Emerald De Leeuw

Emerald De Leeuw of Eurocomply

Emerald De Leeuw

This month, Christine Heffernan, LEO Cork North & West, caught up with Emerald de Leeuw, from EuroComply, whose registered business is in Crosshaven:

"I started working on my own business EuroComply in 2013, when I was writing my first master thesis at University College Cork on Data Protection law. EuroComply is software which helps companies easily assess, track and demonstrate compliance with EU Data Protection legislation. We cut the cost of compliance and offer an effective way to manage complex legislation. We deal with companies across many sectors as the legislation impacts every company that targets EU citizens with its products or services. Non-compliance can lead to fines of up to 4% of your company's annual global turnover or €20 million, whichever is greater.  This motivates many companies to improve on the ways they protect consumer information. Also, being a privacy-friendly company is a popular marketing tactic these days. Think of the Apple v FBI case where Tim Cook said to all customers "Your data is safe with Apple, even from the FBI".

Regulated industries such as Financial Services, Life Sciences and Telecommunications are obvious markets for us. However, technology companies and online retail also handle a lot of personal information. I recently spoke at the European Retailers Association Annual Conference in Barcelona, as the eCommerce sector is starting to realise how much data they handle and that this should be managed properly. The fact that we can sell across so many verticals was one of our biggest challenges in the past: we had no obvious target market. 

Prior to pitching at Cork Start-up weekend back in 2013, I never thought of myself as an entrepreneur. But when Pat Phelan (Trustev) and Sean O'Sullivan (SOSVentures) gave me good feedback on the initial concept, I was bitten by the business bug. There was no going back. Since then I have completed another Masters degree in BIS, got IP Law Certified from Harvard Law School, participated in UCC's Ignite Incubator and received business & financial support from the LEO Cork North & West. EuroComply is now on Enterprise Ireland's Female Founders programme to get us investor-ready by December 2016. For the duration of this programme, I am based in Dublin.


My greatest lesson learnt so far is to learn to trust myself. I think, especially as women, we often doubt ourselves. You need to remember why you are starting a business; it's usually because you have an idea that feels right to you. Don't forget that, when people give you feedback. Advice and constructive criticism is great but your own views and how you feel in your gut should never ever be ignored. Don’t forget to contact your Local Enterprise Office for any business advice, start-up training, mentoring and to see if your business could be eligible for financial assistance”.


How to contact EuroComply:



LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/emeralddeleeuwTwitter: https://twitter.com/EmeraldDeLeeuw