MADISON, Wis., Nov. 1, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Today Varsity Venture Studio – a collaborative venture studio between the University of Wisconsin-Madison, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and venture builder High Alpha Innovation – announced the public launch of FitStack (www.fitstack.dev), a proactive risk management solution for application development teams to address the ongoing challenges in managing software supply chain security.
To address these issues, co-founders Roger Cummings (CEO) and Dr. Mohannad Alhanahnah, Ph.D. (CTO) are positioning FitStack to streamline the overall DevSecOps process. Unlike passive tools that merely identify code and container vulnerability and configuration issues, the FitStack platform proactively addresses them, shows developers the changes that have been made, and ensures that modified applications will execute at runtime.
"In today's environment, it's essential for development teams to gain control, limit exposure, and reduce overall risk," explains Cummings. "FitStack is proactively driving security best practices into the earliest stages of the application development lifecycle. We are building FitStack to make sure our solution can fit into everyone's CICD pipeline in the most efficient manner. By reducing application attack surfaces, exposing application vulnerabilities, and generating compliance reports, we are protecting organizations from malicious events and delivering the insight they need to run their business."
Cummings and Alhanahnah bring decades of leadership experience in the data, cloud, networking, and infrastructure computing industries. Cummings is a serial entrepreneur who has led five early-stage companies to successful acquisitions, assisted in raising over $1B in funding while scaling organizations worldwide. He previously served as CEO of Evidence IQ, an evidence-based data intelligence company. Alhanahnah has extensive experience in software security research with a focus on leveraging static analysis, dynamic analysis, and formal methods for securing application and machine learning. He recently completed post-doctoral research in the lab of Dr. Somesh Jha, a professor in the Department of Computer Sciences at UW-Madison and a co-founding advisor to FitStack. They have co-authored several papers on improving application safety, security and privacy.
WARF not only helped launch the company as a partner in Varsity Venture Studio, but also licensed the technology to FitStack. Greg Keenan, Senior Director of WARF Ventures, notes, "Helping campus innovators like Drs. Jha and Alhanahnah bring their patented technology to market delivers on our mission to support the commercialization of UW-Madison research for both commercial and societal impact. We are really excited about the market opportunity the company is addressing and look forward to seeing what the FitStack team accomplishes from here."
"Development teams who aren't addressing risk management are already behind the curve, but they can't do it alone," concludes Elliott Parker, CEO of High Alpha Innovation. "Roger and Mohannad's solution to such a pressing problem is the perfect fit for building a startup via Varsity Venture Studio."
Varsity Venture Studio, a University of Wisconsin-Madison-wide venture studio, turns ideas into funded software businesses. Varsity Venture Studio is a collaboration between the University of Wisconsin-Madison, Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF) and venture builder High Alpha Innovation, and is the first university venture studio of its kind. Learn more about Varsity Venture Studio at varsityventurestudio.com, High Alpha Innovation at highalphainno.com, and about WARF at warf.org.