I don’t yet know what next year’s Merlin Safari will look like, but we’ve set a high bar for ourselves.

When someone invites you to a safari, my guess is your first thought does not go to the Four Seasons in Denver, Colorado. But Merlin Ventures has always done things a little differently. Over lunch in June of 2022, as our CEO David shared photos of the beautiful landscapes and wildlife on his ranch in Colorado, Shay was in awe and declared that we needed to do a “Merlin Safari” there. So when we started talking later that day about the value of bringing together our portfolio founders and CISO advisors to strengthen relationships and share ideas, Colorado seemed like the natural place to do it. And with that, the Merlin Safari was born.

Last week finally saw it all come to fruition. After a whole lot of work by our team, we were able to bring together security leaders, founders and some of our closest partners for open (and off the record) discussions, networking, and a healthy dose of outdoors. The theme for the event was relationships. We wanted to move beyond sales pitches and LinkedIn messages to personal relationships that would allow people to share ideas for years to come. Looking back now, we can declare it a success: No one got eaten by a bear, the sunburn wasn’t too bad, and friendships were formed that go beyond just business relationships.

The meet and greet was followed by a fireside chat with Alan Denenberg from our partner Davis Polk & Wardwell. Alan has been involved in some of the biggest IPOs in cybersecurity and led an interactive discussion about what it takes for founders and security leaders to prepare companies for a successful exit. After a networking dinner by the pool, we sent everyone off to bed with a warning to get some sleep so they could wake up early for our trip to Rawhide Ranch.

A special thanks to all who attended!

We look forward to seeing you at the next event and many more to come.