Symantec to incubate security startups with new VC partnership

Symantec believes the future of security is out there somewhere and has set up a new partnership with VC firm Frost Data Capital to try and find it in the form of early-stage security startups.

Security firms have a long track for acquiring startups for intellectual property as well as seeding the occasional spin-off. What they still struggle to do is to tap into early-stage technology in an affordable and sustainable way.

Now the pair plan to incubate up to ten startups per year in the Internet of Things, big data analytics and healthcare sectors in an attempt to shorten the time it takes for these technologies to reach the market.

While no investment sums have been revealed it's an obvious tryout for an emerging 'non-traditional' model in which venture firms provide the entrepreneurial support and a security firm such as Symantec sanity checks the security technologies and engineering

"We're taking a fresh look at driving innovation in the market and this partnership will enable Symantec to transform raw ideas and concepts into meaningful security companies," said Jeff Scheel, SVP, Strategy, Alliances and Corporate Development at Symantec.

"By collaborating with Frost Data Capital, we create an environment primed to incubate new, innovative and disruptive startups in cyber security, especially in the realm of IoT technologies where verticals like process control, automotive, healthcare and energy require specialised skills."

Another aspect of the announcement is that despite both being US-based firms, the remit will be to look for startups across the globe, including in the UK where Symantec has a presence, and not only in the traditional incubator of Silicon Valley.

With technologies such as IoT emerging now, the implication is that securing it needs investment now rather than when the products and platforms have matured in five years time - a tacit acceptance that security is now more fundamental to product design.

"We're seeing a huge opportunity in the IoT security market," said Frost Capital's president, John Vigouroux. "Symantec brings to the table world-class security technology, global presence and strategic relationships that will be instrumental to launching these startups."

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