There are startup companies that focus on protecting networks and devices. And there are startup companies that focus on machine learning – artificial intelligence-based software that adapts to situations on its own without the need for human intervention.
CyberLaunch is an Atlanta-based accelerator that works with both cybersecurity and machine learning startups, and that makes it a rarity, according to partner Kyle Grossman. He says security companies that are implementing machine learning in their products are building the next generation of cyberdefense: Software that will learn and get smarter as its works to hunt down threats.
“The intersection of the two is what really gets us excited,” said Grossman, who has led three startups in his entrepreneurial career. “Many of our security startups that are going through CyberLaunch are applying machine learning in their products, in their software. So we’re definitely doing whatever we can to automate the process and provide very high-level recommendations and analytics.” Atlanta and the world will get a look at CyberLaunch’s initial cohort of companies during its inaugural Demo Day on Thursday, Aug. 25, at Atlanta Tech Village. The seven startups that make up its 2016 summer cohort include:
- Atlanta-based Cinchapi, which uses machine learning and natural language to help companies with data analytics.
- CyberDot, a security platform/cybersecurity insurance online marketplace targeting small/midsize businesses (based in Atlanta.)
- DiaScan, a healthcare-focused Atlanta startup using machine learning in its software to provide better, more accurate diagnoses of lung CT scans.
- LinkSquares, based in Boston, uses machine learning/natural languages in analyzing contracts.
- RealFactor is developing a location-based tracking program for authenticating users who check in from different locations.
- Securolytics, an Atlanta-based cybersecurity firm that CyberLaunch describes as “cost-effective security information and events management (SIEMS) that automates data collection, analysis, threat prioritization, and risk remediation across a wide range of devices.”
- Vyrill, a San Francisco company that aggregates and analyzes videos of products to help consumers with purchasing decisions.
Demo Day will also feature a Startup Showcase for 20 additional companies, along with a panel discussion featuring local experts on cybersecurity and machine learning.
CyberLaunch started last October with the goal of working with two small groups of startups per year while investing up to $100,000 in each company. For the past two and a half months, the Summer 2016 cohort’s founders have had access to CyberLaunch’s 140-plus mentors, who work with them on perfecting pitches, keeping customers and investors happy, and instructing them on issues like legal services and marketing strategies.
CyberLaunch mentors’ expertise is in machine learning or cybersecurity, Grossman said, ensuring that the companies will get the latest news on advances in both technologies. “(CyberLaunch co-founder and Atlanta cybersecurity veteran) Chris Klaus and the team make sure you have the proper goal-setting milestones. “We help you set out your 18-month runway while keeping the investors in mind as far as what they want to see. We focus on growth and the number of paying customers. That’s what investors want to see.”
“It’s not a classroom setting. The time we spend on each startup is of great value because we’re basically running the startups through everything. We’re helping them on everything from A to Z.” That experience also includes listening to their peers and helping their fellow early stage founders with similar problems.
Grossman said a couple of the startups have already pivoted slightly from their original business models after meeting with mentors and investors, but all remain on course to give a good accounting of themselves on Demo Day. Not only that, but “all are on track to raise follow-on funding.”
CyberLaunch’s 2016 Summer Demo Day runs from 3-8:30 p.m. Aug. 25th. Accredited investors seeking information about complimentary registration to Demo Day can contact Grossman at firstname.lastname@example.org. Information on registration for entrepreneurs can be found here.