CoolTech Club with Igor Plotnikov : Pioneering SSL VPNs - technological lesson from successful startup founder


September 5,2007


Dr. Plotnikov presents in-depth technical and business review of SSL VPNs - innovative network security technology he pioneered with his uRoam startup.
By leveraging the ubiquity, extensibility, ease of use of the web browser as a client, and the robustness of https protocol as a transport, SSL VPNs (Secure Sockets Layer Virtual Private Networks) deliver a comprehensive set of tools to cover wide range of user scenarios from occasional Intranet access to enterprise-scale remote access solutions with load balancing, failover, and fine-grained access-controls.

In conclusion, Dr. Plotnikov discuss useful lessons to learn from uRoam history of conception, founding and funding, growth and successful acquisition by one of the best network equipment companies.


Igor Plotnikov, Ph.D., Director of Engineering, Cisco Systems.

Dr. Plotnikov is a serial entrepreneur, inventor and engineer.

Dr. Plotnikov works on network security solutions at Cisco (NASDAQ:CSCO) after the acquisition of his second startup MI Secure. Previously to MI Secure, he served as VP of Engineering at F5 Networks. He joined F5 (NASDAQ:FFIV) as a result of its acquisition of uRoam, Inc. a pioneer in the SSL VPN market. Before co-founding uRoam, Dr. Plotnikov worked for Netscape Communications on key products such as CoolTalk and Netscape Conference.

Prior to Netscape, he held the position of scientist at InSoft, which was acquired by Netscape in 1996. Early in his career, he was a co-founder and chief engineer at Stoik Software, Ltd., a private Russian company dedicated to image processing software development. He received his physicist-engineer diploma with honors from the Moscow Institute of Physics and Technology followed by a Ph.D. in Physico-Mathematical Sciences from the Institute in 1988.


What They Say About Us

"The wonderful thing about entrepreneurs is that their passion for starting new companies transcends languages and geographic boundaries."

Ron Conway, Founder and Managing Partner of the Angel Investors LP funds, early stage investor in Google and PayPal

"Networking is very important for start-ups. The challenge for them is often not money: it is mentoring and finding people who can give good advice from experience."

Esther Dyson, Founder, EDventure Holdings

"This conference is clearly a labor of love for a group of dedicated professionals who care deeply about the Eastern European entrepreneurs. From the value-packed educational panels, to the star-studded key note speakers' line up, to an amazing quantity of venture capitalists – this is a not to be missed event for any high tech entrepreneur,"

Richard Guha, President of the Marketing Executives Network and Managing Partner at MaxBrandEquity

"As Stanford MBA students, we were exposed to a lot of VC firms both from the Valley and abroad. It is at Stanford that we met Anna Dvornikova, an absolutely amazing business leader and (by our big luck) our friend, who was the center of the Russian Silicon Valley professional community, and was doing a huge work to connect Russia and the Valley. Anna helped us a lot with kick-starting Wikimart, put us to our first-ever conference, introduced us to most of Russian VCs. And all that happened in a very short time span! It was the beginning of a six-month journey that despite the particularly tough times resulted in an extraordinarily group of investors backing our start-up."

Maxim Faldin and Kamil Kurmakayev,
co-CEOs, Wikimart