Startup Competition Guide


Startup competitions seeking cyber security companies

They include SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event, Cybertech Startup Competition and Fintech Vortex’18

Innovation series by Steven Loeb
March 8, 2018
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If you're a startup seeking opportunities to get funded, educated or connected, startup competitions are a great resource.

Vator has been holding its own competitions, using VatorX, to find and filter for the best startups. We've had some very successful and notable winners in the past that have gone on to raise big funding rounds including Thumbtack, DogVacay, Pokitdok, Grovo, Udemy and Apartment List, to name a few.

Anyone can list their program as VatorX is one of the most comprehensive listing guides to startup competitions, challenges, accelerators and programs. Click here to list your program!

As part of our weekly series, we'll look at top competitions with big cash prizes, as well as competitions that have teed up the most promising startups, to finding popular startup competitions you need to know about. 

Here are some of the startup competitions that are focused on security companies:


Description: "The tenth annual SXSW Accelerator Pitch Event will take place during Startup & Tech Sectors on Saturday, March 10, Sunday, March 11, and Monday, March 12. A live audience, as well as a panel of expert judges, will discover advancements in various sectors of emerging technology at this SX event."

Investment amount: The winning prizes include two (2) Interactive badges for the 2019 SXSW Interactive event, various SXSW Accelerator sponsor gifts and, most importantly, the opportunity to receive exposure to the SXSW audience looking out for the latest in cutting-edge technology. Additional prizes will be announced as the event date approaches.

Previous winners: Bandura, PolyPort, 14bis Supply Tracking, Secure Code Warrior, Storro B.V.


Description: "We are proud to present the second Cybertech Startup Competition powered by YL. Ventures! Enjoy this great opportunity to expose your startup to leaders of the most influential vendors, customers and investors in the international cybersecurity landscape and learn how they evaluate early-stage cybersecurity start-ups!"

Prize: 2 tickets to RSA conference + airfare expenses

Previous winners: Perimeter 81, Protego, 


Description: The rapid technology advancement has made the use of the Internet a part of people's daily lives. However, lawbreakers always take advantage of security loopholes on computers and launch various cyber attacks that lead to massive losses to individuals and private and public organizations. As a result, it is crucial for maintaining cyber security."


  • Champion: Xbox One S with 1 game Half-day Parent-Child workshop at Microsoft
  • 1st runner-up: MS Office Home & Business 2016, Sculpt Ergonomic Desktop, Half-day Parent-Child workshop at Microsoft
  • 2nd runner-up: MS Office Home & Student 2016, Microsoft Arc Touch Mouse, Half-day Parent-Child workshop at Microsoft

Previous winners: Not specified


Description: "A Cyber Defense Competition (CDC) is a competition that focuses on the defensive/hardening nature of cyber security.  A typical CDC has a Blue Team (defenders) that protects a network infrastructure from the Red Team (attackers). A blue team consists of college students who secure and harden their competition system. A red team consists of students or industry professionals that work to cause cyber destruction to the blue teams’ network infrastructures."

Prize: Not specified

Previous winners: University of Illinois Chicago, Kansas State University, Dakota State University



Description: "Collaborate with us for Fintech Vortex’18, the largest fintech and security event in Europe during StartupFest. Be part of this opportunity and spread the values to your network!"

Prize: Not specified 

Previous winners: Not specified


 University at Albany - State University of New York

Description: "The Blackstone LaunchPad at UAlbany is pleased to announce this year’s Student Business Plan Competition. Winners will receive prize money for their startup business."

Prize: A total of around $8,750 will be awarded at the Domain Specific Pitch competition. For the University-wide Final Pitch, the top winning teams will compete against each other. Three prizes totaling about $8,500 will be awarded in the University-wide Final Pitch competition. All participants will receive Blackstone LaunchPad at UAlbany “gea

Previous winners: Not specified

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