Every day seems to bring more cybersecurity and AI start-ups. At Black Hat 2019, there were lots of companies claiming how their AI could solve the cybersecurity problem once and for all. Charting a route through the froth and picking a winner as an early stage investor is hard. To get an understanding of how hard, Enterprise Times spoke with Rick Grinnell, Founder and Managing Partner at Glasswing Ventures. Grinnell is a 20 year veteran of investment in the cybersecurity market and for the last three years he has been focused on AI start-ups.
Grinnell started by pointing out that his job was not just about the technology, it was also: “about growing the retirement assets of those people who entrust us with their money.” Glasswing makes just six investments a year. It means that Grinnell and his two partners, have to choose carefully which is not easy given the number of companies that claim to have AI-based solutions. As Grinnell says: “the hard part is figuring out what is real and what is marketing.”
To validate their decisions, Grinnell says that Glasswing has: “Recruited over 30 world class experts in the AI market.” He goes in to say: “About a dozen are AI computer science experts that can really walk the walk and talk the talk.” The result, says Grinnell, is that: “More often than not we are calling the bluff of folks that think they have something that is innovative but in actuality they really don’t.”
What was interesting was Grinnell saying that: “We at Glasswing are more likely to invest in that technical team that doesn’t have all the answers instead of the business team that has all of the market answers but needs to hire that technical team.” He continued: “That’s the easiest way to disqualify a company in our pipeline.”
To hear more of what Grinnell had to say listen to the podcast.
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