In Summer 2017, the GitLinks team partnered with the Cybersecurity Factory. We benefited immensely from this experience, so I thought I’d share here some of our takeaways for other entrepreneurs considering it. After three months of participating in the Cybersecurity Factory, our product improved, our strategy for targeting clients with a cybersecurity product was refined, and our network grew immensely.
Our Product Improved
GitLinks is a SaaS company that helps make open source safe for enterprises to use, and we made great strides with the help of the Cybersecurity Factory mentors. We were able to show our product to the mentors and have them provide feedback both to what our product should be and how it should flow. We took that feedback and were able to then start a pilot program with a handful of companies before launching our product.
Strategy of Targeting Clients
While participating in the Cybersecurity Factory, we were still developing our product and needed more insight into the cybersecurity industry and the needs of application security professionals. We came out of the factory with a greater understanding of who to target and how they think about risk mitigation; in our case, there was a desire to automate the mitigation of legal/compliance risk and a security vulnerability risk in open source. These became the primary functionalities of our product.
For us, the biggest benefit of the Cybersecurity Factory is the mentors and the nationwide cybersecurity network you can build. These mentors range from successful startup founders to company executives that have volunteered to help startups figure themselves out and become successful in the cyber industry. We had seven mentors that helped us, and the great thing about these mentor connections was that each mentor looked through the list of startups and selected the startup that they felt they could help the most. So each of our mentors felt like they had a specific piece of advice that could help us maximize our market value. The Cybersecurity Factory even sponsored our travel to the BlackHat Conference in Las Vegas so that we could meet with some of our remote mentors and find new connections.
The Cybersecurity Factory helped us improve our product, refine our targeting strategy, and increase our network. I would strongly recommend the Cybersecurity Factory to entrepreneurs that want to understand how to position themselves stronger in the space and want to get connected to a large base of potential clients and investors.