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May 07, 2018 | Tom Ballard

Kyle Bubp says childhood interest in taking things apart behind his entrepreneurship

By Tom Ballard, Chief Alliance Officer, PYA

“I always liked to take things apart to see how they worked,” Knoxville’s Kyle Bubp says of his early years. It’s an inquisitive nature that powers the entrepreneur who is only in his early 30s.

The Ohio native, who moved with his family to Maryville when he was 12 years old, was clearly influenced by his father who had two separate repair businesses – one focused on automobiles, the other on computers.

“Did I become a mechanic or work on computers,” Bubp asked himself? “My dad encouraged me to go into computers,” and that is what he did but with a specialty in network security.

Recently, Bubp and his partner sold Savage Security, a firm they founded a year earlier, to Austin-based Threatcare. Bubp initially served as Director of Strategic Services for the acquirer, but already has his eyes on another start-up. In fact, that venture has a working name – Legacy Forensics, and its focus is, ironically, inspired by Bubp’s father who died in 2017.

Now, the serial entrepreneur begins a new chapter in his life, starting this week, as Vice President of Information Security with SH Data Technologies. The company is building a new Tier III data center in Knoxville as we described in this article published last month.

Like many successful entrepreneurs we have met, Bubp is a risk taker who is motivated to make things happen and has a penchant for continually learning new skills. He readily embraces the first part of the famous quote from Alexander Graham Bell: “when one door closes, another door opens.”

During our recent interview, Bubp ticked-off about eight jobs he has held in the 14 years since he graduated from William Blount High School. They include stints at well-known area companies like Sword & Shield, Clayton Homes, and Information International Associates.

“At all of these, I got really great diverse experience,” Bubp says. His last gig before co-founding Savage Security was at VeriStor Systems, an Atlanta-based company.

“I learned a lot about sales there,” Bubp says. He also learned that customer problems were not necessarily solved by one product, but rather by better using existing products and improving processes and procedures around them.

“I have a lot of drive and want to see things change quickly,” he explains with this observation: “My work might make me a serial entrepreneur.” In fact, Legacy Forensics, just launched, is Bubp’s fifth start-up.

By now, you no doubt have gotten the picture. While he might seem somewhat laidback, Bubp is clearly a driven individual who has some distinct ideas on how to best address a company’s security challenges.

He and Adrian Sanabria began discussions in October 2016 around an idea that ultimately became Savage Security.

“We thought there was something missing in the industry,” Bubp said. “We wanted to partner with clients and build their security program from the ground up. We knew we could help customers build a defensive, robust network with what they already owned.”

As part of their consulting service, the Savage Security team used some of Threatcare’s products.

What about the start-up tentatively named Legacy Forensics? Bubp says he will be doing it on the side for the time being. The inspiration came after his father’s death and as he was trying to settle the estate.

“How do you get into their information,” he asks, referring to all of the banking and other financial accounting records and documents? Bubp calls them digital assets. “A lot of it is chaining things together. The opportunity is there; it’s just how I execute.”

Isn’t that the case with all successful entrepreneurs?

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