Founder of Fraud Prevention Startup Identiq Shares Their Top Insights

Identiq founders.

Any entrepreneur can tell you, launching a startup is a learning process. Therefore, one of the best things you can do prior to launching a startup of your own is to learn from those who have blazed the trail. Itay Levy, founder of fraud prevention startup Identiq, shared valuable insights during our interview that will inspire and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs.

What advice do you have for aspiring entrepreneurs?

“If you really want something, nothing can stand in your way.

Ever since I was young, I’ve lived by that. When you know it’s right — you have to make it happen. When I first met my wife, I knew she was the one for me. It took 10 years to convince her, but it was worth it.

The moment I met Uri, I knew he would be my co-founder. It took me six months for him to see it too, but we’ve never looked back. Ido, my other co-founder, was the same — I knew as soon as I met him that we had to work together. It took me starting another company to make it happen, but now it has.

I’ve run marathons, and it’s the same principle — it’s all about the mindset.

That said, it’s all about having the right goal. I started one company before Identiq, and I soon realized it wasn’t right; the industry it was in was moving in a way that made me very uncomfortable regarding data privacy. I closed it down because it wasn’t right. But when it’s right, you have to make it happen.”

What is the best method you’ve found to avoid burnout as an entrepreneur?

“Live a balanced life — one that helps people become centered, rather than one where every moment is used productively. What you need to make that happen varies from person to person. For me, it happens through sports. I need it, day-to-day.

For entrepreneurs especially, with their potentially very stressful career path, it’s crucial to have a way to find balance. But it’s actually vital for other people as well. Running, yoga, swimming — you need something you love. Talking to a therapist, walking on the beach, whatever works.

What’s important to understand is that this isn’t indulgent — it’s essential. It makes you better at what you’re doing, better at seeing what really matters, and better at influencing other people in positive ways. There’s such a strong ripple effect — at home, at work, in our daily interactions.

Personal balance gives you the freedom to find what you really love doing and do it — and do it well.”

What is your advice for coming up with a unique startup idea?

“Look for something which not only has product-market fit but which is something the world truly needs. You’ll need that sense of mission to carry you through the challenges you’re bound to face with enthusiasm and passion.

And more than that, you’ll be able to gather the right people around you, to become your team — people who share that vision and want to bring the same positive change to the world.”

What is your advice for overcoming challenges and failure?

“My best advice is to look to the people who inspire you most. 

I’m grateful to so many people for inspiring, guiding, and mentoring me over the years. But without a doubt, the one with the greatest impact is also the first to have influenced my life — my father.

He’s a truly inspirational person. He grew up in poverty, and as a teenager, [he] worked to support his family. When he was older, he managed to enter higher education and finished his degree in only two years. After that, he was determined to complete an MA — and was accepted at UCLA. He flew to America with $100 in his pocket and no idea how he’d manage beyond that — but he did.

When he returned to Israel, some years later, he was one of those who kicked off the market research segment in the country.

Whenever things are difficult for me, I think of him. It’s his example and his drive to succeed that keeps me going.”

What is the biggest lesson you learned and what can aspiring entrepreneurs take from it?

“Phil Jackson wrote a book called ‘Eleven Rings: The Soul of Success.’ He explains that the way to build a team is to have a clear goal, with everyone working to achieve it. That’s what I aimed for when I started Identiq — to build the right team for the right goal. And that means the goal needs to be a really strong one, a powerful one — one that people will be motivated to achieve. On the other hand, you need the right people — so they can work together for that goal, working past ego or personal priorities, to make everything better for everyone.” 

What is the best advice you’ve ever received?

“One of the investors I’ve worked with for many years now — Yaniv Jacobi from Oryzn Capital — has really taught me to distrust the easy way. What matters is doing things the right way. For example, a shortcut might look really tempting — to signing a customer, to funding, anything — but every time I’ve taken one, I’ve ended up regretting it. Yaniv helped me see that it’s a strong pattern, not a coincidence. I’ve learned that lesson. At Identiq, no shortcuts. We do it right.” 

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