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Ballistic Ventures’ Jake Seid On Helping Entrepreneurs And Whether Large Security Companies Are Doing Their Jobs

Jay Fitzgerald

‘Cybersecurity is like war. It’s fought, it’s not won. It’s an ongoing battle. And the big cybersecurity companies are doing a lot of important work. But …’

Since its launch earlier this year, Ballistic Ventures has maintained it’s a different type of venture capital firm, one that’s focused exclusively on cybersecurity and one not offering just money to startup founders.

Some might object to Ballistic Ventures’ claim of true uniqueness.

But there’s no denying the firm, which oversees a $300 million fund, was founded by a “supergroup” of “founders backing founders.”

Among the VC firm’s founders are Kevin Mandia, CEO of Mandiant; Barmak Meftah, former president of AT&T Cybersecurity; Roger Thornton, managing member of Area 51 Ventures; and Ted Schlein, the chairman and general partner of Ballistic Ventures and current general partner at Kleiner Perkins.

Meanwhile, Jake Seid, founder of Stone Bridge Ventures, is also a co-founder and general partner at Ballistic Ventures.

Seid recently talked to CRN about Ballistic’s formation of a new star-studded advisory board, as announced on Monday and reported by CRN. The board includes Phil Venables, vice president and chief information security officer at Google Cloud; Nicole Perlroth, author and former lead cybersecurity reporter at the New York Times; and Derek Smith , senior vice president of security at F5.

The goal: To help cybersecurity startups back by Ballistic Venture reach their full potential with the assistance of advisors offering entrepreneurs a wide variety of ideas on how to improve operations.

In his interview with CRN, Seid also talked about how his firm put together the advisory group, whether it will really work, the challenges facing VC companies and the cybersecurity industry in general, and other issues.

 
Jay Fitzgerald

Jay Fitzgerald is a senior editor covering cybersecurity for CRN. Jay previously freelanced for the Boston Globe, Boston Business Journal, Boston magazine, Banker & Tradesman, MassterList.com, Harvard Business School’s Working Knowledge, the National Bureau of Economic Research and other entities. He can be reached at jfitzgerald@thechannelcompany.com.

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