CAMBRIDGE, Mass.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Highland Capital Partners, an early stage venture capital firm that helps early stage disruptors become industry leaders, today announced the beginning of its renowned summer accelerator for security startups, the Cybersecurity Factory 2018. Startups will receive a $35,000 investment and participate in the 10-week mentoring program at Highland’s office near the Harvard and MIT campuses.
Started in 2015 as a collaboration between Highland Capital Partners and MIT PhD candidates Jean Yang and Frank Wang, Cybersecurity Factory is an immersive startup accelerator that gives each team access to direct mentorship opportunities, leadership development training, potential customers, and a community that can provide feedback on both the technical solution and the consumer-facing product. The program includes mock board meetings, focused business and technical guidance from investors and direct mentorship from the nation’s top cybersecurity experts.
“When we began Cybersecurity Factory, we wanted to provide entrepreneurs with the guidance and connections they needed to fine tune their offering and navigate the challenging startup ecosystem,” said Frank Wang, Co-founder of Cybersecurity Factory. “With alums such as Commonwealth Crypto and Stealthmine securing more than $1.5 million in seed funding following their summer with us, we know our program is providing entrepreneurs with the business direction they need to bring solutions to market.”
This year’s Cybersecurity Factory participants tackle the most pressing issues within cybersecurity and data privacy, areas that consumers, businesses and government alike remain focused on. As global regulations such as GDPR come to fruition and new cyber threats emerge weekly, the cybersecurity world continues to look for new ideas and approaches for securing the digital world. Highland Capital Partners has a history of bringing the most advanced, talented cybersecurity companies to market, including Carbon Black, Imprivata and Malwarebytes.
The following innovative startups will participate in the Cybersecurity Factory this year:
- Akita – Founder Jean Yang, Assistant Professor at Carnegie Mellon University, is building a platform for collecting and sharing sensitive data in health and other domains, based on her research on programmatically enforcing data privacy policies on sensitive data.
- Bluefyre – This cloud-native application security solution developed by Sabin Thomas and Tim Buntel gives developers the power to build secure applications that can detect and prevent threats at runtime, without the need for security experts.
- Convertive – This security metrics platform led by Dan Chapman and John Murray uses actual dollar figures and data to evaluate the performance of your entire security approach.
- Kee.sh – Founder Sam Scott offers secret management-as-a-service to help developers build and maintain secure infrastructure and applications.
“Enterprises understand what is at stake when it comes to data privacy and cybersecurity, but most application developers aren’t security experts and need assistance to bake security into their product or services from the beginning,” said Tim Buntel, co-founder of Bluefyre. “Our platform makes putting security first easy for organizations who lack dedicated security teams. Tapping into Highland’s knowledge and connections is the opportunity we hoped for to take our business to the next step and address this widespread industry challenge.”
Cybersecurity Factory startups will work from Highland’s office in Cambridge during the program and meet weekly with Highland Partners and mentors. This year’s mentoring team includes senior executives from Qualys, Imprivata, SAP, Synack, Akamai, LogMeIn, IBM, AT&T, ISACA, Netflix, Twitter, IDC, and Cisco Systems. In addition to sponsorship from Highland, the program receives support from Comerica, Latham & Watkins, Akamai, Imprivata, Rapid7, and Cybereason.
About Highland Capital Partners
Highland Capital Partners is an early stage venture capital firm with a track record that includes 45 IPOs and 115 M&As. With offices in Cambridge and Palo Alto, Highland has raised over $3B in committed capital and invested in more than 270 companies during its 30 years. Its investments have resulted in category-defining businesses across consumer and enterprise technology, including 2U, Gigamon, Catalant, Harry's, Malwarebytes, nuTonomy, Rent the Runway, SmartThings, ThredUP, Carbon Black, and Turbonomic.