Q&A Wednesday :: Flashback Data

Today’s Q&A Wedensday is with Russell Chozick, co-founder of Flashback Data.

Q: Explain what you do in a way that my mom can understand?

Flashback Data has two sides of our business that complement each other.  Our Data Recovery division retrieves data from computers when the hard drive crashes or you accidentally delete important files.  We also recover pictures from digital camera cards or files from USB thumb drives.  Basically, if something that stores data breaks, we can get the data.

The other side of our business is our Computer Forensics Division. We are an internationally accredited crime lab and we assist law enforcement and law firms with evidence from computers or cell phones.  We work on all kinds of cases including IP theft litigation, conspiracy, family law and even have assisted in murder investigations.

Q: What was your “lightbulb” moment when you knew you had something?

It always felt like a no-brainer to have both computer forensics and data recovery services together in the same company.  However, it became very apparent how helpful it is once we got our ASCLD/LAB accreditation. Having a data recovery division helps us maintain custody of a device when there are issues reading it.  Most forensic labs would have to ship off a hard drive if they could not access the data.  The possibility of chain of custody problems and confidentiality are a big concern there.  If we get a damaged drive (intentional or not) in for investigation, our teams can work together to get the data recovered and back into the forensics lab for further processing.

Q: Who are the hard working geniuses behind the company?

We hire people from various different backgrounds.  From attorneys to ex-military intelligence and ex-law enforcement.

Q: What is the “secret sauce” that will make you shine above the competitors?

Our quality system is what puts us ahead of the pack.  We are the only private digital forensics lab in the world with an ASCLD/LAB International accreditation.  The only other labs accredited are governmental labs such as the FBI and DEA.  This allows us to be another resource for law enforcement because the FBI’s regional computer forensics labs have massive backlogs of months to years.  We can cut the investigation time down to days or weeks.

Q: Who are some of your first customers?

Because of the large tech scene in Austin, we immediately started receiving data recovery work from various large companies in Austin.  Many other small businesses in the computer repair field instantly felt much more comfortable bringing us failed hard drives than sending them to alternative labs across the country.  So when we first opened, we targeted building a large partner network of computer repair shops that could resell or refer to us when data recovery was needed.

About Bryan Menell

Bryan is the Managing Editor for AustinStartup and the CEO of Mahana. He is a co-founder of Capital Factory, an investor and advisor, and runs the popular Austin Tech Happy Hour with his wife.

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