CEO/Founder, Data Theorem
Gazelle Champion (2014 Inaugural Event)
We first heard about The ISE® Lions’ Den and Jungle Lounge when one of our customers referred us to T.E.N.’s Vice President of Sales, Fern Jacobs, who suggested we enter as a Gazelle applicant. In 2014, there were not many “Shark Tank” style events like the ISE® Lions’ Den, and the opportunity to stand before ten prominent CISOs and pitch our startup services to them was one we could not pass up. We immediately chose to sign up as a Gazelle.
The way the T.E.N. team ran their very first ISE® Lions’ Den was fantastic. T.E.N.’s ISE® Lions’ Den was everything they promised it would be: a limited time period to pitch your services; experienced CISOs in attendance; and unmatched networking and visibility opportunities. The ISE® Lions’ Den didn’t involve simply hosting a vendor booth at a conference, which are a dime a dozen—this was an event with purpose and with real results you feel the benefits of long after it’s over.
As a startup, you are trained to know what you want say about your service and how you want to say it, often to a product team or CISO, and you are given plenty of time to do so. At the ISE® Lions’ Den, however, you only have a short window of time to speak, so every word counts. It really taught our team to be much more creative in our approach and value what we chose to say to a client. Through the overall experience preparing for our chance on the ISE® Lions’ Den floor, our team learned to tell our story in innovative ways that will, ideally, attract future clients all the more successfully.
Being named Gazelle Champion was, of course, a really positive high note of the night. As a startup, winning an event like this really confirms that your business is on the right track and gives you a positive outlook for your future. Aside from winning, however, the best part of the event for us was having the opportunity to stand before the veteran panel of ISE® Lions—leading executives in information security—and present our new technology. We may have a great startup, a great website, and a great product or service, but standing before those CISOs to receive feedback not only about what makes our product great but also what could still be worked on is an invaluable opportunity that we could not miss out on. There simply aren’t many formal occasions like that where we could meet ten prominent CISOs personally and receive their undivided attention while pitching our business. That exposure is vital to a startup, and is not something to take lightly.
T.E.N.’s event also provided us with access to their network of CISOs, VPs, seasoned executives, and other vendors not only during the ISE® Lions’ Den itself but also at their Jungle Lounge. We made connections that carried on long after the event itself—we reconnected with many executives at ISE® Awards events and RSA, and even locked in a client relationship with a PR team that lasted us at least a year. You gain a lot of attention when you’re in the room for the ISE® Lions’ Den, and that stays with you and your team after the event in a very positive way—win or lose.
I would highly recommend that any startup interested in the ISE® Lions’ Den and Jungle Lounge should sign up as a Gazelle and try it out. There are so many opportunities here that give your brand and your business the kind of visibility and recognition you won’t find anywhere else. T.E.N.’s ISE® Lions’ Den and Jungle Lounge, alongside all their other events throughout the year, really ask CISOs, executives, and vendors the tough questions that make them really think about their present and future work in the Information Security industry. This is a unique industry with fast-evolving challenges, and joining in on T.E.N.’s events gives you access to all the right conversations on what’s in store for our future.