It's moments like these that truly highlight the journey and the impact of our collective work at Venafi. I'm thrilled to share that our team's dedication and innovation have been recognized on a world stage. Venafi has earned a spot on Inc.’s esteemed 2023 Best in Business list in the Security category. This honor, bestowed by Inc. magazine—a renowned authority in celebrating America's most influential and inspiring businesses—is a reflection of our unwavering commitment to excellence and the profound impact we've made in our industry and beyond.
Inc. noted that, “We’re thrilled to include Venafi in our fourth annual celebration of companies making the biggest impact on their communities, their industries, the environment, or society as a whole. The applicant pool was very competitive, and we hope you’re as proud of receiving this distinction as we are in giving it.”
We couldn’t be more excited about receiving this recognition from Inc. magazine. We know how difficult it is to make this list and we are honored and humbled to join the ranks of industry-leading visionaries. But in some ways, we are not entirely surprised. At Venafi, our guiding principle has always been to focus on creating meaningful impact—whether it's through our development fund, the Athena AI project for open-source developers, or our broader efforts in advancing cyber-security. It is a reflection of the HEARTS values each of our team member embodies.
Because these values are woven into the fabric or our business, we are well prepared to take on the fight to help our customers become successful. This “fighting for the right” mentality is just one of the reasons that we rally around the term warriors, when we refer to ourselves and our customers who are fighting to make the world a safer place for both humans and machines. This fighting spirit has led to innovations that advance cybersecurity and help our customers futureproof their businesses to prepare to defend against a rapidly changing threat landscape.
Case in point, Venafi created the Machine Identity Management Development Fund in 2018 to provide developers, startups and universities with funding to create innovative machine identity integrations. The fund includes an Indie Developers Program, which also funds individual developers who want to build innovative, open source machine identity projects. Venafi has since grown the fund significantly over the past year, propelling the open source community forward. With this, the company is helping develop the next generation of creative thinkers for the industry.
Over the past several years, Venafi has sponsored more than 50 developers through a $12.5M+ fund, utilizing a unique approach that funds creative thinkers and innovators who are making change happen in the open source community. Additionally, Venafi takes no equity or ownership in their IP. Without Venafi’s no-equity sponsorship, these developers would often not have access to the resources, community or capital to get their projects and ideas off the ground.
Through the Machine Identity Management Development Fund, Venafi has sponsored universities and graduate students at some of the most prestigious institutions in the world. Venafi was a two-time sponsor of Carnegie Mellon’s INI Practicum in College of Engineering for graduating master’s degree candidates, sponsored a Hackathon with the University of Edinburgh (including Cambridge and Oxford campuses), and sponsored a full-time, three-year PhD in Machine Identity Management in Oxford University’s Computer Science program. Through these sponsorships, Venafi is funding the projects and innovations of students who will then enter the world and get industry-leading jobs based on their involvement and knowledge.
In 2023, Venafi launched a first-to-market AI product for machine identity management called Venafi Athena, which showed the company’s continued commitment to the open source community with Venafi Athena for the Community on GitHub and Hugging Face. Additionally, the company released a new product called Venafi Firefly, which was originally a Development Fund concept.
As we celebrate this outstanding recognition from Inc., we are not just pausing to revel in our success; we are also looking ahead with renewed vigor and determination. This accolade serves as a catalyst, inspiring us to continue pushing the boundaries of innovation in machine identity management. Come join us as a team member, community participant, dev-fund participant, partner or customer. Together, we will continue to transform challenges into opportunities and lead the charge towards a more secure and prosperous tomorrow.