Innovative Cybersecurity Solutions and Founder Spirit at Final Pitch Event


Ten innovative cybersecurity startups successfully have completed the "SpeedUpSecure" accelerator program. At the final pitch event, they presented their business ideas to a top-class jury and expert audience. The winning teams will receive prize money totaling 20,000 Euros. The three best-placed startups are: Startup Sanctuary (1st place), Startup Validaitor (2nd place) and Startup Lubis EDA (3rd place). The Innovation Award went to Startup Devity.

From left to right: Carlina Bennison, Alexander Busse, Joao Moita, Benedikt Völker, Julius Ponsen, Naby Diaw, Andre Angkasa, Dr. Max Birtel, Egidius Huyben, Dr. Yunus Bulut, Iskro Mollov, Dr. Patrick Jauernig, Dr. Judith Wunschik, Christoph Milder, Shahin Dashti, Carola Heyn-Benedikt, Dr. Matthias Wübbeling, Dr. Leonid Glanz und Sophie Wenning.


Winner of the Final Pitch Day
The startup Sanctuary won the first prize of 10,000 Euros. The jury based its decision on the fact that the Sanctuary Zero-Trust solution addresses a problem faced by many companies at present. The jury commented, that if rolled out well, the solution can be a game changer in cybersecurity. Sanctuary Systems develops cybersecurity solutions for embedded systems. Its flagship product, the Sanctuary Zero-Trust platform, is an all-in-one software solution that protects embedded products from modern cyber threats. Founders Dr. Ferdinand Brasser, Dr. Patrick Jauernig and Dr. Emmanuel Stapf expressed their gratitude by saying, "We were thrilled to win the Final Pitch Day and would like to sincerely thank all our supporters, from the organizing team, the jury and the sponsors to the experts with their interesting presentations during the accelerator. We would also like to thank our entire team. Their passion in developing our Zero-Trust Platform for embedded systems was the foundation for us to convince the jury with our innovative security solution in the first place."

The second prize of 5,000 Euros was awarded to the startup Validaitor. According to the jury, the solution addresses a problem in the field of artificial intelligence that has largely been overlooked. Validaitor develops tools to ensure the quality and safety of artificial intelligence models. The startup provides a platform for automated testing to verify and certify AI systems.

The startup Lubis EDA received the third prize of 2,500 Euros. The jury honored the scalable business model and the very good prospects for growth.
Lubis EDA's mission is to ensure that microchips are developed faster, more reliably and, above all, error-free in the future. The software and services enable functional errors to be found early in the development process.

The audience, which participated in the event at the Fraunhofer SIT was able to vote for the innovation prize. The startup Devity received the best rating and received the innovation prize of 2,500 Euros. Devity develops and operates Keynoa, an application for efficient configuration and installation of IoT devices such as sensors, industrial computers and machines to simplify the secure operation of IoT infrastructures.

Intensive qualification program for founders with innovative cybersecurity solutions
Ten selected, particularly innovative startups from all over Germany took part in the SpeedUpSecure accelerator program for cybersecurity startups. From the beginning of May to the end of September, they benefited from a targeted training program in which they were accompanied by experts from business and research. The program was financially supported by corporate partners Schwarz Digital GmbH and Hays AG and funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF). "I am pleased that with our program we can support startups that delighted the jury with their innovations in the field of cybersecurity and demonstrated their entrepreneurial spirit. My special thanks go to our partners, sponsors and experts from the industry and research who are committed to the program," said program manager Carlina Bennison from the incubator StartUpSecure I ATHENE.

Schwarz Digital GmbH and HAYS AG are partners of the program.
The Accelerator's main partner is Schwarz Digital, a Schwarz Group company and one of the world's leading retail groups with 550,000 employees in 32 countries. The company has built up a great deal of expertise in the field of digitization and IT over many years, and has itself developed IT solutions from which other companies are now also benefiting. For example, the cloud and colocation provider STACKIT and the cybersecurity service provider XM Cyber offer sovereign digital services for companies and administrations. "Young, ambitious founders with fresh ideas are an enormously important resource," emphasizes Dr. Alexander Schellong, responsible for cybersecurity activities at Schwarz Digital. "With solution-oriented, creative approaches, they contribute to essential innovations in cybersecurity. This is inspiring ,and we need to encourage it."

As a partner, the company HAYS supports the Accelerator Program. HAYS is one of the most successful recruitment companies with over 50 years of experience and more than 10,000 employees worldwide. The placement of cybersecurity specialists is one of Hays' focus areas. Commenting on the partnership with the initiators of the SpeedUpSecure accelerator, Michael Beaupre, Head of Cybersecurity at Hays, says: "Cybersecurity cannot be achieved by individual institutions. It must be achieved collectively - through transparent, collaborative and unified partnerships."

Startups with innovative solution in the Accelerator Program
Each of the startups in the Accelerator Program offers an innovative solution to the different, new challenges in cybersecurity. In addition to the winners of the final pitch event, the following startups successfully participated in the program:

Cybervize stands for the development of an AI-powered solution to protect against cyber threats and is specifically tailored to the requirements and performance of medium-sized and smaller companies. is a collaborative workspace for creators that records and immutably secures the value and history of innovation and creative work - and thus ownership, authenticity and originality of works.

Identeco protects customer relationships and employee accounts from account takeover and enables the unique identification of compromised accounts within its own infrastructure without sharing personal data.

Companies gain clarity on the security and privacy of their apps with Queryella. Established analyses are used in outstanding depth. The results are then presented in an understandable way.

SAVIAN is a B2B data sharing platform that enables companies to collaborate with data easily and securely. The solution can be used to establish secure channels for data exchange and compute-to-data applications.

Timelords provides secure and reliable state-of-the-art time synchronization. This cost-effectively improves the robustness of 5G networks and other time-dependent critical infrastructure against attacks and errors.

Four incubators for cybersecurity
The startup incubator StartUpSecure at the National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity ATHENE in Darmstadt launched the accelerator. It is supported by the partner incubators for cybersecurity CISPA in Saarbrücken, Cube 5 in Bochum and StartUpSecure KASTEL in Karlsruhe. Together, they are now offering the program for selected startups from their ecosystems for the third year in a row. The four incubators are funded by the BMBF through the StartUpSecure initiative.

About the StartUpSecure startup incubator at the ATHENE research center.
ATHENE is a research center of the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft in cooperation with the Fraunhofer Institutes SIT and IGD as well as the Technical University of Darmstadt, the Goethe University Frankfurt and the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. ATHENE is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Hessian Ministry of Science and the Arts (HMWK). Under the umbrella of ATHENE, start-up projects in the field of cybersecurity are supported. The incubator StartUpSecure at ATHENE promotes the development of innovations in the field of cybersecurity.The incubator team is based at Fraunhofer SIT and at the Department of Information Systems at TU Darmstadt.

Press contact StartUpSecure I ATHENE:

Cornelia Reitz
Fraunhofer SIT
Nationales Forschungszentrum für angewandte Cybersicherheit ATHENE
Rheinstraße 75
64295 Darmstadt
Tel. +49 6151 869-368

Carlina Bennison
TU Darmstadt
Hochschulstraße 1
64289 Darmstadt
Tel. +49 6151 - 16-24 322

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