All Wales Cyber Security Cluster - 16 November 2021
16th November 2021 | 14:00 - 16:00

Two companies needed for the Final of the European Cybersecurity STARtup Award.

At this month's Cyber Cluster meeting we are going to be exploring the dark art of the “Dragons Den”.

There are a number of "Pitch Events" being run at the moment:-

  • In Wales – Global Welsh are running Den y Dreigiau a seed funding event on the 11 November
  • In the UK – The TechNation Rising Stars scale up programme just started across the UK
  • In Europe – One of a series of Investor Days is running at the European Cyber Week in Rennes on the 17 November
Cyber is officially the No.1 target market for funding and investment firms but why are they so interested and what are they looking for?

As you can see in the title of this month's meeting, we will be focussing on one particular series of events for the next few months. This is because Cyber Wales will be hosting the UK event in this ECSO (European Cyber Security Organisation) series in January.

We will be hosting it but not judging it - so our plan is to help any Welsh companies who are interested in dipping their toe into the seemingly dark waters of investment, starting with a virtual session at our meeting on the 16th.

First of all, don't be put off by the word “startup”…

A startup is typically a company that has been trading for less than 5 years. However, there are some exceptions such as where a major pivot has taken place leading to a change in product or business model especially where a new product has been launched. Some well established companies are considered startups if they are still carving out a place for themselves in the market or experimenting to find an offering or model that will provide stable growth. In short, it could be you!

Also, don't be put off by the word “European”…

ECSO, the European Cyber Security Organisation, is a privileged partner of the European Commission for the implementation of the Cybersecurity Public-Private Partnership with a remit to coordinate the development of the European Cybersecurity Ecosystem which includes the UK! So, Brexit notwithstanding, you are eligible to enter and win this Award.

So what's it all about…

ECSO ran the first STARtup Awards in 2020 with the grand final in February 2021. It was a great success and it led to amazing visibility and promotion for all the companies who took part.

In this year's Awards, there are 5 events across Europe and 2 companies from each event will go through to the grand final in February 2022.

The events are:-
  • 1. 14th October 2021 - A virtual event run by Eurobits, the European Competence Center for Security in Information Technology based in Germany. 8 companies battled it out, each giving a 5 minute pitch and then handling 5 minutes of questions. You can watch the recording of this event here ( The winners who will go forward to the grand final are NECT, a digital identity company ( and ZignSys, a smart transaction firm (
  • 2. 19th October 2021 – an online event run by Cyber4Growth, a business growth programme based in Luxembourg. A limited number of entrants competed and the 2 winners were Passbolt, a password manager solution ( and Devseis, an MSSP (
  • 3. 17th November 2021 – a live pitching event will be run as part of an Investor's day at the European Cyber Week (, a 5-day festival of cyber events run in Renne, France. 22 companies are lined up to pitch.
  • 4. 1st December 2021 – a live event will be run as part of an Investor's Day at Slush 2021 (, a two-day startup festival at Helsinki in Finland. 16 companies will have a chance to pitch to a largest gathering of investors on stage at the event.
  • 5. 18th January 2022 – a live event will be staged at the All Wales Cyber Security Cluster meeting run by Cyber Wales. Members of the investor networks of TechNation and Global Welsh will judge the 5-minute pitches of a maximum of 8 cyber companies.
So, two of those companies will definitely become the last 2 of 10 Finalists in the ECSO Grand Final. They will join companies from all over Europe who will have taken part in the events in Germany, Luxembourg, France and Finland at the high profile event that will take place on 1-2 February 2022 in The Hague (The Netherlands).

However, although only two companies will go to the final, all 8 will have the opportunity to pitch their capabilities to investors who are active in the cyber security market.

This is an amazing opportunity to get some genuine feedback, raise the profile of your company or product and maybe even get some funding to catapult your organisation into new growth.

Come along to this month's Cluster to find out more.

In the meantime, feel free to drop an email to [email protected] for more information.

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