Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute gets boost from venture capital firm

May 25, 2017

As founder, chair, and CEO of Hercules Capital, Inc., Manuel Henriquez, DMSB’87, is an experienced venture capital investor who principally finances debt to venture growth companies. It’s what he does best, backing some of the most promising new business opportunities and helping them grow into game-changing—and even life-changing—enterprises.

So it’s no surprise that Henriquez employs the same expertise in his philanthropy. Recently, he and his company invested $250,000 in Northeastern’s new Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute. This gift strategically backs the vision of College of Computer and Information Science Dean Carla Brodley to reinvent the way top academic researchers, business leaders, and doctoral students work together to solve pressing problems in computer security and privacy. The newly launched institute will bring together faculty, researchers, students, government, and industry to develop solutions to today’s key security problems.

“There’s a lot that needs to be explored in cybersecurity,” Henriquez says, pointing to malware, advanced persistent threat attacks, low-level hardware security, security and privacy in mobile-cloud architecture, and internet-of-things security just to start. “As a financial services and venture capital company, Hercules needs to protect its data. We want to be a part of this work.”

Henriquez is also complimentary of the new executive director of the Cybersecurity and Privacy Institute, John Manferdelli. “It’s a treat to have someone who comes from industry, from Google, with his deep knowledge,” he says.

Cybersecurity is not the only cause Henriquez backs at Northeastern. He and his family also support the Torch Scholars Program for first-generation college students, and named a scholarship in honor of his late mother. “Northeastern literally transformed my life,” he says. “Now I’d like to be able to do the same for others.”