Next Level: Why a CISO-in-Residence for Merlin Ventures?

At Merlin, we’ve seen tremendous success in the three years since we opened our Tel Aviv office. But no matter how great things are going, we also know that we cannot get complacent, and we strive to constantly reinvent and improve ourselves. It’s how we pivoted from a purely US-based firm into a powerhouse in the Israeli VC market. It’s how we expanded from our initial government focus to having one of the most vibrant commercial security executive communities in VC. This is why we launched a CISO-in-Residence program and brought on a rockstar CISO to help us take that community even further.

Andy Smeaton is not your typical CISO. In addition to knowing his way around NIST standards, he is also someone not afraid to get his hands dirty in the real world. Andy is someone constantly looking to improve the world, whether it’s through rescue missions in Ukraine or, perhaps more mundanely, working with a cybersecurity startup on understanding market needs. The consistent theme in all his actions is that he genuinely cares.

Why bring on a CISO-in-Residence when we already have such a vibrant community? There are always things we can do better, and having a CISO as part of our team gives us one more way to make sure we are listening to the voice of security practitioners.

Wherever we go with this new program, we will continue to be community driven and entrepreneur focused. And we’re looking forward to doing it with Andy as part of the team.