DataTribe Announces Second-Annual Cybersecurity Startup Challenge


Mike Janke, DataTribe CEO, Speaking at the 2019 Baltimore Tech10 Event

Last year, I was very happy to attend
DataTribe's first annual Cybersecurity Startup Challenge. It was great to see Prevailion, InertialSense and Cyr3con all pitch and demo their solutions. DataTribe just announced their second annual Cybersecurity Startup Challenge and I took the opportunity to ask DataTribe CEO, Mike Janke, to share tips for entrepreneurs applying to this year's event.

What advice can you give this year's applicants and what makes one company stand out from others in your applicants?

Know where your company and product sits as it relates to competition and your market. Are you one of 50 in the space, or are you one of 3? How unique is your technology? Finally, know what milestones you need to achieve to accomplish a A series funding round.

How hard was the final deliberation of the candidates last year?

Extremely hard. We are all flawed humans and we understand that at DataTribe - we don't know everything. No one has all the insights and can predict the future - especially when it comes to Cybersecurity and Data Science. Many of the companies we did not choose, went on to become strong vibrant companies. The idea of trying to pick the “next big thing” is really an exercise in personality fit, uniqueness and the collective wisdom of 30-40 industry operators and CISO’s. I believe our key to success so far is based on “pattern recognition” of the key indicators of a strong foundation that all successful cyber companies share. This starts first and foremost with the founders.

Can you tell us a little more about what is happening with last year's winner, Prevailion?

Prevailion was an example of a company and technology that fit our pattern recognition perfectly. A new type of technology with no real direct competitors. A passionate and ego-less founder and team. A clear understanding of the milestones and metrics they needed to achieve a successful A series. Prevailion went from winning the competition, to receiving $2M in seed funding, to completing a $35M valued A series with Silicon Valley venture funding in just under 12 months. There is a lot of work yet to do in order to become a dominant company, but they are well on their way to achieving that goal.

For those interested in applying

All contestants must have already developed a robust concept or initiated development of a minimal viable product (MVP) – i.e., a product developed with sufficient features to entice early adopters. Preference will be given to early-stage startups with experience working in national security, defense, national laboratories, or at cybersecurity and data science R&D organizations. Contestants with commercial experience will also be given extra consideration, but it is not required.

Contestants have until October 1st, 2019 to apply at