Applications open for €50,000 security accelerator in Cork

23 Nov 2017

From left: Ger Goold, COO and partner at Kernel Capital; Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council; Michael O’Connor, CEO of CorkBIC; and Robert McArdle, EMEA threat research lead at Trend Micro. Image: Michael Mac Sweeney/Provision

The new accelerator will further build Cork’s reputation as a security hub.

Yesterday (22 November), CorkBIC and its partners announced the launch of Ireland’s first International Security Accelerator, which will offer a €50,000 investment to teams in the wider security industry.

As worldwide spending on security-related hardware, software and services is projected to reach $119.9bn dollars by 2021, the accelerator will support Irish innovation in the area.

Major funding partners with CorkBIC

The deadline for the accelerator has been extended until 8 December, and successful applicants will spend 13 weeks taking part from January 2018.

Key funding partners for the accelerator include Kernel Capital and Trend Micro.

Participants will avail of targeted advice from a core group of experienced international mentors, including Ronan Murphy, CEO of Smarttech, and Robert McArdle, director of Trend Micro’s Forward-Looking Threat research team.

The start-ups will also have access to CorkBIC’s extended network of more than 400 mentors worldwide, and investors such as international business angels and angel syndicates through investor demo days.

Cork as a security hub

Ger Goold, COO and partner at Kernel Capital, said: “Cork is developing a reputation for Ireland’s growing security cluster.

“This accelerator is a unique opportunity for start-ups to tap into the experience and resources of the strong network of Cork’s multinationals, such as Trend Micro, helping these start-ups grow, succeed and in turn contribute to the cluster.”

McArdle explained how important this initiative will be to young businesses in the security sector: “Participating start-ups can work from the purpose-built accelerator space in Cork city centre for a specially extended period of up to nine months.

“This kind of dedicated workspace is vital to ensure these start-ups can focus on expanding their business. I would strongly encourage suitable candidates to apply for the accelerator, which will help their company reach the next stage.”

Seeking new start-ups

Companies involved in cybersecurity, IoT, smart cities, defence, critical infrastructure, financial services, logistics, transport and health/bioinformatics could benefit from the opportunities offered by this new scheme.

Ann Doherty, chief executive of Cork City Council, said that the accelerator fit perfectly with the council’s overall development plans. “Cork City Council is delighted that the CorkBIC accelerator programme is our first client at our new co-working space at Cork City Hall.

“The development of the co-working space, where the start-ups will be based, is a key part of Cork City Council’s innovation and entrepreneurship strategy.”

Updated, 11.32am, 23 November 2017: This article was updated to amend an incorrect figure.

Ellen Tannam was a journalist with Silicon Republic, covering all manner of business and tech subjects