The 2016 RSA Conference is scheduled for February 29 through March 4 in San Francisco, and applications are already being accepted for the conference’s Innovation Sandbox competition. For Maryland’s cybersecurity startups, the contest provides exposure to potential customers and investors, as well as media.

Maryland has an impressive track record in the 10-year history of the Innovation Sandbox. Four Maryland startups – Sourcefire in 2005, LightPoint Security in 2013, RedOwl in 2014, and SecurityDo (now Fluency) in 2015 – finished among the 10 finalists. Sourcefire and RedOwl won the competition and captured the title of “Most Innovative Company at RSA Conference” in 2005 and 2015, respectively.

We’re looking to build on that success.

Maryland companies interested in competing in the Innovation Sandbox must meet certain criteria, including:
• Having a cybersecurity product that launched after January 2015, has the potential to make a significant impact on information security, and can be demonstrated live and on-site during the Innovation Sandbox; and
• Having a management team that has a track record of successfully delivering products to market; and
• Being a privately-held company with less than $5 million in revenue in 2015.

SecurityDo Founders, Christopher Jordan and Kun Luo.
SecurityDo Founders, Christopher Jordan and Kun Luo.

The competition is tough – last year, SecurityDo and nine other companies bested a field of more than 700 applicants to land a spot among the Innovation Sandbox finalists. The rewards, however, can be significant. Following its Innovation Sandbox win, Sourcefire raised $71 million from its IPO in 2007 and was acquired by Cisco in 2013. RedOwl raised $17 million in its July 2015 round of funding, bringing the company’s total funding raised to $30 million.

Click here for more information or to apply online.

Dates to remember:
• January 6, 2016 – Deadline for entries
• January 20, 2016 – Top 10 finalists notified
• February 29, 2016 – Finalists present to a panel of cybersecurity experts; winner announced.

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Maureen Kilcullen

Maureen Kilcullen

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