RSA Conference 2019 expands innovation program

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RSA Conference announced submissions are open for the returning RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest and the first-ever RSAC Launch Pad.

RSA Conference 2019 expands innovation program

RSAC Launch Pad will give three chosen security innovators the 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 online to 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 January 2019 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, while RSAC 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 entrepreneurs from Belgium, Australia, France and Israel submitting to and taking part in RSAC 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 unique and creative approaches to today’s biggest cybersecurity challenges presented in March, and I can’t wait to see the 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.

“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.”