CyRise – accelerating cyber security startups

Impact story

CyRise, a partnership between Deakin University and global IT company NTT Ltd Australia, is a unique accelerator designed to invest in – and build – an ecosystem for cyber security startups.

Partnership highlights

  • CyRise, a partnership between Deakin and global IT company NTT Ltd Australia, is a unique accelerator for cyber security startups.
  • It is currently the Southern Hemisphere’s only accelerator with a specific focus on cyber security startups.
  • CyRise is building the capacity of the cyber security sector by investing in security companies and providing them with the experience, advice and support they need for success.
  • CyRise is helping to upskill and support the next generation of cyber security experts and businesses.

Creating an ecosystem that builds capacity

In an increasingly digital world, cyber-attacks are an everyday occurrence, causing devastating financial and reputational damage to individuals, businesses and governments. This means that globally, cyber security professionals are in high demand to protect organisations in all sectors from increasingly sophisticated cyber threats. The challenge is to meet this demand through the creation of a pipeline between these professionals and specialist companies, building Australia’s capacity and talent pool in cyber security.

CyRise, a partnership between Deakin University and global IT company NTT Ltd Australia, is a unique accelerator designed to invest in – and build – an ecosystem for cyber security startups. Offering a 14-week program exposing startups to international best practice, industry mentors and potential investors and customers, CyRise was established in 2017 and 27 companies have now graduated from the program. Among them are businesses that have since been named as one of 20 cyber security startups to watch by Forbes Magazine. Three have also been chosen to pitch for the Asia-Pacific RSA Launch Pad ‘Shark Tank’-style competition.

‘Sixty-three percent of our startups raise additional capital on graduating from CyRise, which is at world class standard,’ says CyRise CEO Scott Handsaker.

‘We’re graduating high quality companies with global potential and the market is deeming them worthy of investment.’

Supporting industry

The partnership brings together Deakin’s expertise in cyber security research, education and commercialisation and NTT’s global reputation in cyber security innovation and solutions.

‘The need for experts in the cyber security field is only increasing,’ says Ross Mahon, Acting Executive Director, Deakin Research Innovations. ‘We’re supporting industry in all sectors by helping to build Australia’s capacity in this area. Deakin’s specialist courses in cyber security were developed in consultation with industry and are providing a pipeline of employment-ready graduates and CyRise is helping to upskill and support the next generation of cyber security experts and businesses.’

Scott Handsaker says the need for cyber security is self-evident, but it’s also vital for the economy and jobs growth.

‘Investing in Australian cyber security capacity can play a part in creating high-value jobs in Australia. Long term, it’s a critical space to have expertise in – there are a lot of sectors that might disappear in the future, but cyber security is unlikely to be one of them.’

Deakin is researching in the cyber security space in innovative ways, providing skills to the industry as well as building a pipeline of terrific talent for the future.

John Karabin, Director of Cybersecurity, NTT Australia Ltd.

Key Board Members

Virginie Hoareau, Executive Director, Deakin Research Office

John Karabin, Director of Cybersecurity, NTT Australia Ltd

Scott Handsaker, CEO Cyrise

Having Deakin as a partner for CyRise has been a tremendously powerful addition to our program. Deakin’s depth of capability in cyber security research and its knowledge of the market has been a huge asset as we try and help our portfolio of companies grow globally. Whether as mentors, connectors, funders or co-innovators, Deakin has been there for us from day one.

Scott Handsaker, CEO CyRise.

Funding

CyRise received initial funding from Launch Victoria.

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