Pinoys urged to join P2M startup challenge

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YOUNG Filipino entrepreneurs have the chance to build their knowledge in cybersecurity and win $50,000 or over P2 million prize fund as Kaspersky Lab recently announced a brand-new global initiative designed to identify and nurture new talent for the security industry.

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Kaspersky Lab invites Filipino cybersecurity-savvy entrepreneurs to compete in its Secury Startup Challenge (SSC) and have an opportunity to learn and develop a technology startup.

Kaspersky Lab will also give post-program support to the winning team aside from the prize fund.

The second and third-place winners will take home $20,000 and $10,000 (or more than P800,000 and P400,000), respectively.

In a statement, chairman and chief executive officer of Kaspersky Lab, Eugene Kaspersky, said “As the cyberthreat landscape becomes more and more dangerous, the world needs new ideas, new concepts and new approaches to cybersecurity. As a result, there’s been a significant increase in venture funding of early-stage startups in the industry.”

Online registration for the workshops and the main program is now open for interested participants aged 18 to 35 at www.SSC2015.org. The closing date for application is on April 28, 2015.

SSC is a mentor-driven acceleration program developed and implemented by the Kaspersky Academy, in partnership with venture industry leaders Mangrove Capital Partners and the ABRT Venture Fund.

It will provide startups with projects in cybersecurity and related areas, such as financial tech, healthcare, mobile, the Internet of Things and the Cloud, access to cutting-edge business, cybersecurity and cross-industry expertise from around the world.

“Young entrepreneurs today have an excellent chance to build a truly successful company. Technology startups have been massive wealth-generators for their owners and for society as a whole over the last few decades” Kaspersky said.

“Our company was a startup not that long ago, and I can confirm that it feels great to fight the bad guys and build your own business from scratch while doing so,” Kaspersky added.

Cyberthreats have become a global problem and their number and sophistication continues to evolve significantly. Kaspersky Lab currently detects 325,000 new malicious files every day. Last year, the company’s products detected and neutralized more than 6 billion threats.

Kaspersky Lab is determined to detect and neutralize all forms of malicious programs and believes that building awareness, encouraging dialogue and running educational programs are all essential steps towards international collaboration in the fight against cybercrime.

Running from March to August, the Security Startup Challenge 2015 will comprise a preliminary series of two-day workshops in Jerusalem, Berlin, San Francisco, Singapore and Moscow.

Accelaration program
This will be followed by a three-month acceleration program, which will include distance team work and two boot camps in Luxembourg, culminating in a grand finale event at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in the US.

While attendance at the workshops is optional and not essential in order to apply for the main program, they will provide participants with an additional advantage in terms of enhanced knowledge and skills.

Applicants are required to submit individual proposals upon registration. A special committee will conduct the selection process, identifying the individuals and teams with the most promising, innovative or exciting proposals. Young entrepreneurs picked for the Security Startup Challenge will be informed through email or phone by Kaspersky Lab.

Selected participants will meet in Luxembourg where the groups will be formed. Members of each team will have to get in touch with each other online. SSC participants will also be required to check in with their supervisors on a weekly basis during the duration of the three-month program.

Under the guidance of more than 30 experts, participants will gain a deeper knowledge of the cybersecurity industry, extend their business and startup skills, and learn how to harness the two areas to build a successful business.

The program offers access to cybersecurity professionals, venture capitalists and seasoned entrepreneurs to help new businesses create a global professional network.

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