Polaris Partners taps IBM Security GM Hannigan as venture partner

Polaris Partners has hired Brendan Hannigan as a venture partner. Previously, Hannigan worked at IBM Security where he served as general manager. He will be based in the firm’s Boston office.


November 10, 2016 – Boston, MA – Polaris Partners today announced that veteran cyber security executive and entrepreneur Brendan Hannigan has joined the firm as a Venture Partner, based out of their Boston office. In his role at Polaris, Hannigan will concentrate his efforts on both funding and founding transformative security, cloud and SaaS companies.

Hannigan comes to Polaris after a highly-successful tenure as General Manager of IBM Security, where he grew the division to be the largest enterprise security provider in the world, with almost $2B in annual revenue. Before IBM, Brendan served as President and CEO of Q1 Labs, a Polaris-backed security intelligence and analytics company which was acquired by IBM in 2011. Under his leadership, QRadar, the company’s flagship platform, grew to be the #1 worldwide market share leader. Previously, Brendan was Vice President of Marketing and Technology at Sockeye Networks, a Polaris-backed company sold to Internap in 2003, and before that, was head of Network Industry Research at Forrester Research.

“For more than 15 years, we’ve known Brendan as a great business partner and a champion of innovation, both at small startups and global corporations,” said Polaris Managing Partner Dave Barrett. “We’re super-excited about the insight and perspective he’ll add to our technology team, and about the contributions he’ll make to our partnership. His addition continues a successful Polaris model in which we’ve recruited experienced operators and entrepreneurs with whom we have enjoyed long-term relationships to identify, invest in and grow compelling companies.”

As a Venture Partner, Hannigan will spend his time investing in technology startups, and will also seek opportunities, where appropriate, to add value as co-founder, executive chair, or CEO of those companies.

“Polaris has been an exceptional partner to me over many years,” Hannigan said. “I am very excited to continue this partnership as we work together with the brightest entrepreneurs to solve some of the most challenging issues in security, cloud and SaaS infrastructure facing enterprises today.”

About Brendan Hannigan
Brendan Hannigan joined Polaris Partners in 2016 as a Venture Partner. In this role, he focuses on funding and founding companies in the technology sector with a concentration in cloud infrastructure and cybersecurity. A 25 year technology industry veteran, Brendan was most recently the General Manager of IBM Security. Under Brendan’s leadership, IBM Security grew significantly faster than the overall security market to become the number one enterprise security provider in the world with almost $2B of annual revenue. Previously, Brendan was President and CEO of Q1 Labs, a pioneer and leader in the security intelligence and analytics market. Over eight years from 2003 to 2011 Brendan served in a variety of executive positions, including Executive Vice President of Marketing and Engineering, COO, President and eventually CEO. Before joining Q1 Labs, Brendan was Vice President of Marketing and Technology at Sockeye Networks, a route ­optimization firm that was sold to Internap in 2003. Previously, as director of network research at Forrester Research from 1996 to 2000, he oversaw the firm’s most successful practices, covering enterprise networks, security technology and public network services. Before Forrester, Brendan served in a variety of senior engineering roles at Digital Equipment Corp., Wellfleet Communications and Motorola. He currently serves on the board of Bitsight Technologies, a security ratings and third party risk technology company. Brendan graduated with honors in computer science from University College Dublin in Ireland.

About Polaris Partners
Polaris Partners invests in exceptional technology and healthcare companies across all stages of their life cycles.  With offices in Boston, San Francisco, and Dublin, we partner globally with an unparalleled network of entrepreneurs, top scientists and emerging innovators who are making significant contributions in their fields and improving the way in which we live and work. For more information, visit www.polarispartners.com.