RSA Conference 2019 Expands Innovation Program To Celebrate Infosec Entrepreneurs At All Stages Of Growth

By CIOReview | Friday, November 2, 2018
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BEDFORD, MA RSA® Conference, the world’s leading information security conferences and expositions, today announcessubmissions are open for the returning RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest and the first-ever RSAC Launch Pad.

RSAC Launch Pad will give three chosen security innovatorsthe coveted opportunity to pitch their company to three high-profile venture capitalists in a Shark Tank®-style format. If the prominent VCs like the 10-minute pitch, participants could go home with real funding and support to expedite their company’s growth. Interested parties can apply onlineto compete in RSAC Launch Pad.

Returning for its 14th year, RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest is accepting submissions to name the “RSAC Most Innovative Startup 2019.” Past winners include successful companies such as Phantom, Invincea, UnifyID and most recently BigID.In the past five years alone, the contest’s top 10 finalists have collectively seen 12 acquisitions and have received over $2.05 billion in investments. Qualifying companies can apply online for a chance at competing in RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest.

Companies interested in participating in either RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest or RSAC Launch Pad are invited to submit an entry online no later than 8 p.m. PT on Tuesday, December 4. Top 10 finalists for RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest will be announced at the end of January2019 and the three selected participants for RSAC Launch Pad will be announced mid-February 2019. Terms and conditions for both events can be found here.

The addition of RSAC Launch Pad will broaden the opportunities for the industry’s boldest and brightest thinkers to turn their innovative companies into full-scale, influential cybersecurity businesses. RSAC Launch Pad is geared toward earlier-stage companies with no revenue, whileRSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest is tailored to start-ups under five years of age with less than $5 million in annual revenue.

“Over the past few years, RSAC’s innovation programming has experienced a growing interest outside of Silicon Valley, with entrepreneursfrom Belgium, Australia, France and Israel submitting to and taking part inRSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest. Our goal is to expand opportunities even further, for innovators at all points in their career and from all corners of the globe,to bring their ideas to fruition,” said Dr.Hugh Thompson, RSA Conference Program Chair, one of the experts behind the creation of RSAC Launch Pad and host of both events. “I think we’re going to see a lot of uniqueand creativeapproaches to today’s biggest cybersecurity challenges presented in March, and I can’t wait to seethe collective brainpower behind these ideas.”

RSAC Early Stage Expo will also expand this year to include 50 of the industry’s most promising newcomers in its expo hall in the Marriott Marquis. Each startup will provide short demos of their innovative products and solutions to attendees at their kiosks, as well as give informative talks in the Early Stage Expo Briefing Center. On Monday, March 4, RSA Conference will host a half-day “How-To for Innovators and Entrepreneurs Seminar” aimed at attendees interested in learning more about obtaining funds, approaching busy CISOs and clients, and best practices in go-to-market.

For the first time, the RSAConference Innovation Sandbox Contestwill be workingwith international business news outlet,The Wall Street Journal. This new partnership supportsRSAConference’s goal to advance the information security industry forward on aglobal level by shining a spotlight on the innovation happening in the security industry around the world.

“There are very few other industries that need the forward-thinking, creative ideas that the cybersecurity field does today, a space that is expanding and shifting almost daily,” said Rob Sloan, Cybersecurity Research Director at The Wall Street Journal. “We’re excited to be an event partner with RSA Conference’s Innovation Sandbox Contest and Launch Pad this year, and we know that the concepts presented on stage during these two events will change the security industry for decades to come.”

A summary of the evaluation criteria for RSAC Launch Pad:

• Company has been incorporated for two years or less
• Company is privately held with no revenue
• Company has no more than a first round of funding
• Product has the potential to make a significant impact on the information security space
• Product is not available for commercial sale to the public on or before RSA Conference 2019 (March 4 - 8, 2019), but is expected to be launched by summer 2019

After the submission period ends on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 8 p.m. PT:

• Entries will be reviewed and ranked by participating venture capitalists
• The 3 selectedparticipantswill be notified at the beginning of February
• The 3 selected participants will be recognized on the RSA Conference website and will be promoted in other RSA Conference public relations efforts
• The 3 participantswill be invited to pitch their product to the panel of venture capitalists and attendees live at 4:30 p.m. PT on Tuesday, March 5 in the Marriott Marquis - Yerba Buena Ballroom

A summary of the criteria to compete in RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest:

• The product has been in the market for less than one year (launched between December 1, 2017 and December 1, 2018)
•The product matches an identified problem in the information security marketplace
• The product takes an original and sound approach to solving a problem and has the potential to make a significant impact on information security
• The product is validated through a client’s beta testing or purchase of product
• The product can be demonstrated live and on-site during the RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest
• The company has a management team with a track record of successfully delivering products to market
• The company is privately held, with less than $5M in revenue in 2018

After the submission period ends on Tuesday, December 4, 2018 at 8 p.m. PT:

• Entries will be reviewed and rankedby a panel of judges that include venture capital professionals, CISOs and other outstanding industry experts
• The top 10 ranked companies will be notified at the end of January 2019
• The top 10 finalists will be recognized on the RSA Conference website with company and product profiles, and will be promoted in other RSA Conference publicrelations efforts
• Finalists will be invited to demo their products and present their three-minute business plan tothe judging panel and attendees live at 1:30 p.m. PT on Monday, March 4 in the Marriott Marquis - Yerba Buena Ballroom