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Brent: Austin has a lot of cybersecurity talent. That’s part of why the Department of Defense, Army and others have opened offices in Austin.

But, while the city has several fast-growing cybersecurity startups, it doesn’t have many of the big dogs in the business. And that was one of the points that Kris Lamb, VP and general manager of Forcepoint’s cloud security division, made during a discussion organized by Manifest at Impact Hubb Tuesday evening.

He said it’s frustrating how little critical mass Austin has around security companies headquartered here. And having those big companies with an HQ here can have an outsized impact for other security startups.

“It attracts early stage, late stage and inventors,” he said.

Perhaps the other most interesting point coming from Lamb and fellow security panelists Dan Holden, CTO and intelligence director at R-CIS, and Joel Scambray, technical director at NCC Group, was how simple most of our security problems are.

“The basic blocking and tackling required to secure whatever you’re securing is deficient,” Lamb said.

Scambry said email remains the top culprit.

“It’s human nature,” he said. “Who can’t avoid opening the attachment or link?”

Lamb’s advice for security startups?

“It’s not about the next big idea… right now it’s about showing the value to who you’re selling your product or service to and building something that helps them with that security hygiene problem. End of story, Full stop. You help solve the security hygene problem whether it’s mid-market or the large enterprise, and you’ll find financial backers and you will find people who want to invest in it. I don’t care what the market is doing. I don’t care what the VC environment is and how much of the money is moving away from security, you will get investment.”

Vapor IO, an Austin data and networking startup, has hired Don Duet, who recently retired from a 28-year career at Goldman Sachs, as chief operating officer. Duet, who will work from New York, ran Goldman Sachs tech devision and managed its investments into Square, Docker and Barefoot Networks. Vapor IO recently announced it is building a network of distributed edge data centers by placing thousands of Vapor Chambers at the base of cell towers and connecting them to wireless networks. The company, founded by Facebook alum Cole Crawford, emerged from stealth mode in 2015.

Square Root, an Austin-based retail and automotive enterprise software startup, hired Sarah Kampman as its VP of product. Kampman previously held product management and research and development roles at the Advisory Board Company.

– Austin’s Notley Ventures and TED Talk’s Dan Pallobtta announced today that The Bolder Board Training event, which features workshops and talks on scaling sustainable business models across a city’s philanthropic ecosystem, will be held in Austin on Saturday, Oct. 7, at Brazos Hall. (Details and Early-Bird Tickets)

Austin-based GenXComm Inc. has closed a $1.5M seed round that includes equity funding and grant money led by the UT Horizon Fund, the venture capital arm of the University of Texas System, the Austin Business Journal reported Tuesday. GenXComm is working on technology they say can double the capacity of wireless networks. The company plans to double its current staff of 15 over the course of a year.

– Dozens of companies showed off their office spaces and shared their knowledge with the crowds at NewCo Austin today, and the fun and networking continues into the evening with a meet up celebration at Capital Factory from 7-9 p.m. (Tickets)

– Thursday, starting at 6:30 p.m., it’s the Immigrant Heritage Month Celebration at Tech Ranch. The lineup includes a conversation with Tech Ranch Founder Kevin Koym and a panel discussion with Tony Aguilar, Richard Hurley and Katherine Ruiz. Also, they’ll have special guests Mexican Consul Carlos Gonzalez Gutierrez and Irish Consul Adrian Farrell anchoring a panel discussion. It’s a free event. (Details)

– For your calendar: The Austin Business Journal announced Mellie Price, executive director of commercialization at the Dell Medical School, will be its next guest for a “Face 2 Face” event at Whole Foods downtown on Tuesday, July 11. (Details and tickets)

– And, finally, I got a reminder today that Tito’s is still running its summer giveback deal. That means if you buy a bottle of the Austin made vodka, you can take a photo of your receipt, send it in and Tito’s will donate money to Bunker Labs, the incubator program specialized in helping veterans launch businesses. I’m thinking a Stonewall Fizz would do the trick on a hot day like this.

Though it often takes a back seat to music and tech, Austin is very much a book town. We have several famous authors in the city and a few startups operating in the literary space, including AUTHORS.me and Book in a Box. Now, as part of Kickstarter Gold, a program aimed at reviving successful campaigns of the past by adding a new twist, Austin author Zach Weinersmith is out with a new book.

It’s called “Science: Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness.” That’s a follow up to 2015’s “The Holy Bible: Abridged Beyond the Point of Usefulness,” which was wildly successful. Add to that, Weinersmith and his wife, Dr. Kelly Weinersmith, also have a book out called “Soonish,” which they say “is about the weird science and technology that might make life great or ruin everything.”

And, guess what? Science comedy/absurdism/geekiness works. Weinersmith’s Kickstarter campaign already crushed its $10K goal. It currently has almost $112K.

Send news tips, feedback and rants to: brent@austininno.com.

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