Meet the finalists of ECSO’s Cyber Investor Days
On 2 December, ECSO announced the last two winners of its Cyber Investor Days for 2021: the French Bfore.Ai and the German Build38. After pitching their solutions to a jury of 10 major cybersecurity players (including investors, large cybersecurity providers, end-users and business associations), these two startups were selected to access the final competition in The Hague in February 2022 and compete with the previously selected finalists.
Giving visibility to European cybersecurity solutions and fostering the competitiveness of European businesses is at the core of ECSO’s work concerning the support and growth of the old continent’s cybersecurity market. For this reason, ECSO’s Cyber Investor Days initiative creates the perfect match making opportunity for cybersecurity startups to present their solutions to potential investors.
During Slush 2021, cybersecurity leaders VTT, Evolution Equity Partners, Business Finland, F-Secure Corporation, Talgen Cybersecurity, Fortum, Vendep Capital, Cisco, NECC (North European Cybersecurity Cluster) and Ace Capital Partners crowned Bfore.Ai and Build38 winners of the Cyber Investor Days.
“As a believer of European Union strength in innovation diversity, it is very rewarding for before.ai to be recognised as best solution among such a strong peer group and by industry top experts. We created #Precrime to help organisations defenders move from victims to actors and be faster than criminals. We are thankful to ECSO for scouting us and establishing this framework for a European-wide Security Industry. bfore.ai, as first worldwide predictive cybersecurity, is here to contribute to the ecosystem”, says Luigi Lenguito from Before AI.
“Build38 was founded to make the mobile world a better place, securing the apps of providers and users. We are extremely proud to see how this idea is succeeding with market traction, VC interest and now with the recognition by the jury of cybersecurity experts who nominated it for the ECSO’s STARtup Award”, says Christian Schläger from Build38.
“Competition was fierce and selecting two finalist not an easy task. We wish Build38 and Before.ai all the success into the finals, for all the contestants to succeed in their fundraisings and growth. We remain amased by the level of sophistication of our European cybersecurity startups, and thrive to help them grow beyond their borders, fast!”, says Augustin Blanchard from Ace Capital Partners.
The Cyber Investor Days are also an opportunity for like-minded stakeholders to team up and organise an event in support to cybersecurity startups, with a focus on a specific European geographic location and market.
“ECSO’s Cyber Investor Days 2021 are an important step towards demonstrating the capabilities and role of Nordic countries in effective European cybersecurity sovereignty. In Northern Europe, there is very strong cybersecurity competence that should be better aligned with the competence from elsewhere in Europe”, says Reijo Savola, CEO of North European Cybersecurity Cluster (NECC) and Principal Scientist at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland.
“In the world of twin transition and growing amount of cyber threats, the role of digital trust is more crucial than ever. We at Business Finland strive for strong European collaboration, networks and cyber security ecosystems by bringing together companies, investors and researchers both from public and private sectors. Co-hosting ECSO’s Cyber Investor days is one of our many activities in boosting this collaboration”, says Kirsi Kokko, Head of Digital Trust Finland program at Business Finland.
“Helsinki is the right place to develop cyber growth companies. Recent years have been record breaking in investments for startups, as the latest Wolt 7B deal validates. We welcome all European cyber companies to take this advantage that we offer here in Helsinki, as the springboard for global success”, says Teemu Seppälä from NewCo Helsinki.
With startups and SMEs being the backbone of Europe’s economy, it is important to act and work towards a European digital autonomy, which is what ECSO advocates for with its 280 Members.
The last selection of finalists for ECSO’s Cyber Investor Days will take place on 18 January 2022 in Whales.
The two winners of ECSO’s Cyber Investor Days Helsinki edition were selected by a jury chaired by ACE Capital Partners’ Executive Director Augustin Blanchard and composed by:
• Reijo Savola, Principal Scientist – Cybersecurity, VTT Technical Research Centre
• Karel Obluk, Partner, Evolution Equity Partners
• Pekka Rantala, Senior Advisor, Business Finland
• Christine Bejerasco, Chief Technology Officer, F-Secure
• Martin Ruubel, Founder & CEO, Talgen Cybersecurity
• Jarmo Huhta, Head of Cybersecurity, Fortum
• Sakari Pihlava, General Partner, Vendep Capital
• Janne Tägtström, Managing Director, Cisco Finland & Baltics
• Juha Remes, Chairman of the Board, North European Cybersecurity Cluster (NECC)