Cyber Start-Ups

Cyber Entrepreneur PitFalls You Can Avoid

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I have the privilege of meeting a handful of new cyber entrepreneurs every week, but unfortunately, a very small percentage of the companies I meet with receive an investment for a variety of reasons. I point many entrepreneurs to my “Five Slide Pitch Deck” blog which asks them to clearly state what problem they solve, how they solve it, some proof that it works, what they want to accomplish with an investment and their long term vision for the company.

Even with those questions clearly stated, there is still a lot of opportunity for an entrepreneur to quickly lose the interest of a potential investor. In this blog, I asked several cyber venture capitalists about what bugs them during pitches, what “pet peeves” they have entrepreneurs should avoid and what I like to refer as “sins” entrepreneurs often make without realizing it.

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The RackTop Systems "It’s Your Data" Video Campaign

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A few weeks ago,
RackTop Systems launched the "It's Your Data" video campaign. This campaign is really well done because it takes a lot of nebulous and complex cyber security issues and makes them personal. The video features a character named "Data" in a variety of scenarios. These videos speak about cloud risk, finding your data exposed on the dark web and waking up and finding out that your data has been maliciously encrypted.

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DataTribe Announces Second-Annual Cybersecurity Startup Challenge


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Mike Janke, DataTribe CEO, Speaking at the 2019 Baltimore Tech10 Event


Last year, I was very happy to attend
DataTribe's first annual Cybersecurity Startup Challenge. It was great to see Prevailion, InertialSense and Cyr3con all pitch and demo their solutions. DataTribe just announced their second annual Cybersecurity Startup Challenge and I took the opportunity to ask DataTribe CEO, Mike Janke, to share tips for entrepreneurs applying to this year's event.

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Fifth Domain Interview - Tips for cybersecurity vets starting a company

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I shared a variety of tips with Fifth Domain for veterans starting cyber security companies.

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Instant Evaluations and Community Editions

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Everyone likes free stuff and if you are in cyber, you like to test and play with different types of technology without having to speak with a sales team. It helps teach us new skills and identify new solutions for $DAYJOB. Many of the companies we’ve invested in offer free evaluations and community editions and we’ve listed them below.
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StartUp Grind Columbia - Ron & Cyndi Fireside Chat

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Ron and Cyndi had the opportunity to be interviewed - fireside chat style -  by StartUp Grind Columbia MD Chapter Director Chris Haug. We got to share a wide variety of advice with an audience of tech founders about growing companies, raising capital, working with family members, enabling teams and employees and planning for success as well as dealing with failure.  Read More…

A Simple Case for more Maryland and Mid-Atlantic cyber product companies

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Earlier this year I was asked to serve on the steering committee of Governor Larry Hogan’s Excel Maryland Initiative. The initiative focuses on the development of a unique partnership of the private sector, public sector, and academia to craft a plan to support economic growth through the advanced industries, such as cyber security and life sciences, in Maryland. Having worked at the NSA and a number of cyber services and product companies, including Tenable Network Security and having made the switch to being a cyber-security start-up investor, I had a lot to say on this subject.
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A BlackHat Sponsor Booth Done Right

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For cyber security companies, your booth presence at shows like RSA and BlackHat are sometimes the only times potential investors, customers and media may see you. Trying to differentiate yourself, tell your message and catch the eye of vendor hall attendees is very difficult to get right. At BlackHat 2017, Polarity ran a very successful booth and there are many lessons other cyber-security companies can take away from this.
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RVASEC 2017 Keynote

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I was honored to be a keynote speaker at the 2017 RVASEC conference in Richmond,VA. I talked about a variety of different cyber topics including an overview of the cyber market, predictions for the future and how to pitch cyber product ideas.  Read More…

The “Five Slide” Cyber Investor Pitch Deck for Start Ups

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Are you an angel investor in cyber security companies? Are you currently fund raising for your new cyber security company? Do you work in venture capital and invest in cyber? If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you are either producing slide decks which are or you are spending time looking at slide decks which are . In this blog post, I offer some tips to dramatically cut down the amount of slides in your cyber pitch decks so you can focus on your message.
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2017 BSIDES NOVA Keynote

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I was honored to be the keynote speaker for the first Northern Virginia BSIDES conference. I talked about a variety of different topics including an overview of the cyber market and how to pitch cyber product ideas.  Read More…