“My entrepreneurial spirit was calling me.” That’s how Carlos Canales of NovuGens explains how he came to start his biometrics technology consulting business a year and a half ago and become a member of Launch Workplaces in Bethesda. Desiring to offer clients state-of-the-art solutions was just the motivation he needed to get his business idea off the ground. Today, NovuGens has developed a solution that leverages Biometrics, Data Analytics and Mobile to support clients in solving various identity, authentication, enrollment or proof of life challenges.
As a native El Salvadorian, Carlos arrived in the United States when he was in seventh grade and learned English by primarily listening to records. He had a hunger to learn and move his life forward. Eventually, he made his way to the University of Maryland at College Park where he majored in Business and History and put himself through school by working as a Title Searcher for law firms. Upon graduation, he landed a position at the prestigious law firm Hogan & Hartson (now Hogan & Lovells) as a Database Specialist. Realizing technology was where his heart was, he studied a wide variety of technology topics and also achieved many technology certifications that supported his career. “Learning about technology was more of a hobby than a job so devoting 14-15 hours on any given day doing testing and learning was not uncommon,” he says.
Carlos worked at a tech start-up for a few years where he learned many valuable lessons about being an entrepreneur. The founder became a mentor who shared many lessons which have become invaluable over the years. Carlos later joined the Inter-American Development Bank where he eventually served as CIO of the IDB’s private sector unit. During that time, he earned an MBA from the University of Maryland, Robert H. Smith School of Business in 2007. In 2013 he joined the World Bank as a Senior Technology Officer where he focused on building and leading teams where he helped create enterprise standards and where he explored and built prototypes with emerging technologies. However, “My dream was to create a product,” he says, as he explains why he left the security of the large banking institution. While working for the World Bank, Carlos had an opportunity to get deeply involved in blockchain, biometrics and artificial intelligence thus feeding a passion for potentially disrupting technologies.
Today, NovuGens has a solution that efficiently enrolls and authenticates users via mobile biometrics (voice, face, liveliness, passcode. Face/touch ID) which also provides the ability to conduct “Digital Proof of Life” for customers. The solution also leverages Data Analytics to provide clients with detailed audit trails and risk assessment which facilitates the ability to monitor compliance for thousands or millions of end-users globally. The solution leverages FIDO and it adheres to GDPR regulations to ensure personal user data is always secured and protected. Despite not yet having done any marketing, NovuGens has been in contact with a large International Bank who has agreed to conduct a live global pilot of the solution.
It’s obvious that Carlos never stops learning and improving. When asked what molded his mind for business, he replied that the books “Who Moved My Cheese” by Dr. Spencer Johnson and “The Tipping Point” by Malcolm Gladwell both stood out. The first, to remind you never to be afraid of change because it’s always coming, and the second, because timing the market is everything. To help balance all the changes in his life, in his spare time Carlos is an avid runner, having completed three full marathons and more than 10 half-marathons. He enjoys spending time with his 10-year-old boy and his life partner, to whom he acknowledges for supporting his vision and credits as being a driver to reach for the skies.
Carlos says it’s fantastic to be at Launch because he enjoys the location and, more importantly, the staff at Launch. “They are friendly, have a great attitude and all are really focused on enabling your success without penny-pinching you with hidden fees. I tried several other shared workspaces and none provide the friendly attitude, superb facilities and all at a reasonable and affordable cost,” says Carlos.
With an innate talent for building effective teams and surrounding himself with the right people to maximize results, Carlos Canales inspires breakthrough innovation through a compelling vision and commitment. Check out Carlos and NovuGens at NovuGens.com.