After being named first last month on a Fortune list of top contender cities to become cybersecurity hubs, all eyes are on Atlanta to step up to this $60+ billion market, expected to potentially double by 2020. All the necessary pieces are in place: security companies that account for a quarter of global market share, access to top research university Georgia Tech, industry veterans, and rapidly-growing, innovative security startups.
To bring this all together — and truly cement Atlanta’s place as the cyber leader on a global scale — this October will see the first Atlanta Cyber Week, hosted by law firm Baker Donelson and the Metro Atlanta Chamber (MAC).
From October 2-6, educational and networking events will take place throughout the city to highlight and connect the successful players of the cyber ecosystem with domestic and international executives, investors, researchers and entrepreneurs interested in the space.
“Atlanta has all of the ingredients of a world class cybersecurity ecosystem. However there is a general lack of awareness of the cybersecurity offering in this region,” says Justin Daniels, a Baker Donelson shareholder who is leading the charge on the Cyber Week initiative. Daniels is also the co-founder of the firm’s cybersecurity accelerator, which provides mentorship, office space, and resources to cybersecurity companies.
“One of the main objectives of Atlanta Cyber Week is simply to expose domestic and international audiences to everything we have to offer, so that Atlanta emerges as a primary option for international beachheads in the US, corporate relocations and a place to build a cybersecurity startup. In the future, we want investors and buyers from around the world who hear that a cyber company is from Atlanta to automatically think they come from a world class cybersecurity region,” says Daniels.
Cyber Week is centered around a few main events, one being the third Cybercon on October 4, which includes a fireside chat, panels, and a pitch competition for cyber startups. Applications for the pitch will open in late summer.
The other anchor event is the National Technology Security Council (NTSC) Chief Information Security Officer Policy Conference on October 5, which is intended to educate cyber leaders about national policy and issues impacting their businesses. NTSC is a national organization formed early last year by the Technology Association of Georgia to promote and inform information security policy.
Multiple other events will be held throughout the week to involve other local and visiting leaders.
“Atlanta is a premier destination for new and growing cybersecurity and serves as a beachhead for international companies seeking to expand to the United States,” said Hala Moddelmog, MAC president and CEO. “Our cybersecurity infrastructure, combined with unprecedented access to potential corporate customers, is a competitive advantage that no other region can offer.”