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Anytime you start something new – be it a job, a training regimen, or in the case of the entrepreneurs we back, a company – there’s always a lot of excitement and energy. That was very much the case Tuesday when we held our inaugural B2B IT Forum at the Microsoft NERD Center. We heard great presentations, met a lot of smart people, and had a lot of fun – so much so that we’re already looking forward to our next event in September (stay tuned for details on that). If you missed Tuesday’s event, here’s a quick recap.
After attendees had some time to eat, drink, and mingle, Luke and I kicked off the formal part of our event with a quick overview of the night’s topic (cloud security), and the void we’re trying to fill with this local event focused exclusively on enterprise IT. Then we settled in to hear our presenters give overviews of their companies and how they related to cloud security.
First up was Gil Zimmermann, founder and CEO of CloudLock, a cloud data security company. Describing the market opportunity for companies like CloudLock, Gil said he believes cloud adoption numbers cited by analysts like Gartner trend lower than what’s actually taking place. Those numbers could be higher, he said, but the #1 barrier to adoption continues to be security. Gil argued that IT must develop effective policies that deal with governance and compliance while giving users the ownership to use the cloud as a collaborative tool.
Next was Puneesh Chaudhry, founder and CEO of Copiun, which helps organizations collaborate securely on mobile devices. Asking for a show of audiences hands, Puneesh proved the prevalence of tablets (only a few attendees did not own one) and discussed how today’s employees do not want to be told by IT which mobile devices they can use for work-related purposes.
Last to present was Joe Moriarty, SVP of Sales and Marketing at ContentRaven, which allows users to securely share and track content with third parties. Joe explained that content tracking is not only important from a security standpoint, but it can help organizations make better content development decisions in the future.
Our judges, John Stafford of Raytheon and Ann Halford of Staples, played the Simon Cowell role – tough but fair. They asked sharp questions that promoted a healthy discussion around each company’s value proposition. In the end, though, the winner was decided by our audience.
The votes were tallied, and ContentRaven was the people’s choice.
Thanks to everyone who attended, our presenters, and a special thank you to our judges John and Ann. It was good to see old friends and new faces. Given the focus of the event, there were many security-related folks, but there were also plenty of people working in different areas of Enterprise IT who came to learn and network with us. We hope everyone had a great time, and hope to see you in September.