Mateo Ploquin, 2nd-year Dual Degree in Business Administration + Data & Business Analytics student at IE University, built a startup that disrupts the innovative wave of the digital world. Driven by a gap in the market and a need for people to be able to control their data, Mateo took advantage of his resources and connections at IE University to create a startup with a mission to make an impact.

Inspired by a statistic—75% of Americans were found to be concerned about their data but didn’t know how to take action—Mateo realized there was no existing solution, and took it upon himself to fix it. He contacted a wealth of experienced and knowledgeable IE University students to design his startup, Shield. Together they have entered the competitive tech industry, and are on their way to becoming global players.

“We often face criticism that our company goes against the innovative wave of the digital world. To this, we answer: what is the purpose of innovation if it’s not profited by the people?”

Giving the power back to the people

With a core focus on people needing to be able to control their data, the Shield startup was born. Shield’s mission is to add value—not manipulation—to the digital world.

Data is the new gold, and it’s driving change across various industries. It is the only identifier that gives ownership to individuals. Mateo’s startup wants to reappropriate earnings from this “new gold” back to the people. Pursuing his interest in data, Mateo aims to decrease the dominance of tech companies and facilitate economic growth on an individual scale. Before Shield, Mateo describes how data has been exploited and profited from by large corporations. Shield is disrupting this trend.

“Population empowerment is at the heart of Shield’s purpose.”

Given the importance of data in the modern world, Mateo is focused on the ethical implications associated with it and what Shield can do about them. He believes companies should be more upfront and transparent with customers when handling consumer data. With this in mind, his aspirations are strongly rooted in data privacy and control as human rights.

Shooting for the stars

As an early-stage entrepreneur, Mateo plans to impact as many people as possible. His technological ambition is driven by his “go big or go home” philosophy, and he is constantly inspired by the modern success stories about tech advances we could only have dreamed of decades before.

“Shield is aiming to redefine the data market worldwide. Shield has become much more than a startup—it’s a movement.”

From the initial stages up to today, Mateo has recruited from the IE University student body for his founding team. He is very grateful for the community that helped get Shield off the ground. In fact, Mateo will provide Shield’s services free-of-charge to all IE University students to gain their valuable insights and to move forward with people at the core of the startup. In the short term, they aspire to develop a quality product, test and validate it, and then expand to other markets and functionalities within the community they are creating.

What’s next for Shield?

Looking to the future, Shield aims to manage and redesign what it means to be online. The startup is striving to “democratize data control for everyone, not just the knowledgeable.” Although their initial development is currently in Spain, they have their eye on expanding to Latin America due to its market size.

Mateo Ploquin is an inspiration to all IE University students keen on building their own startups from the ground up. From a single statistic to a global vision making its mark on the digital world, there is no limit to what Shield can achieve.