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Booster: New funding program for cybersecurity founders

29/04/2021

A new accelerator program called Booster is now promoting cybersecurity startups and supporting startups in the field. The Accelerator Booster was launched by the start-up incubator StartUpSecure of the National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity. Start-up projects from StartUpSecure I ATHENE as well as from the partner incubators for cybersecurity CISPA in Saarbrücken, Cube5 in Bochum and StartUpSecure KASTEL in Karlsruhe can participate in boosters.The first six start-up projects have already qualified for booster and will go through a two-month targeted training program and accompanying mentoring by experts from business and research from the beginning of May.  

Darmstadt, April 29, 2021 An accelerator is an intensive program to promote business start-ups. The development of the startups is to be accelerated through targeted training and exchanges with experts. So hat es sich auch Booster zum Ziel gesetzt, Gründungsvorhaben im Bereich Cybersecurity in einer frühen Phase an die Hand zu nehmen und zu vernetzen. Booster has set itself the goal of taking start-up projects in the field of cybersecurity by hand at an early stage and networking them. Budding founders can learn a lot from successful entrepreneurs. For the opening event of Booster on May 4th. Dror Liwer, founder of coro.net from the cybersecurity founding nation Israel, will therefore hold a keynote. The teams then go through training units on topics relevant to start-ups such as team building, business model development, marketing, financial planning, sales, inter­nationalization, law and pitching. These modules are accompanied by individual mentoring. At the end of the program after two months, the six teams pitch their business idea in front of a jury with representatives from Fraunhofer SIT, the Technical University of Darmstadt, Deutsche Lufthansa AG, GEA Group AG and Xariva Ventures.

Six start-up projects from research

Six early-stage start-up projects with highly innovative solutions from research in the field of cybersecurity take part in the booster. The teams come from different universities and research institutions: three teams from the Technical University of Darmstadt, one team from the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences, a team from CISPA, the Helmholtz Center for Information Security in Saarbrücken, and a team from the Karlsruhe Institute of Technology KIT. Through the application process for the StartUpSecure funding from the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the projects were extensively examined in advance with regard to their innovation and their economic prospects of success and have thus also qualified for the accelerator. With the financial resources from the StartUpSecure funding of the BMBF and the intensive accelerator program, the start-up projects have the best prerequisites for a successful spin-off from research.

A strong network supports the teams involved in the start-up projects

In Booster, the teams of the start-up projects are guided, advised and accompanied by a network of partners from research and business. As coaches, mentors and jurors, the experts from the network use their specialist knowledge and experience to ensure that the start-up incubator StartUpSecure can offer the teams a comprehensive and high-quality program. The supporting network includes experts from Fraunhofer SIT, TU Darmstadt, the Digital Hub Cybersecurity, the companies Utimaco GmbH, NeXenio GmbH, Deutor Cyber Security Solutions GmbH, Attemptum AG, the law firm MTJZ and from the founding environment such as the startup inlyse GmbH or Xariva Ventures, in order to be able to offer as many perspectives as possible for the further development of the start-up projects.

Four cybersecurity incubators

The accelerator program is organized by the start-up incubator StartUpSecure I ATHENE. Not only start-up projects of the Darmstadt incubator can take part in the program, but also start-up projects of the partner incubators CISPA in Saarbrücken, Cube5 in Bochum and StartUpSecure KASTEL in Karlsruhe. All incubators have in common that they support research-related start-up projects in the field of cybersecurity and are funded by the BMBF.

About StartUpSecure | ATHENE

The start-up incubator StartUpSecure | ATHENE at the National Research Center for Applied Cybersecurity ATHENE promotes the development of innovations in the field of cybersecurity throughout Germany. The StartUpSecure team, based at the Fraunhofer Institute for Secure Information Technology SIT and in the business informatics department at the Technical University of Darmstadt, supports (potential) founders who, for example, develop innovative IT security solutions from their studies or science and turn them into marketable products want to develop further. StartUpSecure | ATHENE offers a wide range of support services related to cybersecurity. The start-up incubator works closely with the innovation and start-up center HIGHEST of the Technical University of Darmstadt and the Digital Hub Cybersecurity.

ATHENE is a research center of the Fraunhofer Society with the participation of its two Darmstadt institutes SIT and IGD as well as the Technical University of Darmstadt and the Darmstadt University of Applied Sciences. ATHENE is funded by the Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF) and the Hessian Ministry of Higher Education,Research,Science and the Arts (HMWK).

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