Prisidio, an AgeTech Collaborative™ startup participant, is a virtual vault that provides a centralized and secure solution for individuals and families to collect, protect and share their most vital documents and information — something that becomes increasingly important as we age. With Prisidio, you can easily store wills, legal agreements, mortgage deeds, medical records and more, ensuring loved ones know where to find them when they need to.
Glenn Shimkus, founder and CEO, spoke with us about Prisidio.
This interview has been edited for clarity and length.
Please tell us about Prisidio.
Prisidio is a virtual vault. We’re focused on helping people collect, protect, and share their most important documents and information.
We live in a digital age, but it’s more and more challenging to manage our most important information and get it to the right people at the right time. Maybe I need to get my daughter a copy of my driver’s license, or maybe someone needs access to my insurance card. The reality is that our most important sensitive information is scattered physically and digitally, and when we need access to it, we can’t find it; or maybe it’s not available because you’re traveling and don’t have access to it.
What’s the meaning behind the company name?
We tried to be very thoughtful about that. “Presidio” is a Latin word that means “fortress” or “garrison,” and what we do is protect your most important information. So we chose “Prisidio” as a kind of mashup of “privacy” and “protection.”
What kinds of things can people put in their vault?
We talk about four types of content. The first type is documents. We’re not trying to replace Google Drive or Dropbox; we focus on the really important subset of your information — such as your identity, financial records, and trust and estate records. These are the kinds of things that you need to store securely, but also be able to access from anyway and share with others.
People is another type of content: If something were to happen to you, who in your world knows something about what you have? Another is places: You can identify the places, either online or in the real world, where you keep important items, like a safety deposit box. The last type of content is things: What do you have of value? That includes sentimental value. Prisidio brings all these things together securely so that people in your life who need them have access to them.
Can you pick and choose what you share with others?
That’s where Prisidio really stands out. You can invite someone into your vault, but give them access to only certain items there. By default, no one can see anything until the vault owner takes an action to give them access.
We also give you an activity log so you can know who accessed your will, for example, and what they did with it. Plus, when someone accesses something in your vault, you immediately get a notification that they’ve accessed your vault, and their location when they did so. If the access looks suspicious, you can block that person’s access with one click until you have time to sort it out.
What was your inspiration for founding the company?
I’ve spent my entire career in technology, focused on document and content management; this is the fourth company I’ve founded. I founded my last company because my wife is a realtor: I saw the challenges she faced managing the documents that drive residential real estate transactions — so I built a solution. You can think of it as a “deal room”: Any time she represented a buyer or seller, she would invite people into the room where they fill out forms, sign documents and manage the tasks that drive the transaction to completion.
I found myself using that tool, not for real estate, but for when I was doing my taxes. I would create a room for that year’s taxes and invite my wife, our CPA and our attorney into the room, and we could do our taxes that way. In my career, I’ve helped companies deal with managing paperwork, but I realized that individuals and families have the same challenges. I created Prisidio because I wanted to take the problem I've been solving at the organization and business level and solve it for individuals and families.
Clearly, Prisidio has benefits for people of any age. Are there any special advantages for people who are 50-plus?
One is that we provide you the ability to think about and plan to reduce the burden on children or a spouse down the road. When someone passes away, whoever comes behind them becomes an archaeologist: They have to look through filing cabinets for banking statements; they have to try to get into their computer. Prisidio helps reduce that burden by bringing all the important information together.
Prisidio also gives you the ability to tell your story. Let’s say I have a pocket watch from my dad. I can take pictures of it, type notes and even compose a video to tell the story of the watch, and what it means to me.
What kinds of speed bumps have you hit along the way?
Reaching consumers online is a world that is changing rapidly, and you have to be able to keep up with those trends. Also, over the last year there have been a lot of distractions in the news, so it’s become more difficult to reach people — especially people who are 50-plus.
Solving these problems is just a matter of keeping your head down, keep plugging along and keep learning. You have to expect the unexpected. You can’t know what that will be, but you have to be nimble enough to be able to react to it.
What plans do you have for Prisidio for 2023 and beyond?
The number one thing for us this year is about the B2B2C channel. We’re working on a pilot with one of the largest title companies in the country. When you’re working with all your closing documentation, all the key contacts are going to be added to your vault. You automatically get this vault, and it acts as a delivery mechanism between companies and the consumer.
I love the opportunity to connect with enterprise customers that are part of the AgeTech Collaborative™ and that are interested in doing pilots. Working with those organizations — primarily insurance, financial and real estate companies — is where our real growth is. If anyone wants to explore working together, they can get in touch with me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
You can learn more about Prisidio at their website.