This story was written for our sponsor, the Wake Forest Business & Industry Partnership.

When it comes to cybersecurity, David Giambruno, Max Slabyak and Dimitry Slabyak, co-founders of Nucleaus, believe that compromised code is one of the biggest threats we face as humankind. The risk of breached code, they say, has shifted from the loss of data to the loss of life and property.

When people think of Wake Forest, lush landscapes, a charming downtown and a family-friendly atmosphere typically come to mind. But in addition to the idyllic lifestyle Wake Forest offers is the presence of innovation, business growth and entrepreneurial success like that of Nucleaus.

The town enjoys the benefit of being part of a booming region like the Research Triangle, but also boasts local resources of its own, like the globally renowned Wireless Research Center, which has helped launch more than 80 startups, Radeas Labs and Ultra Electronics Ocean Systems.

Additionally, Wake Forest citizens are some of the most educated in the region, with more than 54 percent of residents having a bachelor’s degree or higher. This makes for an intelligent and talented workforce that is not only capable of thinking up new ideas, but also bringing them to fruition.

Giambruno, an expert and a national leader in cybersecurity, has worked all over the world as a C-suite executive for various companies.

“I moved down here from New York City to be the CIO of Revlon,” said Giambruno, chief innovation officer of Nucleaus.

Revlon has a manufacturing facility in nearby Oxford that produces 75 percent of all Revlon products. After his time at Revlon, he moved to Shutterstock, where he began having conversations with colleagues about cybersecurity and the seedling of an idea was planted.

According to Giambruno, there are 12 trillion lines of code that currently exist. With approximately 3.5 million companies and 50 million developers worldwide creating new code every day, Giambruno said the amount of code is estimated to double in the next couple of years.

Anything that has a “digital engine” runs on code. This includes smart devices like your phone or tablet, cars and autonomous vehicles, medical devices, manufacturing, e-commerce and more.

“Everything is moving to code; look around your house, we all have Smart TVs. If you think about it, every company is essentially a software company,” Giambruno said. “The risk that we are globally facing isn’t an ecological disaster, but the security of code. If our code gets turned off or something bad happens, you end our way of life.”

To mitigate this potential risk, the Nucleaus team believes it is essential for companies and businesses to be able to easily and routinely scan their code and check for weaknesses, bugs, and breaches. Historically, this has been both challenging and expensive and the number of companies who do this on a regular basis — just 1.4 percent — reflect these hurdles.

Nucleaus set out to make the process simpler and more effective.

Nucleaus began in 2017. The platform scans nearly 24 billion lines of code each month and provides insights and cybersecurity intelligence to a vast range of users, from developers to CEOs.

“We have solved the scale and made the process super simple. With our platform we’re able to scan every piece of code continuously in the world for essentially a nominal fee. We’ve democratized it,” said Chief Product Officer Dimitry Slabyak. “It’s really automated software that is working for you instead of the other way around.”

“We really wanted to help solve this really, really big problem to help the world — that was our ethos,” said Max Slabyak, chief technology officer.

Realizing the viability and potential of this kind of platform, Dimitry pitched the idea of Nucleaus to Max and they then pitched the idea to Giambruno, who they had both previously worked with. The three entrepreneurs had a mutual respect for one another’s skills and talents and Dimitry calls their working chemistry “phenomenal.” Dimitry ventured to Wake Forest to discuss further details with Giambruno.

When Dimitry, who was living in Los Angeles with his family at the time, first arrived in Wake Forest, he was amazed.

“Coming from LA, I had lots of gigs on the East Coast and traveled all the time. You think you have a good grasp on quality of life, but you’re conditioned to the madness of a big city,” Dimitry said. “When I got here [to North Carolina] I got lost and ended up next to Wake Forest Middle School. I stopped because I saw kids my son’s age walking and bicycling to school, which reminded me of ‘The Brady Bunch.’ I was like, where are the parents? It didn’t register to me that kids could walk to school in a quaint town like you see on TV.”

Once here, Dimitry was in — both professionally and personally.

“I know every single person on my block. Everyone says ‘hello.’ It’s like a 1950s time capsule where you know all your neighbors,” he said. “Additionally, I’ve never seen a hub that’s so accessible and has all of these opportunities. This is where we decided that Nucleaus needed to be headquartered. Our partners, when they hear we’re from North Carolina and they see how close we are to major East Coast cities — it’s great. The airport here is great too and makes traveling for work really easy.”

Happy with the location, family life and amenities that Wake Forest offers, the team has been hard at work setting their company’s vision in motion.

One of Nucleaus’ goals is to not only offer democratized code security scanning that can help companies secure their revenue and intellectual property, but to also prevent history from repeating itself. Things like wind turbines and smart meters all depend on code and by implementing security standards, Nucleaus believes it will help enable markets to usher in code development innovation and “sit between government regulation and commercial entities.”

Nucleaus aspires to know how all digital engines run and what they do and “become the oil that helps digital engines run smoothly and safely” in the same way that Amazon knows what people buy, Netflix knows what people watch, and Google knows what people search for.

Nucleaus is currently working on raising capital and intends to hire more than 100 roles over the next few years to achieve its vision of providing accessible, global code security. The team hopes to find partners that share their vision and provide market access. They know that even though they have a cutting-edge product, true success is built on relationships and they haven’t created Nucleaus alone.

“We don’t consider Nucleaus a corporation, we’re a family, and here in Wake Forest it’s all about the family. We want to make sure that everybody who has helped give birth to this really reaps the rewards for them and their family, for all of their hard work, sacrifice and everything they’ve given up to make this happen,” Dimitry said.

Regional leaders believe that Nucleaus is “a one-of-a-kind startup with tremendous growth potential.”

“We’re thrilled for what Nucleaus will bring to our community and for the high-caliber people and lifestyle that our community will bring to Nucleaus,” said Jason Cannon, president of the Wake Forest Business and Industry Partnership. “This team is already becoming an asset to our town, and I’m excited to see how they shape the world from Wake Forest.”

This story was written for our sponsor, the Wake Forest Business & Industry Partnership.