YL Ventures has unveiled that Frank Kim has joined as its new full-time CISO (Chief Information Security Officer)-in-Residence. The SANS fellow, already a seasoned advisor and angel investor to many cybersecurity startups, will work with the firm’s portfolio companies and vetted entrepreneurs to guide their ideation, value propositions and customer relations.
Having served as a CISO for leading organizations over the course of 15 years, Kim offers deep insight into enterprise cybersecurity’s main customer profile and sales processes. He also brings added expertise as a former technologist with startup experience, which will not only serve entrepreneurs with ideation and product guidance, but also benefit the firm in its due diligence processes.
“A celebrated expert on both enterprise security and cybersecurity vendor business development, Frank offers a rare and coveted perspective across the most important facets of ideating and building solutions enterprises actually need,” said John Brennan, senior partner at YL Ventures.
“Frank is helping guide us through the technological realities of the enterprise cyber threat landscape and translating them into actionable business objectives,” he added.
Over the past few years, cybersecurity has developed into a top C-suite priority due to soaring cybersecurity attacks on enterprises. As a result, Kim intends to focus his work with entrepreneurs on the business impact of cybersecurity solutions.
“I want to help shed the perception that cybersecurity kills productivity,” asserts Kim, adding that many of today’s best-designed tools can actually help promote better workflows and teamwork across organizations.
YL Ventures pioneered the CISO-in-Residence position for investment firms three years ago in a strategic move to advance its vetting processes and value-add program. The program has counted a roster of cybersecurity leaders as alumni, including Roger Hale, CSO at Agora; Sounil Yu, CISO and head of research at JupiterOne and Ryan Gurney, former CISO at Looker, acquired by Google.
It is an extension of the firm’s strategy to connect entrepreneurs to their companies’ prospective customer base for feedback and opportunities, which additionally relies on the firm’s Venture Advisory Network of more than 115 enterprise cybersecurity leaders from Fortune 500 enterprises. These advisors conduct regular calls to help guide and support the firm’s founders with ideation, go-to-market strategies, product-market-fit and other customer perspectives.
YL Ventures often connects entrepreneurs to CISOs before even formally investing in them and continues to do so across their entire company-building journey. It has helped distinguish the firm in an age where, despite a volatile economy, investors find themselves competing to attract hi-tech’s most qualified founders.
By focusing on the niche of early stage Israeli B2B cybersecurity, YL Ventures is able to produce faster due diligence processes as well as cater to its portfolio companies’ specific market and business needs.
The firm also keeps a large, multidisciplinary team in both Israel and the U.S. to work closely with its portfolio companies, supporting them from inception through every critical stage of building a company and bolstering their position in the global market.
Kim’s predecessor, Ryan Gurney, has transitioned to the role of operating partner, joining the firm’s growing roster of in-house CISO experts that also includes Andy Ellis, former CISO of Akamai.