Entrepreneur Alya Rezk had already begun developing the idea for her startup, AuthentID, when she enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) at IE University, but we were able to help her develop the skills she needed to turn it into a reality. The Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) might not seem like an obvious choice for someone looking to start a tech company, but with its innovative focus on technology, humanities and law, this program helps students become forward-thinking game-changers ready to tackle today’s most pressing challenges across a range of industries.
Alya Rezk was born in Abu Dhabi and has lived in eight countries so far, which has helped her develop an international and diverse mindset. At the age of ten, her family moved to Madrid, where she studied at International College Spain and King’s College. She then chose to take advantage of the global prestige and international connections afforded by IE University and enrolled in the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.).
How did you decide on the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) as a degree?
I always thought I would end up studying business, especially as I began working in business from a young age. My oldest brother, who also graduated from IE University, founded his own startup, Tigarti. My mother and I founded the Alya Society, a premium, Madrid-based, international networking community of English-speaking business leaders who share a passion for excellence and success. When I decided to create my own startup, AuthentID, I quickly realized the advantage of having extensive legal knowledge when conducting business, which is what led me to pursue the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) at IE University.
What are you enjoying most about your time at IE University?
I especially enjoy my classes because they’re interactive and practical. The Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) is taught using the comparative law methodology. I love learning this way because it allows us to graduate with a much broader perspective and knowledge of law, as our education is not limited to one jurisdiction.
My favorite activity so far has been the IEU Labs Legal Clinic, which I was accepted into during my first year. We were able to work on real cases, which served as great hands-on, practical experience.
Additionally, my peers and the IE Community in general are very international and active, making the social scene here really engaging.
In what ways has IE University supported you in your personal and professional growth?
Professionally, one of my favorite aspects of IE University is the innovative business drive that the school aims to instill in its students. IE University helps foster an entrepreneurial community with the Startup Lab, Venture Lab and Innovation Days, and by providing students with the time and resources necessary to work toward and achieve their dreams.
In relation to personal growth, IE University’s network is like no other. The diversity of connections created within the community is stronger, in my opinion, than any other university in the world.
So tell us, what is AuthentID?
In an age of globalization and technology, digital innovation is inevitable. AuthentID is the future of remote and digital legal transactions. With our seamless combination of advanced blockchain security, biometrics and encryption technology, our system ensures trust in identity verification processes. AuthentID is unique: our relentless efforts in meeting the demands for more data privacy-friendly technology have resulted in a transformative product that was previously non-existent in the market.
AuthentID is driven by a single, fundamental mission: to provide cutting-edge, revolutionary digital identity verification, whilst respecting user privacy and achieving an unprecedented level of trust, security and transparency between all parties involved in a transaction. Our vision is a world where all transactions can be done seamlessly, remotely and most importantly, with complete confidence.
Could you describe the process of launching your own startup?
AuthentID’s launch needed a calculated strategy. With careful market research, we first determined the demand for improved digital legal transactions. By combining blockchain, biometrics and encryption technologies, we created a cutting-edge system that ensures Know Your Customer (KYC) compliance and customer privacy. Next, it was essential to build a user-friendly design, ensure legal compliance and procure the initial funding. Finally, with a solid marketing plan that placed a heavy emphasis on security and trust, we launched AuthentID.
How has the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) program helped you with your business?
My time in the Bachelor of Laws (LL.B.) has been a big asset for AuthentID. The knowledge I’ve acquired has provided me with a solid understanding of the legal complexities in the realm of digital transactions. Compliance with data privacy and other regulations requires an in-depth understanding of the law, and I’ve learned this and more in the program.
Additionally, the network I have developed here has been very helpful. The faculty I have had the privilege of talking to, both in and out of class, have all been beyond helpful. Before I built AuthentID, I approached my technology professor to ask if he thought the technology was feasible. I also asked the vice dean of IE Law School for advice on the best people to reach out to with my idea, along with other general questions. The faculty here are always happy to offer advice.
How do you balance your personal life with your business life?
My business life is time-consuming; I’m the founder of AuthentID, the co-founder of Alya Society, and the director of AlyaX (a youth-focused affiliate of Alya Society).
Balancing this with my personal life as a student has proven difficult on multiple occasions. I try to make sure I don’t schedule any business-related activities after a certain time of day, in order to leave myself ample time to study and focus on being a student. Additionally, I try to keep my weekends completely business-free and solely dedicated to my personal life.
What are your aspirations for the future?
In the future, I’d like to be a successful lawyer and have my own businesses on the side. I’ve wanted to be a businesswoman my whole life, but I’ve grown to realize there’s no need to limit yourself to pursuing only one route. My best advice for rising entrepreneurs is to find a solution for a problem, not a problem for a solution.