Elron Ventures to Launch CyberFuture to engage CISOs in VC decision-making

2 February, 2023

CISOs cherry-picking early-stage startup investments give a leg up to solutions addressing cybersecurity challenges being faced in the near future

Elron Ventures, investors in early-stage tech startups in the cybersecurity and B2B software space, announced the CyberFuture alliance that brings investors and prominent CISOs from leading brands to entrepreneurs in a unique way. 

Backed by Elron Ventures, the alliance empowers security practitioners to vet and influence investment decisions, as well as support the selected early-stage companies. CyberFuture Alliance members represent a wide range of industries across the globe, such as banking, tech, retail, travel, healthcare, pharma, and more. Alliance members include Vijaya Kaza, Chief Security Officer, Head of Engineering for Trust & Safety at Airbnb, Gerhard Eschelbeck, former CISO at Google, Jairo Orea, Global CISO for Royal Caribbean Group, Al Ghous, CISO for Snapdocs, Yaron Levi, CISO for Dolby Laboratories and Ilan Abadi, Global CISO at Teva Pharmaceuticals.

For entrepreneurs, direct access to CISOs immediately translates into real-world market insights, accelerating the time to product-market fit and sharpening product focus. CyberFuture facilitates the matching of the relevant cybersecurity leaders with the selected startups, to benefit from such insights.

With CyberFuture, companies can continue forward without having to compete with other companies who are vying for CISO attention. Elik Etzion, Managing Partner at Elron and former Global CISO for Israel’s largest financial institution, Hapoalim Bank, is familiar with the CISO-to-investor gap. “We intentionally kept this alliance to a smaller, high-quality group, allowing each involved CISO to be active in decisions and work as a team,” said Etzion. “At Elron Ventures, we are not only financial backers but fellow practitioners who want to see today’s most viable early-stage solutions succeed.” Elik believes that the alliance will generate a unique value for the supported startups by crystallizing the product offering, networking, and design partnership opportunities, and navigating the go-to-market motion in global markets.

“The CyberFuture initiative is a win-win for both security leaders and entrepreneurs,” said Vijaya Kaza, Chief Security Officer, Head of Engineering for Trust & Safety at Airbnb. “It gives security leaders the opportunity to influence investment decisions and shape the future of cybersecurity, helping to stay ahead of emerging threats. At the same time, entrepreneurs leading the charge in cutting-edge innovation can benefit from the real-world expertise and guidance of security leaders who are on the front lines every day.”

Elron acts as the back office, bringing the expertise of professional investments in early-stage startups. “Sitting in the seat of ‘CISO as an Investor’ gives a new perspective on what is possible,” said Gerhard Eschelbeck, former CISO at Google. “Traditionally, we as CISOs wait to see if new tools are developed for our specific needs. Here, we get to find those special ideas while they are incubating and help create a stable foundation to address critical wide-scale challenges.”


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Posted in tags: CISO , Elron Ventures , vc