SAN FRANCISCO — February 20, 2024 — In-Q-Tel, Inc. (IQT) and Silicon Valley Bank (SVB), a division of First Citizens Bank, named Protect AI the winner of the 11th annual SVB & IQT Discovery Event, hosted on January 31, 2024 in San Francisco.

Ian Swanson, CEO & co-founder of Protect AI, presented the company’s ML Security Operations (MLSecOps) platform, which provides visibility, auditability, and security across the entire lifecycle of AI applications and machine learning models. 

“Protect AI is immensely grateful to SVB and IQT for this recognition,” said Swanson. “At Protect AI, we pride ourselves on offering the broadest and most comprehensive platform designed to secure artificial intelligence systems within enterprises. Our commitment to ensuring the utmost security of AI technologies resonated with the esteemed judges’ understanding that the integration of AI into the enterprise must be synonymous with the security of AI. This recognition not only validates our efforts but also reinforces our dedication to advancing the field of AI security.”

“There is so much innovation happening at the intersection of generative AI and security.” said Katie Gray, Senior Partner, IQT. “We had a mix of startups at the event, some tackling the problem of the security of generative AI (GenAI) itself and others leveraging this powerful technology to augment human cybersecurity analysts. The industry judging panel of CISOs and AI experts was impressed with all of the companies that presented.”

Now in its 11th year, this annual event offers startups the opportunity to pitch their technology to intelligence and defense community representatives, as well as to investors and executives leading companies and other organizations. Ten startups were selected to present their businesses to a panel of government and Fortune 500 executives including representatives from Microsoft, Elastic, JP Morgan Chase, Google DeepMind, and Netflix.

With GenAI becoming more prevalent, organizations must ensure that AI is used for good or to prevent or identify misinformation. As organizations navigate this nascent and dynamic landscape, the challenge is to harness the innovative capabilities of GenAI with a visionary approach that enhances the human experience in powerful and positive ways. The ultimate value of the new technology will be determined by our capacity to integrate it responsibly into the ecosystems of work, creativity, and enterprise software.

The companies selected to participate in this Discovery Event offered technology solutions focused on responsible and ethical AI, hosting and/or securing large language models (LLMs), and/or applying GenAI to cybersecurity workflows.

“Congratulations to all the startups on being selected to participate in this very important program. The intersection of generative AI and security is a collective initiative that CISOs are eager to combat and solve, and we’re thrilled to facilitate learnings and connections with this community,” said Emma Eschweiler, Director, SVB.

About IQT

IQT is the not-for-profit strategic investor the national security community and its allies have relied upon for nearly 25 years to anticipate their technology questions and needs, and achieve solutions. IQT identifies, evaluates, and leverages emerging commercial technologies to deliver best-in-class capabilities, insights, and other services to government partners through a unique global investment platform. For more information visit

About Silicon Valley Bank

SVB, a division of First Citizens Bank, is the bank of some of the world’s most innovative companies and investors. SVB provides commercial and private banking to individuals and companies in the technology, life science and healthcare, private equity, venture capital and premium wine industries. SVB operates in centers of innovation throughout the United States, serving the unique needs of its dynamic clients with deep sector expertise, insights and connections. SVB’s parent company, First Citizens BancShares, Inc. (NASDAQ: FCNCA), is a top 20 U.S. financial institution with more than $200 billion in assets. First Citizens Bank, Member FDIC. Learn more at

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