Neil Patel

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In the realm of entrepreneurship, tales of success often overshadow the arduous journey of building a company from scratch. Hed Kovetz, the CEO and co-founder of Silverfort, a groundbreaking cybersecurity company, recently shared insights into his entrepreneurial journey in a recent interview.

From navigating the challenges of early-stage fundraising to fostering a resilient and collaborative company culture, Hed’s story is one of determination, learning, and, ultimately, a resounding success.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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Early Life in a Kibbutz

Hed Kovetz’s roots trace back to Israel, where he grew up in a kibbutz—an unconventional communal village. Hed fondly recalls the shared environment, emphasizing the sense of community, safety, and camaraderie.

Raised by parents with diverse backgrounds—an engineer father and an artist mother—his childhood was a blend of technology and creativity, laying the foundation for his future endeavors.

Military Service and Lessons in Leadership

In Israel, military service is mandatory, providing young adults with unique experiences and challenges. Hed served in Unit 8200 of the Israeli Intelligence Corps, akin to the NSA in the United States, specializing in cybersecurity and cyber offense.

His role as a commander exposed him to critical projects and honed his leadership skills. Hed acknowledges the significant impact military service had on his work ethic, discipline, and management capabilities, particularly in managing teams.

Hed opted to stay on for an extended time and went on to become a commander managing five teams doing cyber campaigns and research. He appreciated the opportunity to work with some of the best people he has ever met.

Transition to Cybersecurity Entrepreneurship

Post-military service, Hed delved into government security projects, gaining insights into national cybersecurity architecture. It was during this time that he recognized the pivotal role of identity security in cyber protection. He also worked in a few countries in Europe and Asia.

Hed describes his experiences of not just looking at organizations, but the entire internet communication of the whole country and understanding what attacks look like with a zoomed-out view. Being on the offense side in the military is like the go-to attack vector for cyber protectors.

Hed talks about how attackers can steal credentials and walk in through the front door by getting someone in an organization to reveal a password. They need not battle or use any sophisticated attacks, which is an easy blind spot for organizations.

Identifying a gap in existing solutions, Hed envisioned creating a company that addressed the evolving challenges in identity security. He wanted to do something in this field on the understanding that despite there being so many solutions out there for identity security, the problem is actually growing.

Hed decided to dive into identifying what is missing and why current identity security solutions are not actually solving the problem. Although he had a few theories, they quickly became irrelevant by the time he started building a product and meeting customers himself.

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The Birth of Silverfort and Early Challenges

Silverfort emerged as a solution to the growing complexities of identity security. It brings identity protection to every system, user, and environment in the organization. And that includes legacy systems, cloud, non-human identities, and command line tools.

Silverfort serves companies worldwide with teams in 15 countries. It operates in many markets and works with companies of every size and scope, ranging from small ones to the largest in the world, including Fortune 25 companies and customers.

Hed candidly shares the initial struggles in convincing investors about the potential of his venture. The challenge was not just in fundraising but in articulating a complex technological concept to potential backers.

Hed emphasizes the importance of perseverance and adaptability during these early stages. Especially for CEOs when, at the beginning, they don’t have any real products or customers and are trying to convince investors that they are going to build something unique.

However, Hed and his co-founder, Yaron Kassner, had the advantage of a military cybersecurity background. Today, Silverfort is adding a hundred new customers every quarter and has just completed a Series D funding for $116M, bringing the total to $222M over 5 rounds.

Storytelling is everything, which is something that Hed Kovetz was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel (see it here), where the most critical slides are highlighted.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

Product Market Fit and Evolution

Achieving product-market fit is a milestone in any startup’s journey. Hed stresses the significance of actively listening to customers, iterating on the product, being flexible, and embracing change. At the onset, Hed and his co-founders had a great team and a problem they could address.

However, around seven or eight years ago, identity security was not a very attractive problem for investors and customers to understand. During COVID, with people working from remote locations and using personal devices, there wasn’t any corporate network, and identity was almost the last line of defense.

The initial perception that security measures were inadequate shifted as Silverfort pivoted towards making security controls available for a broader range of systems. This transition marked the beginning of Silverfort’s journey toward becoming a market leader in identity security.

Cultivating a Strong Company Culture:

A critical element in Silverfort’s success is the emphasis on building a cohesive team and fostering a positive company culture. Hed draws parallels between his upbringing in a kibbutz and the collaborative environment he aims to cultivate within Silverfort.

The commitment to teamwork, transparency, and mutual support has contributed to low employee turnover and sustained success. As Hed points out, teamwork is the only advantage that smaller companies have over larger companies, which have more customers and resources.

Smaller teams work together better since they have a culture that makes the different departments partner with one another instead of being rivals, as in larger organizations. Hed was determined to get different people to work as a team and not allow politics and ego battles to get in the way of success.

He focused on building a team where they avoided fault-finding, which could result in toxic conversations. Instead, they helped each other and infused transparency and a culture of caring for the company. He successfully motivated them to go beyond working for just the salary.

Scaling Challenges and Vision for the Future

As Silverfort transitions from the early stage to the growth stage, Hed identifies three key elements: product, go-to-market strategy, and people.

The challenges include evolving from a single product to a comprehensive platform, maintaining a strong company culture, and navigating the complexities of growth.

Hed envisions Silverfort as the leader in unifying identity security, creating a seamless layer of protection across diverse systems. For instance, endpoint protection. Hed points out that customers don’t buy it separately from brands like HP, Dell, and Apple but purchase it from a single vendor that provides unified protection.

Silverfort is still in the process of overcoming challenges, but having a great product and dedicated customers are plus points. It has an excellent team in place with the unit economics sorted. Hed talks about constantly innovating, building, and supporting multiple products to ensure scalability.

He warns founders against stagnation and the importance of investing resources into innovation. He also underscores the importance of having robust channel partnerships like technology alliances and collaborating with cyber insurance companies.

These companies recommend Silverfort to their clients to get insured.


Hed’s journey from a kibbutz upbringing to the helm of a successful cybersecurity company exemplifies the resilience and adaptability required in entrepreneurship. The lessons learned from challenges, the commitment to innovation, and the focus on a collaborative company culture are integral aspects of Silverfort’s trajectory.

As Hed continues to lead Silverfort towards greater heights, his insights provide inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs navigating their entrepreneurial path.

Listen to the full podcast episode to know more, including:

  • Hed Kovetz’s upbringing in a kibbutz fostered a sense of community, safety, and collaboration, influencing his approach to building a company.
  • Hed’s military service in Unit 8200 imparted invaluable leadership skills and a deep understanding of cybersecurity, shaping his entrepreneurial journey.
  • Recognizing the growing challenges in identity security, Hed founded Silverfort to address the gaps in existing solutions, starting a journey of innovation.
  • The early days of fundraising were challenging, but Hed emphasizes the importance of perseverance, adaptability, and a willingness to learn from failures.
  • Achieving product-market fit required active listening to customers, iterative product development, and a willingness to pivot based on real-world feedback.
  • Drawing from his kibbutz experience, Hed prioritizes a positive company culture, promoting teamwork, transparency, and mutual support among Silverfort’s employees.
  • Looking ahead, Hed envisions Silverfort as the leader in unifying identity security, creating a seamless layer of protection across diverse systems and solidifying the company’s position in the market.


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Neil Patel

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