By Ronn Torossian
Team8, a new cybersecurity research lab and startup foundry, recently launched with a mission to build revolutionary cybersecurity companies and architect a safer cyberworld. Team8 launches with an $18 million A-round investment from Alcatel-Lucent, Cisco Investments, Marker LLC, Bessemer Venture Partners (BVP), and Innovation Endeavors.
“Global cybersecurity threats are only becoming more targeted, frequent, and destructive in nature, so we’re fortunate to be partnering with Team8, who is at the forefront of new cutting-edge cybersecurity innovation,” said Eric Schmidt, founding partner of Innovation Endeavors and executive chairman of Google. “Team8 is a great example of how Israel has some of the best talent in the world to confront these challenges through its ability to develop advanced and creative solutions for this rapidly evolving landscape.”
The Team8 foundry is a platform for building and launching cybersecurity companies from scratch. At the core of the foundry is a technology research group that acts as an operational think tank, carrying out extensive, practical research that incorporates offensive and defensive expertise. Team8 has assembled a unique pool of talent and applies proven methods for tackling the most challenging cybersecurity problems. Team8 also recruits experienced entrepreneurs to partner with technical teams, and plans to inject the capital, resources, expertise, and talent they need at every phase to launch successful startups.
The founding team is composed of accomplished entrepreneurs and cyberinnovation executives. Nadav Zafrir and Israel Grimberg, known figures in the Israeli cyberinnovation space, co-founded Team8 together with Liran Grinberg, an entrepreneur and product management expert (eToro, Conduit). Team8’s technology research group is led by cyber-research veteran Assaf Mischari. Ray Rothrock, an investor and board member of Check Point Software Technologies, is joining Team8’s board of directors. A special adviser to the team is Ronni Zehavi, a former security executive at Akamai Technologies who previously founded Cotendo (acquired by Akamai).
The Team8 platform is further enhanced by strategic research and engineering collaborations with industry leaders, such as Cisco and Alcatel-Lucent (including Alcatel-Lucent’s leading industrial research arm, Bell Labs); both are among the platform’s investors.
Bell Labs teams across the globe will collaborate with Team8 on various security challenges. This will include close collaboration between Team8 and Bell Labs researchers working at a cloud and security facility near Tel Aviv, representing the first major industry collaboration since the facility was officially opened in December 2014.
Exceptional leaders and entrepreneurs work with Team8 via an entrepreneur-in-residence (EIR) model, working out of the company’s Tel Aviv headquarters to explore, ideate, and validate new concepts, hand-in-hand with Team8’s leaders and extended network. All EIRs have access to Team8’s domain expertise, research, marketing, business development, and top talent recruiting capabilities. Team8 funds this process, giving entrepreneurs the time and resources needed for the development of fundamental research into differentiated solutions and long-term, independent companies that solve real market needs.