Friday Nooner: Security Journey’s Chris Romeo Traces Path To Successful Exit

On this week’s episode of the Friday Nooner the team again talked ForeverGrep, GrepBeat’s cool new swag store, as Joe reveals his new “Pete” shirt. Real estate was a re-occurring theme from last week’s episode, as the group congratulated longtime Nooner co-host Chantal Allam for her new gig as Real Estate reporter at The News and Observer. In the realm of Triangle startups in the real estate space, Plum Founder and CEO Matt Williamson was in the news this week for winning a $175K investment on the “Elevator Pitch” show hosted by Entrepreneur magazine. [Matt, a serial entrepreneur who founded Windsor Circle after running sales at Bronto, was a former Friday Nooner guest himself this May.]

This week’s guest is Chris Romeo, the co-founder and former CEO of cybersecurity training startup Security Journey and a recent Exit Stories guest, in which he recapped this year’s acquisition of Security Journey by Pittsburgh-based HackEDU.

Here are three key takeaways from this week’s episode.

  • Chris reveals that Security Journey is one of the only startups to come out of Fuquay-Varina, which if you’re new to the area, is a suburb of Raleigh that Chris argues is an official part of the Triangle. (All the others agreed.) Lillington is out of the Triangle, Fuquay is in—y’all heard it here first!
  • After a decade-plus-long career at Cisco in RTP, Chris realized he had reached the peak of his career at that company. That was the beginning of his “Security Journey” (pun intended) and despite his lack of startup experience he had faith that security training was a product that a company could market on its own. Clearly, the husband-wife duo of Chris and Deb Romeo made the right call. Chris sings his wife’s praises as a phenomenal businesswoman who pivoted from being a stay-at-home mom to their four kids to a CFO of a successfully acquired company.
  • Reflecting on the (true) story that Chris took 26 coffee meetings at his first three-day conference as CEO of Security Journey, he reveals how much coffee he actually drank in all those meetings: none! It wasn’t easy to have 26 meetings in-person (especially not without coffee) but as Exit Stories listeners would recall, the meetings led to a number of deals for the blossoming startup.

You can watch the full episode on LinkedIn here or Facebook here.

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