Recent cyberattacks, such as criminal activity against individual businesses or the work of a ‘state actor’ hacking into a Federal Parliament’s servers, emphasise the need to build Australia’s expertise in cybersecurity.
According to a recent report, a unique accelerator for cybersecurity start-ups is hoping to build the capacity of the sector.
Bolstering the cybersecurity sector
The accelerator will do it by investing in companies and providing them with the experience, advice and support they need for success.
The accelerator, called CyRise, is a partnership between Deakin University and a global IT company. It boasts to be the only accelerator in Australia that has a specific focus on cybersecurity start-ups.
Cybersecurity is a growing market in Australia. There are a lot of people working to lift the profile of cybersecurity and make the public aware of its importance.
Based in Melbourne, the accelerator offers cyber security start-ups from around Australia a six month program that exposes them to international best practice, industry mentors, and potential investors and customers.
In addition, it also invests A$ 50,000 in each successful program applicant.
It aims to help the start-ups go from what can be as early as the idea stage all the way to being a validated and sustainable global company.
Their model is geared towards working with technology start-ups looking to build something innovative in a scalable way.
For instance, some of the start-ups develop software that focuses on intrusion detection while others help people manage their cybersecurity operations. There are some that develop secure infrastructure for cloud hosting.
One of the unique aspects of the program is a ten day trip to Israel, where program participants are immersed in a “hypercompetitive, world-class cyber security ecosystem” of Tel Aviv.
Israel has a global reputation in cyber security and an enormous number of cyber security start-ups. The country has a depth of talent that is not yet in Australia.
Entry to the selective program is through a rigorous process of interviews and pitching. The selection committee will assess the investment and market potential of the idea and the company, and the founders themselves.
The successful teams have access to the knowledge and expertise of around 45 mentors over the course of six months.
They also have access to an industry advisor program that introduces them to potential customers.
The program culminates in a ‘demo day’ wherein the start-ups pitch their progress to potential customers and investors.
Leveraging on University expertise
The University’s involvement in the accelerator was a natural fit with the University’s depth of experience in cyber security.
The University has been heavily involved in cybersecurity research, offers speciality courses in the field and has a dedicated Centre for Cyber Security Research and Innovation (CSRI).
The accelerator encourages the people and shows them that it is possible to be an entrepreneur and if there is potential idea, it is ok to jump out of the corporate life and build a start-up because being successful is possible.