Interview with Maria Lewis Kussmaul, Founding Partner at AGC Partners

Blog Post | October 20, 2020

Hi guys! This is Jael Whitney, volunteer for Kids in Tech. For Cybersecurity Awareness Month and #MassSTEMWeek, I’m going to be talking to professionals all across the cybersecurity industry about the future of STEM. Today, I’m interviewing Maria Lewis Kussmaul, Founding Partner at AGC Partners.

Credit: Maria Lewis Kussmaul

Maria, a Co-Founder and Partner at AGC Partners, leads the firm’s investment banking efforts in the IT security sector. A recognized domain expert, Maria is a frequent contributor to industry events, panelist/presenter at the RSA Conference, Member of Massachusetts Governor’s Cybersecurity Strategy Council, Security Innovation Network (SINET) Advisory Board Member, Naval War College Roundtable Participant and has facilitated numerous “Blue Sky” strategic planning sessions with leading security teams. Prior to co-founding AGC, Maria was a co-founder, general and venture partner of Castile Ventures, a seed and early stage venture capital firm. Maria’s early Wall Street career spanned three firms – Smith Barney, Shearson Lehman and Cowen & Co., culminating as global head of Cowen’s data networks & Internet investment banking activities. Working for nearly 40 years as a sell-side equity analyst, venture capitalist and investment banker, Maria has advised on hundreds of telecom equipment, networking, Internet and security transactions. Previously, she was named to the Institutional Investor All-American Research Team for 13 consecutive years. Maria holds a B.A. in Economics from Rutgers University, an M.B.A. from Wharton School of Business and a Chartered Financial Analyst designation. She was the 2013 recipient of the Boston Joseph Wharton Award.

Maria is a Trustee and Vice Chair of the board of the Museum of Science (MoS) in Boston, MA, and Chair of the Museum’s Discoverers’ Committee. She is also a member of the Board of Advisors to Boston Baroque.

A former marathoner, Maria now restricts her running to shorter distances and is a women’s running coach with 261 Fearless, a global women’s social running network. She has adopted the annual Washburn Climb of Mt. Washington, New Hampshire’s highest peak, as her chief fundraiser for MoS. Maria and her husband Wes are empty nesters and reside in Boston, MA.

How long have you been involved in Cybersecurity? What do you enjoy about it?

I have been involved in Cybersecurity as an investor or advisor for more than 25 years.  I enjoy the dynamics of the sector.  It is the only IT sector with an adversary and tends to attract sincerely mission driven professionals.

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Interview with Akshay Bhaskaran, Senior Cybersecurity Engineer at Visa

Blog Post | October 19, 2020

Hi guys! This is Jael Whitney, volunteer for Kids in Tech. For Cybersecurity Awareness Month and #MassSTEMWeek, I’m going to be talking to professionals all across the cybersecurity industry about the future of STEM. Today, I’m interviewing Akshay Bhaskaran, Senior Cybersecurity Engineer at Visa.

Credit : Akshay Bhaskaran

Tell me about yourself and your passion for Cybersecurity!

I got my undergrad in Information Technology from India, after which I came to the US to get my Master’s in Cybersecurity from Northeastern University, Boston. With good technical knowledge and hands-on experience in the field, I did two internships (or research work) focusing on different domains of Cybersecurity. Now, I am working as a full-time cybersecurity engineer in a fin-tech company.

I’ve been in this field for almost 6 years now, and I’m always passionate and excited about what I do. One great thing about Cybersecurity is you can choose a career path aligned with your interest. If you’re a person who likes to break things, you can be a red-team person focussing on how to break (or attack or bring down) the assets, and if you’re one who loves to secure things and respond to any breakage, you can be the blue-team guy. But, there are more than what a red- or blue-team plays in Cybersecurity, and the widespread opportunities in this field makes it a “hot” one in today’s fast growing world.

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Creating STEM Environments for Women to Thrive: Olu Ibrahim

Blog Post News Article | October 9, 2020

Editor’s Note: This interview in our Feminist Giving IRL series features Olu Ibrahim, Founder & CEO of Kids in Tech

1. What do you wish you had known when you started out in your profession?

As fundraising becomes more professionalized, as a collective, our industry [the non-profit industry] is neglecting the human element of the work we do. Rarely do we have the opportunity to attend professional development workshops that invite us to step back, explore and embrace our humanity. We must center, explore and embrace our humanity in fundraising. Fundraising for social change is about a lot of heart work. It is the heart work that will change our world for all. I too love data and the information it provides but let us keep that in mind.
It’s so easy for women to get in that space where you’re just everything to everyone all the time. We should be telling women and girls to take care of yourself, because that way, you’ll have more to give to those around you.

2. What is your current greatest professional challenge?

My greatest professional challenge has always been to make sure my staff and board have meaningful opportunities for them to grow and learn.  Speaking of growth, growing our organization so we can serve more kids especially during COVID-19 and beyond is also a huge challenge. 

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Kids In Tech Named Partner of Massachusetts STEM Week 2020

Press Release | October 7, 2020

Nonprofit Delivering After-School STEM Programs is Honored to Lead Cybersecurity Challenge for Students Across Massachusetts

LOWELL, MA, (October 7, 2020)Kids in Tech, the STEM education nonprofit that strives to excite, educate and empower nextgen leaders of the innovation economy, has been named a partner of the third annual Massachusetts STEM Week 2020 (STEM Week). 

STEM Week will take place this year from October 19 – 23, 2020 through a mix of virtual and in-person events, lessons, speaker panels, and design challenges highlighting the opportunities that exist in science, technology, engineering, and math. Organized by the Executive Office of Education and the STEM Advisory Council, in partnership with Massachusetts’ 9 Regional STEM Networks, MSW 2020 represents a statewide effort to boost the interest, awareness, and ability of all emerging learners in STEM. 

Kids in Tech has been selected as an organizational partner to host a cybersecurity challenge that aims to deepen students’ understanding of the architecture of the internet, and how it is designed to withstand both physical and electronic attacks. Some topics of focus will include online safety, securing the ‘internet of things’, career opportunities, and cryptography.

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