February 24, 2021

Startups & VCs in InfoSec w/ Will Lin

by Cyber Ranch

Listen Now

test
Startups & VCs in InfoSec w/ Will Lin

February 24, 2021 Cyber Ranch

00:00:00

Show Notes

In this show, host Allan Alford interviews his friend Will Lin about startups and venture capital. Will Lin is a venture capitalist with ForgePoint Capital, focusing exclusively on the information security space. First and foremost, Will views his current role as a way to help others. Allan welcomes Will on to the show to help his listeners learn more about the startup world, the venture capital world, and how those two intersect. The show starts with Allan asking Will why he thinks startups are such a prevalent force in the cyber security world. Will is not sure, but his hypothesis is that this is in large part due to the ever-changing nature of cyber security. Since needs are constantly changing and each organization has unique needs, startups have popped up to address those specialties and change based on the different needs that arise. His second hypothesis is that there always need to be organizations prepared to address new and emerging threats to security. For VCs, Will shares that companies and startups go through very natural progression in terms of maturity depending on their framework. Regardless, what it all boils down to is where in their life cycle any organization finds itself. Once the VC is able to identify where the company is in their life cycle, then they can begin to make informed decisions about the company. This will determine the type of funding that VCs will decide to provide. For example, usually when a company is around 10-20 members, they will be looking for series A funding. Typically, series A funding is around 10-25 million dollars, series B is 20-40 million and series C is 50 million and above. By evaluating the total of the investment, observers can estimate the valuation of the company. While most companies only do a few rounds of fundraising, some companies will experience several late rounds of fundraising and Will advises that this is typically a good thing. The best indicator of health is the number of employees. If the number of employees is going down, that is one of the clearest indicators of regression. Once a VC comes in, though, that is where they are able to lend their experience to help with advising the business, which is Will’s favorite part of his job. To close the podcast, Will shares that being able to help people and add value to their companies is the thing that keeps him energized and engaged in his position. Key Takeaways: 0:24 - Listeners are introduced to Allan Alford and his guest, Will Lin. 1:27 - Why do so many people in the security industry rely on startups? 3:29 - What does Will do in his job and how has his background led to his current role? 5:36 - From Will’s perspective, what is the critical split between the first round of angel funding 9:33 - What is the expectation for funding in each different series of investments? 15:19 - What does the VC ownership look like from the perspective of the company? 21:22 - Does Will offer specific advice to the startups that he works with? 24:00 - What is Will’s opinion on startups that grow without any assistance from VCs? 25:48 - What keeps Will energized in his job? Links: Follow Allan Alford on LinkedIn and Twitter Learn more about Hacker Valley Studio and The Cyber Ranch Podcast Learn more about Will Lin on LinkedIn. Sponsored by our good friends at Axonius
Read more

Recent Episodes

February 1, 2023
by Cyber Ranch

Joining Allan today are two folks who are passionate about leadership – not just practicing good leadership, but instilling good leadership in future generations.  Joey Rachid is CISO in the ecommerce and financial services industry, is on advisory b...

January 25, 2023
by Cyber Ranch

This week Allan is joined by Nipun Gupta, and industry veteran who has been a consultant, practitioner, vendor, advisor and investor. The topic is "What are we really protecting in cyber?" and the nuances of that question are explored in depth - as w...

January 18, 2023
by Cyber Ranch

This week, Allan is joined by Peter Schawacker, CEO @ Nearshore Cyber, former CISO, advisor to MSPs, etc.  Another one of Allan's illustrious guests with 25 years in cyber.  (https://www.linkedin.com/in/schawacker/).  The topic started as all that th...

January 11, 2023
by Cyber Ranch

This episode is jam-packed with wisdom that is delivered at a rapid pace.  Some folks will find themselves rewinding and taking notes.  Luis Valenzuela, Director of Data Loss Prevention and Data Governance at InComm Payments, joins Allan Alford to ta...

January 4, 2023
by Cyber Ranch

To celebrate the 100th episode, Allan decided to let the audience participate in the show.  21 people called in and answered a wide variety of questions about cybersecurity.  It is a fantastic show and it is very fun to hear all the different perspec...

December 14, 2022
by Cyber Ranch

This is another "'E' for explicit" show as this one is another LIVE! show from the CISO XC conference in Dallas-Fort Worth. Why the 'E'?  Because halfway through Allan Alford's conversation with Andy Ellis (CISO at Orca, Operating Partner at YL Ventu...

December 7, 2022
by Cyber Ranch

In this episode, Allan Alford plays Devil's advocate - challenging the practitioner community to refute the idea that we should quit trying to make the organization care and simply make suggestions and accept the organization's level of risk toleranc...

November 30, 2022
by Cyber Ranch

Scott Schindler, veteran CISO, vCISO, and adjunct professor joins Allan at the ranch to talk about how to build, strengthen, participate in, contribute to and benefit from a cybersecurity community. Allan chose Scott for this show because of his incr...

November 16, 2022
by Cyber Ranch

Dan Holden, a 20+ year industry veteran, former vendor, and current CISO at Big Commerce joins Allan Alford at the ranch to talk about the BIG picture.  Join them on this wild trail ride that goes as far back as the Monroe Doctrine of 1823, the pre-c...

November 9, 2022
by Cyber Ranch

This week Allan Alford is joined by Duane Gran, Director of Information Security at Converge Technology Solutions to discuss three different aspects of the CISO craft -- and to offer practical, concrete guidance on how to achieve the right outcomes: ...