, but as an investor, I have to be," said Brad Whistler, SproutBox's founder and managing director. "There are a lot of cloud solutions (to document storage). But those didn't solve the big problem of document management and who gets access to these documents in a life-changing event.

"Chris uncovered a very big hole in the market that needs to be addressed. When he pitched it, it was one of those moments when the light bulb goes on."

One of the biggest concerns the Jensens had was website security. A 256-bit AES encryption on VaultWorthy.com is many times stronger than standard bank-level security, the company's website states. Not even the site's developers or the company's officers can access and read a subscriber's stored documents.

Outside security experts audit the site regularly to gauge its vulnerability.

"We're being hyper-sensitive with the security of the site," Chris Jensen said. "We're spending a decent amount of money beyond the industry standards on firewalls and encryption.

"VaultWorthy provides users the peace of mind that their most important documents are in one, secure and organized location accessible from anywhere at any time."

There are two ways VaultWorthy services will be marketed and sold — first on a personal, individual sign-up basis through the website. The other is through a white label strategy, which allows banks, law firms, and other institutions to rebrand the VaultWorthy product as their own and market it to their customers.

With sales growing daily, Jensen hopes that more of the buying public will find his idea as compelling as the young entrepreneur was to SproutBox.

"I was just impressed with Chris even before I heard his idea," Whistler said. "I had the sense this was a guy who was going to be successful and with whom I wanted to be in business with.

"He is a guy that really understands and is able to connect with people. This is a product that really needs that."

© 2012 Naples Daily News. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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Comments » 20

beetlejuice writes:

Hackers in China hit jackpot
bah ha ha ha ha ha ha ha ha

Here4Now writes:

I'm curious. What good is it to electronically store certain things, like a passport, birth certificate, deeds, etc., when only the ORIGINALS of these are valid, ie facsimiles or electronic representations of said docs are not "good" enough? Not even sure Wills are valid in scanned, electronic form. Maybe they are? I mean, the information contained within is indeed safe and secure, but if no one will accept it in that form, how does that negate the need for an actual safe deposit box to store the original?

Certainly is a good idea for large volumes of business/client docs, but isn't this already being done?

And when it comes to REALLY sensitive, "for your eyes only" kind of stuff, do you really feel that secure with it being "out there" in cyberland? Sorry, but nothing is, or ever will be 100% secure when it comes to the net. Personnally, I'd rather simply back up my stuff on an external hard drive, and store IT in a bank safe deposit box.

Not trying to be negative. I probably need to visit the site to learn more about it.

whitecobra10 writes:

I love it! I love hearing success stories coming out of Naples. I can't wait to see other companies like VaultWorthy helping our local economy.

NorthNaplesDude writes:

Very smart and simple idea. I’m sick of searching for important documents that are everywhere most of which are at my house up north (Ohio). I just signed up. Simple to use so far….

Ghostrider19 writes:

FTP sites are like 10 years ago, we have been using a secure site for about 7 years...Naples your about 10 years behind the times...as usual.

FloridaCEO writes:

Sounds like an interesting concept! Can't tell you how many times I've lost my birth certificate.

FreelanceAwesome writes:

Never thought about using online storage like a safety deposit box. It makes sense though, banking is already done online and from mobile phones - so why not store important files?

I frequently work long hours and finding time to access my bank's safety deposit box is hard. I will have to check this out!

TechandGeekery writes:

I have run across the VaultWorthy name a few times recently and after finally looking into it, I think it is quite the brilliant idea. Though there is always the risk that you take with having your information out in "cyberland", I figure that I trust it enough to check my bank statements, update and handle medical documents, etc., so I see it as more of a supplement to my a physical safety deposit box.

I'm ready for everyone to get on board and realize the convenience and security of the cloud!

BucFan writes:

I wish them success, especially being based in Naples - anything to help the economy. However, this is not new technology. My company has been using something very similiar for 4 years.

mewillandale writes:

I think this one is a miss for all the reasons above. I can't really understand how to store a passport in their vault. a scanned copy is no longer a passport.

I nice big, bolted down, and strong fire rated safe is a better Idea.

As for business documents, heck, there are tons of better ways to secure it.

miamia writes:

in response to Damyankee:

(This comment was removed by the site staff.)

I'm not really big on technical stuff. Feel lucky to have learned e-mail and surfing the net on occasion. Golly, I even make greeting cards on my computer.

As far as the rest of the stuff discussed above, I have nothing to add...but your comment tickled my funny bone and I'm still laughing. Thanks!!

cornandbeans writes:

Ghostrider19

+1

daily_reader writes:

Don't see it... Except as the ultimate hack job. And with "redundant multiple data storage servers around the world" it makes it that much more vulnerable. At $12.95 a month no way. I get a free safe deposit box with my bank account that is in a branch down the street. Why would I keep copies of all that stuff online?

EnoughCorporateGreed (Inactive) writes:

in response to Here4Now:

I'm curious. What good is it to electronically store certain things, like a passport, birth certificate, deeds, etc., when only the ORIGINALS of these are valid, ie facsimiles or electronic representations of said docs are not "good" enough? Not even sure Wills are valid in scanned, electronic form. Maybe they are? I mean, the information contained within is indeed safe and secure, but if no one will accept it in that form, how does that negate the need for an actual safe deposit box to store the original?

Certainly is a good idea for large volumes of business/client docs, but isn't this already being done?

And when it comes to REALLY sensitive, "for your eyes only" kind of stuff, do you really feel that secure with it being "out there" in cyberland? Sorry, but nothing is, or ever will be 100% secure when it comes to the net. Personnally, I'd rather simply back up my stuff on an external hard drive, and store IT in a bank safe deposit box.

Not trying to be negative. I probably need to visit the site to learn more about it.

Agree 100%!!! So how do I get my passport to this digital vault? What if I need to show customs my digital passport while I'm in Bolivia? Is there an iPhone app that will get me through customs when my "digital passport" is in Chicago?

Cyber-la-la. Pops, you just got taken to the bank for a bunch of 1's an 0's...

Oh, ain't no way in hell I'm putting my passport/critical documents in the digital frontier! Considering all the breaches in the news lately, the photo of this entrepreneur's datacenter gives me the willy's!! And yes, I work in I.T.

EnoughCorporateGreed (Inactive) writes:

FAIL TechandGeekery and FreelanceAwesome

So how much dod you guys get paid for your advertisement?

http://www.naplesnews.com/users/Techa...

http://www.naplesnews.com/users/Freel...

SMILES writes:

Great idea if can get past all the other invasions. I am skeptical but hopeful. I'm already experiencing problems with cyber medical records, especially when power is out or no Internet access. I can see this going world wide, if enough places would sign on. Too high a monthly fee for storage, tho. I wouldn't pay it.

I've already been burned by Sprint, Comcast & Embarq. No longer trust anyone or anything.

beetlejuice writes:

By SIOBHAN GORMAN
A group of hackers in China breached the computer defenses of America's top business-lobbying group and gained access to everything stored on its systems, including information about its three million members, according to several people familiar with the matter.

The WSJ's Jerry Seib details a cyber attack against the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in which emails were stolen. The break-in at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is one of the boldest known infiltrations in what has become a regular confrontation between U.S. companies and Chinese hackers. The complex operation,was discovered and quietly shut down in May 2010.

It isn't clear how much of the compromised data was viewed by the hackers. Chamber officials say internal investigators found evidence that hackers had focused on four Chamber employees who worked on Asia policy, and that six weeks of their email had been stolen.

It is possible the hackers had access to the network for more than a year before the breach was uncovered, according to two people familiar with the Chamber's internal investigation.

Iloveflorida writes:

I had to use an electronic copy of my son's birth certificate because I forgot the hard copy. Thankfully, my husband had scanned it in and accessed it remotely on his phone. The airlines accepted it-no problem. We've also used copies of passports when one was stolen. It doesn't replace anything, but I promise you, it makes things a lot easier when going to the US Embassy or local authorities. I think this sounds like a great idea and I'll look into it. I also like supporting local families and businesses.

mewillandale writes:

I seriously doubt that photo is from "www.vaultworthy.com" also.

diggle writes:

in response to EnoughCorporateGreed:

Agree 100%!!! So how do I get my passport to this digital vault? What if I need to show customs my digital passport while I'm in Bolivia? Is there an iPhone app that will get me through customs when my "digital passport" is in Chicago?

Cyber-la-la. Pops, you just got taken to the bank for a bunch of 1's an 0's...

Oh, ain't no way in hell I'm putting my passport/critical documents in the digital frontier! Considering all the breaches in the news lately, the photo of this entrepreneur's datacenter gives me the willy's!! And yes, I work in I.T.

I agree with the concerns about digital copies not being valid. I would argue though that very soon we will see changes to this. Everything is moving digital and into the cloud. Also, the service only claims to be for your "time of need." I travel regularly to Africa, SE Asia, and India and don't see any need for this service on regular trips, but it could be my saving grace in a crisis. None of the other services available offer this unique succession management feature that I know of.

I think the concerns are misguided. There was almost an entire day in the early years of Dropbox when any pass-phrase could open somebody's account. Pretty sloppy for an $8 billion cloud storage company. This site looks much more professional than Dropbox. If you check out the company who built it, SproutBox, they already own a payment processing company. I'm sure they can handle the security issues.

As for the coffee can and safe comments, those are valid ideas too except for when I look you up on Facebook, see a picture of your house, see that your dog is harmless, and read a status update that you're in Mexico. We already put our most valuable information on the web.

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