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Cyber NYC’s Inventors to Founders Accelerator Receives Support from Venture Capital Firms
Cyber NYC’s Inventors to Founders Accelerator Receives Support from Venture Capital Firms
Bloomberg Beta, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Osage University Partners, and Team8 Provide over $100,000 in Capital and Support to Emerging NYC Cybersecurity Startups
Cyber NYC’s Inventors to Founders is teaming up with Bloomberg Beta, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Osage University Partners, and Team8 to support select startups graduating from the first cohort of Inventors to Founders Accelerator. During this difficult time, we are proud of the Cyber NYC Inventors to Founders partners who are providing a timely infusion of capital to early-stage startups in the program.
Inventors to Founders, one of the pillars of the Cyber NYC program, is a joint initiative between Columbia Technology Ventures and the New York City Economic Development Corporation. With the goal of strengthening the cybersecurity startup ecosystem of NYC, Inventors to Founders was designed to source, fund and catalyze promising cyber and data-privacy startups from university dorms and labs to build game-changing companies.
The first-of-its kind Pre-Seed Startup Accelerator wrapped up its inaugural cohort this week with an investor focused demo day on May 5, 2020. The 12-week program offered NYC cyber startups a support system that included education, capital, mentorship, and talent, as well as the expansive networks of four world-class universities including Columbia, Cornell Tech, NYU and CUNY.
Over the course of the accelerator, startups did extensive customer discovery, worked with Chief Information Security Officers from Fortune 500 companies, did office hours with leading NYC cyber entrepreneurs and fine-tuned their pitches with some of the top cyber investors in the world, including Jerusalem Venture, Osage University Partners and Team8.
This initiative started as a collaboration to strengthen the city’s cyber ecosystem. Given the economic headwinds that our graduating entrepreneurs face and the cyber challenges that businesses continue to experiencing during the COVID-19, pandemic, it is now more important than ever to support innovative, early-stage startup founders. This past week, a collection of civic and industry leaders did just that.
The Inventors to Founders team at Columbia Technology Ventures has been working closely with Bloomberg Beta, Jerusalem Venture Partners, Osage University Partners, and Team8 since the initiative’s launch in the summer of 2020, and these collaborations evolved to a new level this week when these industry leaders made a collective commitment to also offer financial support via grants to the program and convertible note investments in the startups.
“During this period of heightened vulnerability, cyber readiness is more important than ever. We are proud to support the Cyber NYC Inventors to Founders initiative and these talented founders,” said Karin Klein, Founding Partner at Bloomberg Beta.
“We’re delighted to cooperate once again with Columbia Technology Ventures on the Inventors to Founders initiative. The program's ability to combine and celebrate the know-how of the Columbia Fu Foundation School of Engineering and Applied Science and Cornell Tech Runway programs with the policy expertise at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs and a variety of disciplines across the university network is unique,” said JVP Founder and Chairman Erel Margalit. “We are pleased that the JVP International Cyber Center can involve so many dynamic students, faculty members and alumni within the larger international cyber initiative that New York City is undertaking with JVP."
"Team8 is committed to this joint program with Columbia University and the NYCEDC and believes that backing innovation and job creation is essential during the crisis,” said René Bastón, Director of Scientific Ecosystems and Ideation at Team8. “One of our goals is identifying breakthrough ideas emerging from academia by nourishing and supporting promising entrepreneurs and encouraging experimentation and ideation.”
“Osage University Partners (OUP) is honored to support the Inventors to Founders Initiative. As an active funder of cybersecurity spinouts from universities, OUP is impressed with the quality of startups at I2F and looks forward to engaging with them now and in the future. OUP and Columbia University have a close, long-standing partnership, through which OUP has seen first-hand the beneficial impact Cyber NYC and I2F have had on the cybersecurity ecosystem.”
The capital will be deployed to Inventors to Founders initiative and the teams that are entering the five-month incubation phase of the program. Investment decisions were made by a committee of industry experts and venture capitalists who worked closely with the startups over the 12-week accelerator.
The two teams entering the incubation phase of the accelerator are FeatherDocs and Brainceek.
FeatherDocs, co-founded by a Cornell Tech alumni, is a single platform that uses NLP to aggregate and process all of an organization's active and final document versions—along with all related communications—without disrupting existing workflows.
Brainceek, founded by alumni of Columbia Business School, CUNY and NYU, provides work simulations for students to try out different jobs and for corporations to widen applicant funnels and find top candidates. Their early markets are cyber security and data science.
“Public-private partnerships play a critical role in fostering innovation and building industry,” said James Patchett, president and CEO of the New York City Economic Development Corporation. “As New York City looks towards the future and the long recovery ahead, collaborations like these, which support local startups and entrepreneurs while building an industry sector that creates good-paying jobs will be essential.”
“This timely support is a game-changer for our early-stage ventures and the initiative as a whole. When we reached out to our network one week ago, I never would have imagined the outpouring of support that we have seen from the New York entrepreneurial community,” said Daniel Goetzel, Executive Director of Cyber NYC Inventors to Founders.
Two startups graduating from cohort #1, FeatherDocs and Brainceek, will now work with the I2F team over the next five months in the incubation phase of the program; continuing product development, rolling out pilots while they raise their next round of capital. Supporting entrepreneurs is central to Columbia Technology Ventures’ mission and we are proud to have helped facilitate this win-win collaboration, bringing together academic leaders, entrepreneurs and impact-minded investors to help startups survive and thrive during these challenging times.
About Columbia Technology Ventures
Columbia Technology Ventures is the technology transfer office for Columbia University and a central location for many of the technology development initiatives, entrepreneurial activities, external industry collaborations, and commercially-oriented multidisciplinary technology innovations across the university. CTV’s mission is to facilitate the transfer of inventions from academic research labs to the market for the benefit of society. Each year, CTV manages more than 400 invention disclosures, 100 license deals, and 20–25 new IP-backed start-ups, involving over 750 inventors across Columbia. CTV has over 1200 patents available for licensing, across fields such as cyber, bio, IT, clean tech, devices, big data, nanotechnology, materials science, and more. For more information, please visit labtomarket.columbia.edu/cyber-nyc.
About Bloomberg Beta
Bloomberg Beta is an early-stage venture firm backed by Bloomberg L.P., focused broadly on the future of work. While we focus on general areas of interest to Bloomberg, we choose our investments independently, without preference for companies who have or want a relationship with Bloomberg. We invest for financial return. We do see Bloomberg as a template for startups — founded on a powerful idea, bringing transparency to markets, achieving global scale, with a strong and open culture that embraces technology, led by its founders for decades. To serve our founders, we seek — like the rest of Bloomberg — to bring different worlds together (business, technology, culture, the public sector, among others). For more information, please visit www.bloombergbeta.com.
About Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP)
Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), founded and led by Dr. Erel Margalit, is an internationally renowned venture capital fund. JVP has to date raised $1.4 billion across 9 funds, and has been listed numerous times by Preqin, and other rankings, as one of the top-ten consistently performing VC firms worldwide. JVP has built over 140 companies, leveraging a broad network of partners and market expertise to help companies become global market leaders. JVP has been chosen by NYCEDC to lead the International Cyber Center in New York City. Among the pioneering firms of the Israeli venture capital industry, JVP has been instrumental in building some of the largest companies out of Israel, facilitating 12 Initial Public Offerings on NASDAQ including CyberArk Software (NASDAQ: CYBR, $4.7 billion mkt. cap.), QLIK Technologies (NASDAQ: QLIK, then $4 billion mkt. cap.) and Cogent Communications (NASDAQ: CCOI, $3 billion mkt. cap.) For more information, please visit www.jvpvc.com.
OUP (Osage University Partners) is a venture capital firm focused on investing in startups that are commercializing pioneering university technologies. OUP partners with top research universities to invest in their most innovative startups, and OUP shares its investment profit with its partner institutions. The firm invests in software, hardware, and life science companies at all stages of company development. OUP has partnered with over 100 universities, including 41 of the top 50 U.S. institutions by research expenditures, and has invested in over 100 of their spinouts. OUP is part of a family of investment funds within Osage Partners, which is based in Philadelphia, PA and manages in excess of $800 million. For more information, visit www.oup.vc.
Team8 is a venture group solving problems of magnitude. Leveraging its unrivaled military intelligence expertise, in-depth research capabilities, extensive C-level executive network and unique company building model, the group creates and accelerate category-leading companies. Team8 is backed by some of the world’s most renowned businesses including Cisco, Microsoft, AT&T, Walmart, Airbus, Softbank, Accenture, Qualcomm, Moody’s, Munich-Re, Dimension Data, Barclays, Nokia and Scotiabank. For more information, please visit www.team8.vc.
For more information, contact:
Columbia Technology Ventures