RSA Conference VC Event Showcases Early-Stage Security Start-Ups

RSA has said it plans to hold an unusual live venture-capital event at the upcoming RSA Conference to highlight emerging security technology from three start-ups.

The event, intended to unfold along the lines of the BBC’s Dragon’s Den and similar reality television programmes, will give three security start-ups 10 minutes each to pitch their ideas to a panel of leading venture capitalists.

Those who are successful may be given funding, RSA said.

The RSAC Launch Pad event is aimed at earlier-stage start-ups than the annual RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest, those with no revenue and no more than a first round of funding, organisers said.


“As an industry, we need to give these founders at the earliest stages of innovation a platform to share their ideas and gain the support needed to turn them into full-scale cybersecurity businesses,” said Enrique Salem, partner at Bain Capital Ventures.

Salem is to take part in the panel along with Theresia Gouw, co-founder of Aspect Ventures, and Ted Schlein, managing and general partner at Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers.

The three panel members selected the three participating companies from a pool of applicants meeting criteria including being incorporated for two years or less and whose products are not available for sale to the public by the time the event takes place on 5 March.

Early-stage security tech

“We’re striving to give creative thinkers and entrepreneurs the preeminent platform they need to gain exposure and make a lasting change on our industry,” said RSA Conference vice president Sandra Toms.

The three finalists are NuID, which uses  zero knowledge cryptography and blockchain technology to remove the need for businesses to store passwords; Spherical Defence, backed by GCHQ’s Cyber Accelerator, which is building applicationlayer anomaly detection for internal and external networks powered by deep learning and NLP; and Styra, whose Declarative Authorisation Service provides a graphical library of customisable policies for mitigating risks across Kubernetes environments.

Matthew Broersma

Matt Broersma is a long standing tech freelance, who has worked for Ziff-Davis, ZDnet and other leading publications

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