Partnerships in a Venture Era – Joining NightDragon for a New AdVENTURE

By Meera Shankar, Director, Business Development and Platform

My daily goals are simple: laugh at least twice a day and learn at least once a day. This philosophy has drawn me not only to the vibrant, volatile, and ever-changing world of cybersecurity but also to fostering partnerships and collaboration among its key players, innovators, and partners. 

Over the last 10 years, I’ve immersed myself in (and fallen in love with) the dynamic and evolving world of cybersecurity. Each day presents new challenges, but my guiding principle remains steadfast: enhance the industry through collaborative partnerships and actively contribute to its advancement by fostering valuable connections. As a result, I have navigated a diverse set of challenges faced by companies across industries, both large and small, and in the public and private sectors.

For someone always drawn to new adventures, I have found immense reward in consistently connecting with people on a personal level, drawing inspiration and learning from their accomplishments as well as their vulnerabilities. While working with top-tier pharmaceutical companies at Ogilvy, I relied on my personal struggles with health (and healthcare) to focus our advertisements on the real struggles faced by patients. At Clorox, I successfully championed a small idea about the realities of aging and skincare to a roomful of executives who agreed to fund R&D and launch the product in stores. Then, as I later transitioned to technology, my focus shifted to industry challenges, allowing me to build alliances that improve systems, infrastructure, and processes that drive stability and security. 

At Splunk, that meant serving as a leading voice for security within the organization for nearly seven years. While serving on the partnership and alliances team, I leveraged internal product offerings and joint GTM efforts to achieve 50% YoY ecosystem growth. I also had the opportunity to partner with executives on creating risk assessments, building internal cybersecurity training, and updating Splunk’s internal policies – all of which helped mitigate cyber risk across the organization. Most recently, I held many hats at a data security startup Okera, where I led evangelism and analyst relations and created thought leadership content.

In each role, my passion for cultivating partnerships has grown deeper, due mainly to my long-standing belief that partnerships foster a culture of collaboration, facilitating the exchange of both strategic and tactical ideas. But partnerships are more than just friendships. Partnerships contribute to the resilience of organizations by harnessing the power of diverse resources to approach a challenge or solution from a variety of perspectives. This collaboration extends to training, interoperability, the sharing of trends and threat intelligence, optimized resource allocation, and generally positive contributions to industry-wide standards and best practices.

This is why I am so excited to be joining NightDragon help lead its go-to-market NightScale efforts. The NightScale platform provides NightDragon portfolio companies with a pre-vetted, curated mix of partner frameworks (MSAs) to drive growth for the companies. By definition, venture capital requires investment in innovation and supporting the development of cutting-edge technologies. Partnerships create a foundational support system for these companies to thrive, and NightDragon has proven its commitment to this craft.  As our world and technology evolve, companies grapple with the challenge of aligning initial plans with reality, and I am thrilled to dive in, help separate the signals from the noise, and translate this into GTM strategies to help the companies excel. 

What NightDragon is doing is more important than ever in a rapidly changing risk and cyber landscape. What’s more, the role of cyber and cyber leaders is changing, placing greater emphasis on identifying and managing varying types of risk (from gaps in infrastructure, to employee behaviors). This paradigm shift not only encourages IT and CISO orgs to strengthen their partnership, but also encourages companies to collaborate to deliver “better together” solutions for industries and customers alike.

As an extrovert with a ton of energy, I thrive in dynamic environments grounded in connection and excel in cultivating comfort within teams and among partners, particularly when it comes to defining and implementing strategy and value proposition creation. My enthusiasm knows no bounds! I look forward to bringing that energy, as well as my experience, to the team. 

They say timing is everything, and the timing of this role feels perfect. I am so excited to be joining NightDragon and joining forces with Amy, Dave, Ken, Morgan and Barbara in this next chapter and look forward to many days of laughter and learning. 

If you’d like to connect or get in touch, you can reach me at