Team8 joins bid to help NYC become global cybersecurity leader

Israeli cybersecurity venture capital firm will join the city’s $100 million initiative; Team8 will train workers; help identify breakthrough ideas

Shoshanna Solomon was The Times of Israel's Startups and Business reporter

(L to R) Team8 Founders Nadav Zafrir, Liran Grinberg, and Israel Grimberg, (Courtesy)
(L to R) Team8 Founders Nadav Zafrir, Liran Grinberg, and Israel Grimberg, (Courtesy)

Israel’s cybersecurity venture capital firm Team8 said Tuesday it is partnering with the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) to help boost the city’s cybersecurity ecosystem.

The firm said that it will join the city’s $100 million initiative to make NYC a global leader in cyber innovation and create some 10,000 new jobs. Israeli firms SOSA and venture capital fund Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) were among the institutions chosen to be part of the initiative, NYCEDC said last year.

Team8’s partnership with the NYCEDC will focus on three tracks: training and developing talent locally in the sphere of cybersecurity; growing the city’s cybersecurity ecosystem and helping identify breakthrough ideas stemming from academia, the statement said.

To groom new talent. Team8 will offer full-time and internship work opportunities at the firm and within its portfolio companies that are located in the venture capital firm’s NYC headquarters, the statement said.

Team8 is also working with Columbia University to source and evaluate projects to identify “breakthrough technologies that can transform the industry and create a new wave of NYC cyber startups.”

“New York City has quickly become the international capital for cybersecurity and a leader in tech innovation,” said NYCEDC president and CEO James Patchett in the statement. The collaboration with Team8 will lead to projects “that help fuel the next generation of talent in the city’s growing cyber and tech ecosystems.”

As cybersecurity threats intensify, companies are struggling to find qualified workers, leaving them “vulnerable to potentially devastating attacks,” the statement said.

The cybersecurity workforce gap is on pace to hit 1.8 million by 2022 and the sector enjoys a zero percent unemployment rate. Currently in New York, there are about 20,000 job openings in the cyber field. In a recent study, 69% of cyber professionals say their teams are understaffed and hiring managers say it can take over six months to find qualified cybersecurity candidates.

Team8, an Israeli venture capital fund focused on the cybersecurity industry, was founded by three former leaders of Israel’s military intelligence Unit 8200: Nadav Zafrir, who commanded the unit, Israel Grimberg and Liran Grinberg.

Team8 is dually headquartered in Tel Aviv and in Midtown Manhattan, New York, and has received investments from tech giants including Walmart, Moody’s, Airbus, and Scotiabank.

The Israeli firm’s co-founder and CEO Zafrir will joining Cyber NYC’s advisory board, the statement said.

The NYCEDC-Team8 partnership was officially launched Tuesday at Team8’s 5th annual Rethink event, a cybersecurity discussion forum, held at the Nasdaq exchange.

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