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Careers and Enterprise

Philip Beck

Discover how Philip Beck took the journey from law to business after graduating from Queen Mary.

Can you briefly introduce yourself and describe your current business?

I have experience as both a public and private company board member and have successfully combined my background as an international lawyer with my passion for developing new and innovative businesses. 

An image of Philip Beck, co-founder of DropDesk

As a seasoned serial founder, board member, C level executive and entrepreneur, I have a wealth of experience starting and operating businesses in the United States and across the Americas, Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East, including Brazil, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Hong Kong, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Mexico, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and the United Kingdom. I have built and operated multi-national technology platforms, in the shared economy, identity and credit card acquiring and electronic payment processing verticals. My experience ranges from point of interaction, identification, proofing, authorization, clearing, settlement, reconciliation and payment from a business, technical and security perspective. 

My current company, which I co-founded with my son Graham, is DropDesk LLC, a Workspace-as-a-Service platform which can help you find workspace or earn money as a host. In time we will support all types of spaces reimagining the use of space. 


How did you come up with the idea, and what problem does it  address?

Companies needing a better flexible strategy for using spaces - owners of spaces need to reimagine the use of space. We provide a cloud platform to facilitate transactions between the two.

What inspired you to pursue entrepreneurship while or after your education at Queen Mary?  

I studied law, qualified as a solicitor and then as an attorney in NY. We decided to open a UK/US law practice in the British Virgin Islands in the 90’s at the time the internet was being understood. Our consulting practice morphed from advising on legal strategies to helping merchants get paid on line in multiple currencies around the world. Our team of lawyers became business folks as we founded Planet Payment, one of the first cross border payment processors in 1999. Ultimately Planet Payment became a UK listed company and then listed on NASDAQ in 2012. The company was later  sold to Advent and Eurazeo. A few years later we started on turning around an identity company creating a cloud based biometric platform which later listed on NASDAQ as well as our current project. 


What were your goals at the beginning of your journey and how did they change/evolve throughout time?  

Initially, to support my family and find out what I was passionate about. My legal training became part of the toolset needed to understand how to actually achieve the goal. At many  times the goal was just to stay afloat. 


How do you deal with fear, doubts? 

I was fortunate to be able to surround myself at critical times with people who were just as passionate as I was. Listening to differing  opinions on what to do next was helpful to understanding if we were staring into the abyss. Most days are difficult and having sounding boards is invaluable. Ultimately you need to have the confidence to make a decision - even if it’s the wrong one. Be prepared to fail but plan to be the last person standing. 


How have you used entrepreneurship for positive social change, and what impact have you seen in your community or industry, if any? 

Our current project at Drop-Desk brings communities together. We also created a community campus in NY - powered by DropDesk. The overriding result of a successful venture is that all the people involved get to share in the successful outcome while pursuing a worthwhile goal. Success can lift whole communities. 


What advice would you give to current students or recent graduates who are interested in pursuing entrepreneurship? 

 Follow your passions! Be prepared to fail but learn from your experiences so you can refine your approach. Never give up. 



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