“Cyber threats are one of the most serious economic and national security challenges that we face as a nation," President Barack Obama recently stated. "Our critical infrastructure, such as the electricity grid, financial sector, and transportation networks that sustain our way of life, have suffered repeated cyber intrusions."
He added, "Cyber crime has increased dramatically over the last decade.”
To address this, the Entrepreneurs Center
, a business and technology incubator in Dayton, recently launched the Cyber Warriors Technology Accelerator
. The new program, which was created in partnership with the Dayton Development Coalition
, “is looking for individuals who have ideas, technology, and innovation with regard to cyberthreat security," says Barbara Hayde, President of the Entrepreneurs Center. "We’re targeting that area because [Dayton’s] Wright-Patterson Air Force Base is one of the organizations interested in cybersecurity.”
To illustrate the scope of the nationwide cyber threat, she adds, "Boeing was hit by Anonymous the other day and it shut down the corporation for a day and a half.” According to Hayde, the U.S. government gets 10,000 tips a day about people who can hack in to electrical grids, water grids, banking systems and other areas.
The applications will be winnowed down to ten participants. Each winner will be given $20,000 to attend a boot camp in July, where they’ll learn how to manage a startup business and develop potential customers. They'll also learn what government and industry are looking for in terms of cybersecurity.
“These fortunate ten people will be surrounded by mentors, advisors, coaches, all kinds of people whose whole purpose is to move this company forward," says Hayde.
At the end of ten weeks, participants will present their ideas to venture capitalists, angels and government researchers, with the goal of departing with funding.
The deadline for applications is May 29th.
Source: Barbara Hayde
Writer: Catherine Podojil