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July 27, 2022 |

Coro Launches Incubator Program for Security Entrepreneurs

Called Incubiz, the offering aims to make becoming a provider of security and managed services to SMBs easier for people with the drive to launch and run a business but limited startup capital or experience.

Security vendor Coro has officially launched its Incubiz incubator program for would-be channel pros. 

Previously run on a pilot basis and discussed with ChannelPro in May, the offering aims to make becoming a provider of security and managed services to SMBs easier for people with the drive to launch and run a business but limited startup capital or experience.

“Our goal here is to build an army of entrepreneurs,” says Dror Liwer, Coro’s co-founder and executive vice president of business development.

Participants in the program receive a full salary plus benefits and vacation time as “entrepreneurs in residence” at Coro. “They’re employees of Coro for all intents and purposes,” Liwer says. 

Drawing on that financial support, program enrollees spend roughly 18 months learning how to run a cybersecurity practice. “We train them, teach them how to sell, teach them how to manage the business and run the business on our dime,” Liwer says.

They also get time to acquire an initial customer base. “When they’re ready, we send them off on their way to be independent, no strings attached, and take the book of business they’ve built at Coro with them,” Liwer says. 

Incubiz graduates are under no obligation to continue selling Coro solutions. Those who do receive ongoing residual payments just like other Coro partners. 

Graduates who no longer wish to own a business can remain with Coro as employees instead. For most enrollees though, according to Liwer, the program represents an assisted path into the SMB channel without the sacrifices the process typically requires. 

“You normally have to risk an enormous amount of personal capital and maybe work for a couple of years with no salary or something to build your book of business,” he says. “We’ve literally removed all the risk from being an entrepreneur.”

Experience working in the channel or as an in-house IT professional is helpful to gain admission to the program but not required. There are no educational prerequisites either.

“They don’t need an advanced degree. As a matter of fact, they don’t even need a bachelor’s degree,” Liwer says. “We’re going to teach them everything they need to know about cybersecurity.”

Newcomers to Incubiz take an intensive eight-week security training program before hunting for clients. A Coro executive mentors them for the first six months of that sales process. 

The chief criterion for getting into Incubiz, according to Liwer, is evidence of having the essential attributes of a successful business owner. “Once you apply to the program, there’s a screening process that we’ve defined that helps us understand if the person is really entrepreneurial,” he says. “It’s a little bit of a different personality.”

People who fit the profile, he continues, exhibit self-reliance, ingenuity, a strong work ethic, and above all a high tolerance for risk. “Entrepreneurs must take risks,” Liwer says. They should also be motivated by more than just the prospect of a six-figure income. 

“It’s not just about the money. It’s about wanting to build something,” Liwer says of the entrepreneurial mindset.

The pilot program currently has 15 participants. Coro plans to raise that number now to 60 people, all drawn from Chicago and its vicinities. “Once this is accomplished and successful, we’re most probably going to take it nationwide,” says Liwer.

An Israeli company with U.S. headquarters in New York City, Coro has added 40 people to its Chicago-based team in the last year. The company recently moved that team to a new downtown office and announced plans to expand it to 200 employees by 2023.

Coro has quintupled its partner base into the hundreds within the last six months, Liwer says, and now expects to reach its previously adopted goal of producing 50% of its revenue through the channel before the end of the year. “We expected it to be by the middle of next year, but it’s going be much, much faster than that.”

Named Coronet when it made ChannelPro‘s Vendors on the Vanguard list for 2020, Coro adopted its new name late last year. Its mission is to provide all-encompassing protection that’s easily deployed and operated to companies with 5,000 users or less. “Our entire approach in life is to make sure that the mid-market and small businesses don’t need to worry about cybersecurity,” Liwer says.

The company announced a $60 million Series C funding round led by Balderton Capital in April, and has raised $80 million over the last nine months. Incubiz is among the ways it’s putting that money to work. 

New product functionality is another. Targeted at cloud-first businesses, the Coro platform currently offers protection against ransomware, data loss, insider threats, and more for cloud apps, email, and devices. According to Liwer, the company plans to beef up functionality for on-premises infrastructure.

Building brand recognition among SMBs is high on the company’s agenda too. “I don’t think a lot of them know who we are,” Liwer says. “We need to make sure that these guys know that we exist.”

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