Virginia creates cybersecurity accelerator program


Earlier this week, CivSource reported on the launch of a new initiative in Virginia to grow that state’s cybersecurity economy. The initiative, called Semper Secure, included a partnership with Northrop Grumman. Now, Virginia is rolling out the next phase of the plan – MACH37 – a cybersecurity accelerator.

Initially funded by the Commonwealth of Virginia, the accelerator will leverage private investments to launch new, high growth cyber technology companies in Virginia. The MACH37™ Cyber Accelerator was designed to model successful practices deployed in existing accelerators, such as the Y Combinator, TechStars and 500 Startups, but with a concentrated focus on cyber security startup companies. MACH37™ establishes a highly integrated network of hundreds of cyber security experts to support the earliest stages of company development.

Other states have also deployed the accelerator model for other economic sectors, New York has a health IT accelerator. At the nationwide level, Code for America also maintains a civic accelerator for companies engaged in developing technology to help government run better.

The new accelerator will annually conduct two 90-day sessions, hosting 8-10 companies per session. Participating companies will be guided through a company development process supported by key cyber security professionals, investors and technologists. At the completion of the session, companies will make presentations to professional investors at the MACH37™ Demo Day. Accelerator participants will receive an initial company investment upon acceptance and a second investment after a successful Demo Day presentation.

“Cyber security is widely recognized by policymakers and industry leaders as crucial to safeguarding our national security and protecting the nation’s economy. MACH37™ will foster Virginia’s global leadership in cyber security by cultivating and accelerating the development of innovative technology solutions that can be deployed in new and existing client markets,” said Bobbie Kilberg, President and CEO of the Northern Virginia Technology Council (NVTC).

The MACH37™ Cyber Accelerator will be open to accept applications in early June 2013, with the first session to be held in September 2013. Additional information regarding the session and accelerator will be available at