by Jim Masters • Sep 12, 2022
Ballistic Ventures, a venture capital firm focused on funding and incubating cybersecurity entrepreneurs and innovators, has launched a new platform for portfolio companies known as “BallisticX.”
Ted Schlein, chairman and general partner of Ballistic Ventures, explained the inspiration and intention behind BallisticX:
“Capital alone is not enough. Young companies with new innovations need strategic advisors, design partners and a network of people who have lived their challenges. They also need access to curated, low-touch, high-impact services and support to help them build and grow fast. BallisticX is our commitment, beyond capital, to ensuring our portfolio companies have the team and resources they need to make an impact.”
Group of Cyber Vets to Lead BallisticX Advisory Board
Ballistic Ventures announced the appointment of a “distinguished advisory board,” as well as services to help early-stage startup founders and their teams advance their businesses and cybersecurity, the company said. Their experience will help influence Ballistic’s investments, guide portfolio companies in their growth, unite a new network of cybersecurity leaders and much more.
The advisory board includes Sue Barsamian, who brings 35 years of experience as a sales and marketing executive. Barsamian spent a decade at Hewlett Packard, including as general manager of the Enterprise Cybersecurity Products business. She is a board member of several public companies, including Box, Five9 and NortonLifelock, and focuses on helping high-growth SaaS and cybersecurity companies to scale.
Barsamian, in a prepared statement, explained her motivation for joining the BallisticX advisory board:
“For any entrepreneur, having the right partners can be just as important as having the right product-market fit. With the Ballistic team’s industry expertise and proven track record, they’re the best partner out there for early-stage cybersecurity startups, and I look forward to working with the team to support their portfolio companies in growing their businesses and securing our future.”
Joining Barsamian on the advisory board is Tim Eades, who has more than 20 years of CEO experience, including expertise in driving growth for cybersecurity and enterprise software companies. He is currently CEO of vArmour.
Fellow board member Andy Johnson is the former head of mergers and acquisition for HP Software and the former CFO of AT&T Cybersecurity and AlienVault. He has significant experience building prioritized M&A, divestiture and partnership roadmaps aligned to companies’ strategies.
Nicole Perlroth, The New York Times’ former lead cybersecurity reporter and author of The New York Times bestselling book This Is How They Tell Me The World Ends, also joins the board. Her investigations rooted out nation-state cyberattacks on American businesses and critical infrastructure, earning her critical acclaim.
Perlroth looks forward to the mission ahead for BallisticX:
“Early on, it became very clear that Ballistic was not another venture fund; it is a mission fund dedicated to fixing one of the most complex challenges of our digital era. It is an honor to join Ballistic as an advisor in that mission. It has always been my core belief that without a good story, technology cannot flow. I’m thrilled to help Ballistic’s entrepreneurs cut above the noise, home in on their message and unharness the innovation required to climb our way out.”
Rounding out the BallisticX advisory board are:
- Holly Rollo, who brings three decades of leadership and deep-rooted cybersecurity experience, including at RSA, Fortinet, FireEye, Cisco and SAP
- Derek Smith, an entrepreneur who has delivered four successful technology startups, including market-defining cybersecurity companies Shape Security (acquired by F5) and Oakley Networks (acquired by Raytheon)
- Phil Venables, a renowned CISO for more than 25 years across many industries and geographies, who will help drive the Ballistic Security Leaders Network
About Ballistic Ventures
Ballistic Ventures’ company description is that of a “venture capital firm solely dedicated to early-stage cybersecurity and cyber-related companies.” It’s employees have founded, operated or funded more than 90 cybersecurity firms, including Abnormal Security, AlienVault, Arbitrum (Offchain Labs), ArcSight, Arkose Labs, Fortify, Interos, ISS, Mandiant and Shape Security. The Ballistic portfolio includes Concentric AI, Nudge Security, Pangea, Talon Cyber Security and Veza.
Schlein noted that group of advisors is a critical step for Ballistic Ventures in “cementing its position as the premier venture fund for entrepreneurs on the cutting edge of cybersecurity”:
“Each of our members brings with them unmatched experience and invaluable expertise in a variety of essential domains. We look forward to benefiting from their wise counsel, and we’re thankful to have them alongside us as we help entrepreneurs define their ideas, scale their businesses, and make the world a safer place.”