Accelerators targeting cyber security companies

Steven Loeb · March 15, 2018 · Short URL:

They include MACH37, SixThirty CYBER, The GCHQ Cyber Accelerator and CyRise

For startups, there are numerous paths for getting their name out there. One way, which Vator has been covering recently, are startup competitions, but another popular method to get a foot in the door, as well as some funding and traction, are accelerators. These are programs that provide companies advice, guidance and various forms of support for startups in their early stages. They also often invest in the companies, for a certain equity stake.

Need a list of startup competitions, challenges, accelerators, etc. from around the world? Check out VatorX. You can find them, or list yours!

There are some very well-known accelerators out there, including Y Combinator and 500 Startups, which have made their names through various successful alumni. Those programs fairly general, accepting companies from a variety of different spaces. 

For some companies, it may help to join an accelerator that only focuses on their specific area. That's especially true for those in more specialized spaces, which will have their own unique challenges and regulations.

Here are some of the accelerators that are focused specifically on mentoring companies in the cyber security space:


MACH37 Cyber Accelerator

"The Accelerator is designed to facilitate the creation of the next generation of cybersecurity product companies. MACH37's unique program design places heavy emphasis on the validation of product ideas and the development of relationships that produce an initial customer base and investment capital."

Investment amount: $50,000 per team for 4% equity

Program benefits:  Not specified

Mentor makeup: Stuart Itkin, Igor Volovich, Michael Wellman, Mark Goldstein

Portfolio companies: CyberAcademy, CynjaTech, Hideez Group, RunSafe Security


SixThirty CYBER

"Backed by CISOs and other corporate executives and the venture capital firm Cultivation Capital, SixThirty CYBER is a business development program that invests up to $250,000 in a handful of cyber security-based technology startup companies each year. The selected companies receive hands-on training, mentoring, and networking opportunities with the top CISOs and executives of regional private companies (like financial services, manufacturing, and aerospace/defense) as well as Federal Sector leaders in defense, finance & intelligence nationally."

Investment amount: SixThirty CYBER invests up to $250,000 per team in a handful of early-stage Cyber Security startups per year.

The funding is typically an equity investment. Its stake in the company is negotiable.


Program benefits:  Pro-bono and discounted legal and accounting services, Amazon Web Services credits, and co-working office space in the T-REX tech startup incubator.

Mentor makeup: Sean Asbury, Joshua McAfee, Tom Roewe, Stuart Solomon, Bob Putnam

Portfolio companies: Gremln, Lending Standard, Wealth Access, PromisePay



"With a clear focus on business development opportunities, startups accepted into the program will potentially receive funding from Plug and Play Ventures, weekly mentor sessions with industry thought leaders and introductions to investors."

Investment amount: $25,000 to $500,000

Program benefits:  Weekly mentor sessions with industry thought leaders, and opportunities for potential pilot projects, all culminating at our quarterly demo day, EXPO.

Portfolio companies: Not specified



Invest in #1 America's Top Startups with Angel Kings

"We are solving moonshot problems in cybersecurity with the best startups in the world."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  

You will receive mentorship, guidance, and potential investment from a team of experience cybersecurity professionals.  

In addition, you'll receive the following:

  • Office space (up to 2 team members)
  • Video studio (green screen, demo videos)
  • Free High Speed Wi-Fi 
  • iMac 5k Retina Computer Use
  • Desk and Workspace 

Portfolio companies: Authy, Checkr,  Palantir Technologies



"The GCHQ Cyber Accelerator is a collaboration between the UK Government Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), Wayra UK, part of Telefónica Open Future_, and the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC)."

Investment amount: The companies will receive financial support of £25k per company. Neither GCHQ, the NCSC or DCMS will be taking equity in any of the companies. However, its accelerator partners and other companies supporting the start-ups are welcome to invest if they wish and the companies agree to this, but this is not a requirement for entry to the programme.

Program benefits:  

  • Access to GCHQ and Telefónica cyber experts

Mentoring from the country’s leading cyber experts

  • Extensive acceleration services

Access to Wayra UK’s network and knowhow, and training in entrepreneurship and business skills

  • Telefónica business development

Access to Telefónica’s network of 300m customers across 17 countries

  • Access to a dedicated accelerator facility

Access to state-of-the-art, modern facility for start-ups

Portfolio companies: RazorSecure, Intruder, Warden, Cybershield, Elliptic



"Darkfield is a 3 month intensive program, both remote and in-person, focusing on cybersecurity product development, company building, and sales. Our explicit goal is to help you build the right product and generate early revenue."

Investment amount: Darkfield makes a direct capital investment and brings on leading platforms and services providers for an additional value of over $250,000.

Program benefits: Darkfield brings in support from top cybersecurity and tech branding professionals to help you build the right story around your company and generate the right brand for your customers.

Darkfield brings in support from top cybersecurity and tech branding professionals to help you build the right story around your company and generate the right brand for your customers.

While Darkfield focuses on product development and sales, we also know that startups need to raise capital. From investor relations development to helping you craft the perfect pitch, we help you get ready to raise the right amount of capital from cybersecurity and tech focused investors.

Portfolio companies: Not specified



"ICE71 Accelerate is a three-month accelerator programme for early-stage cybersecurity start-ups. During this programme, start-ups will participate in a curriculum run by CyLon, the leading European cybersecurity start-up accelerator, to sharpen their company's value proposition, go-to-market strategy, commercial model and business strategy."

Investment amount: Participants will receive capital funding and have access to a co-working space within ICE71. 

Program benefits:  Tapping into the ICE71 ecosystem, each cohort will have access to mentors, networking events and workshops, go-to-market channels, and enterprise grade cybersecurity resources such as a cyber-range, to test and showcase their solutions.

Portfolio companies: None yet



"You’re working on a world-class cyber security solution. To succeed, you’ll need more than technology."$50,000 as part of a capped SAFE note

Investment amount: $50,000 as part of a capped SAFE note

As well as giving you $50,000 at the start of the program we'll also fund your trip to Israel. One founder from each successful team will join us in Israel for 7-10 days as part of a structured events program. If your co-founder wants to come as well we would love that, but your startup would need to cover that cost (around $5k).

Program benefits:  

  • In our six-month, mentor-driven accelerator program, you’ll get all you need to successfully take your idea to a global market.
  • Connect directly with early enterprise customers through our Corporate Partner Network. Want to talk to a specific CISO? We’ll open the door for you.
  • Work with field-leading researchers from Deakin University, whose tech and discipline-specific expertise will help tap your true potential.
  • Access all the support you need. Our partners offer the full extent of their combined resources to every program participant.
  • Embark on a structured trip to Israel for a broader perspective on the cyber security landscape, and finish up in the USA, the heartland of security innovation and fast-growth startups.

Mentor makeup: Tony Smales, Michelle Price, Jeff Paine ,Casey Ellis, Leni Mayo, Nick Crocker

Portfolio companies: Not specified


 Baker Donelson Emerging Companies Logo

"The mission of Baker Donelson's Cybersecurity Accelerator (BDCA) is to accelerate the growth of domestic and international cybersecurity companies within Atlanta's unique cybersecurity ecosystem. BDCA provides office space and connects emerging companies to mentorship, talent, customers and capital."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  

  • Discounted prime office space in the Cybersecurity Accelerator Center in Buckhead
  • Dedicated mentors with broad experience and a large network in cybersecurity and startups.
  • Networking opportunities during CyberCon.Us and other events.

Mentor makeup: Steve Bachman, Brian Patrick Cork, Nelson Chu, Steve Dotson, Derek Harp, Josh Linder, Roger N. Mahler

Portfolio companies: WitFoo, Gyomo



"This is an invitation only accelerator that identifies and selects the 'best-in-class' pre-seed and seed stage start-ups"

Investment amount: Companies receive CHF 15,000 to cover expenses during the program. Rising Star will facilitate meetings with potential investors throughout the program and, after 13 weeks, they will organise a Demo Day where the companies will pitch to interested prospective investors. They  will help and provide practical support to close the company's funding round for the remaining 11 weeks. In return, Rising Star will receive 5% of the company’s equity.

Program benefits: 

  • 13 week’ course, Tuesday to Thursday, each week
  • Company specific workshops
  • 30+ guest speakers Support throughout the program Post-Demo Day focus for 11 weeks
  • Access to security focused investors

Portfolio companies: Not specified



"The mission of 10X Cyber Accelerator is to deliver targeted intensive assistance to established high-potential tech and tech-enabled ventures that are primed for growth beyond the startup or early stages. The 10X Cyber Accelerator provides much needed targeted support to these growth-oriented ventures with a specific focus of supporting the architecture assessment, and/or recommendations for scalable software and world-class cybersecurity technology."

Investment amount: Not specified

Program benefits:  The 10X Cyber Accelerator is based in Conway, Arkansas. It is a 20-week program that meets weekly on Tuesdays from 3-6 p.m. It is presented in partnership with Metova, the Conductor, the Arkansas Economic Development Commission and Startup Junkie.

Portfolio companies: None yet

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