Top security firm Kaspersky Lab has announced a global initiative to seek out “cyber-stars” – students and entrepreneurs who can make a contribution to the burgeoning cyber-security industry – and Israelis are invited. Those with the best ideas will be invited to the finals of the Kaspersky Security Start-ups Challenge in August, where they can win top prizes of $80,000.
To get there, candidates will have to go through some preliminary stages, including a workshop where local entrepreneurs will be showing off their ideas at an event organized by Kaspersky and Hebrew University on March 22-24 (applications accepted through March 21). Kaspersky is searching for early-stage start-ups in cybersecurity and related areas, such as fintech, healthcare, mobile, the Internet of Things, and the Cloud.
SSC will be held in a number of cities around the world. In addition to Hebrew U, the Israel the program will be held in cooperation with JNext, a program of the Jerusalem Development Authority, along with the Jerusalem Municipality and the Ministry of Jerusalem and Diaspora Affairs, which gives the framework of services, resources, support and assistance to start-up entrepreneurs and young technology companies.
A special committee will conduct the selection process, identifying the individuals and teams with the most promising, innovative or exciting proposals. Twenty-five Israeli companies will be selected for the workshop, and over the coming months they will work with mentors and receive support from Yissum, the technology transfer company of Hebrew U.
At the end, the most promising Israeli candidate will be selected for one of the 40 slots available in the main SSC event, where they will compete for the top $50,000 prize, or runner-up prizes of $10,000 and $20,000. Those finals will take place at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before a judges’ panel including VCs and media representatives.
”While the world is moving into a new era of Internet of Things (IoT), where all devices will be connected, there is a constant growing demand for cyber security innovations that will allow a balance between user privacy to the sharing of information. We believe that collaboration between the students and researchers of the Hebrew University and Kaspersky could yield innovations that would build tomorrow’s security demands” said Tamir Huberman, VP Business Development, Yissum.
According to Eugene Kaspersky, chairman and CEO of Kaspersky Lab, “As the cyber threat landscape becomes more and more dangerous, the world needs new ideas, new concepts and new approaches to cybersecurity. As a result, there’s been a significant increase in venture funding of early-stage startups in the industry. Young entrepreneurs today have an excellent chance to build a truly successful company. Technology startups have been massive wealth-generators for their owners and for society as a whole over the last few decades. Our company was a startup not that long ago, and I can confirm that it feels great to fight the bad guys and build your own business from scratch while doing so.”