Summing up 2019 – a year of success, awards, collaborations and achievement!
As January began and we put away the Christmas decorations and returned to work, CyNation entered 2019 with two pieces of great news. We were selected for the latest LORCA cohort and we were shortlisted for the annual FStech Awards!
LORCA – the London Office for Rapid Cyber Security Advancement – is a key UK scale-up programme and we were eager participants this year. It gave us access to experts from Deloitte’s Cyber Risk Service team and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT), based at Queen’s University, Belfast.
(By the way, we have just learned that we have been shortlisted for the latest iteration of the FStech Awards! We’ll find out if we have won in our categories in March).
Later in January we made the first of many overseas trips. We were guests of DeutschePostDHL at a key startup event in Germany and we were invited to Brussels to deliver a pitch as part of the FinTech Village 2019 programme.
From Germany and Belgium, we moved on to Austria and Switzerland, where our Executive Chairman Steve Berry and CTO Shadi Razak delivered impressive presentations.
At the end of January, and back in the UK, we graduated from PwC’s Raise Programme. The climax to this prestigious programme was a pitching session where we were able to address 70 venture capitalists. As a result of this we opened discussions with 20 of them.
In February, our COO Daniela Menzky served as a judge at the Techpreneurs Awards for Women, an event that took place at the House of Lords. Six finalists, who were chosen from an initial 30, competed for two awards. In addition, the winners received expert mentoring.
March began with an invitation to participate in April’s InsurTech Symposium in Munich. CyNation Executive Chairman Steve Berry was asked to share a stage with several European cyber security SMEs to discuss a range of hot topics in the insurance market.
Mid-March saw a flurry of activity – and travel. On March 13, we were one of the featured startups pitching at the Momentum Ambassador Evening. Just a day later we were off to Munich for Plug and Play Insurtech’s Selection Days. The two days in Germany provided pitching sessions, as well as excellent networking opportunities with potential clients among Plug and Play’s European insurance partners.
In March we were also delighted to be included in a list of the UK’s top cyber security startups! Industry journal Techworld selected 22 recent UK startups as “some of the most innovative cyber security startups in recent years”. It was a great way to finish Q1!
April – and Q2 – began with us being selected to take part in Pitch360, one of the key sessions of the Innovate Finance Global Summit 2019, which took place at the end of April and beginning of May. We were among just 24 companies who were invited to pitch in front of a live audience.
The expertise and opinions of our C-suite executives are regularly sought by a wide range of media and other outlets. In late April, Holland FinTech published a report that looked at the first year of the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Our CTO Shadi Razak was one of the SMEs to be featured in this key document. Shadi’s article is titled “A shifting paradigm: from data privacy to data risk management”.
Shadi was also featured in a blog piece from techUK, where he outlined the potential of Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning for cyber security professionals. As an organisation, techUK represents over 900 companies, with approximately 700,000 employees, so it was great exposure for us!
In May, we held the first of several successful webinars. In this one we looked at whether or not traditional penetration testing meets the requirements of internal and external stakeholders, while considering a more proactive and cost-effective approach.
June saw one of the undoubted highlights of the cybersecurity year, when InfoSecurity Europe (June 4 to 6) took place in West London. We shared a stand with LORCA and CTO Shadi Razak proved to be a popular speaker at several pitch sessions and breakout events.
July marked the start of the summer holiday season – the calm before the storm of what proved to be an exceptionally busy autumn. But it wasn’t all relaxation and vacations.
In early July, we were delighted to be named as “one to watch” in the Disruption50 index. D/SRUPTION is a collaborative marketing community and this was the first iteration of their index. You can find out more at www.disruption50.com .
Our successful inroads into Central Europe were acknowledged with a bronze Softshell Vendor Award. According to Softshell, “a company in the bronze category already operates successfully in the DACH (Germany, Austria and Switzerland) market and will continue to expand”.
The Softshell Award was a nice precursor to August, which saw our acceptance onto the prestigious, Swiss Kickstart innovation programme. We were one of just eight companies from a longlist of more than 350 to be selected for the programme’s new Cyber security Vertical.
At the end of August we were pleased to receive yet more award nominations. This time we were shortlisted for three Computing Technology Product awards. Unfortunately we were not successful when the awards were announced in late November, but given our regular achievements in being nominated, we hope to come away with a trophy before long.
The storm of the autumn began in earnest in September, although it was a storm of activity and travel, rather than anything perilous! The Kickstart programme began on September 2 with a week of social events and networking opportunities.
A day later, Executive Chairman Steve Berry was in Tokyo as part of the fifth Department of International Trade (DIT) trade mission to Japan, which ran from September 3 to 6. The objective was to raise awareness among UK companies of the Japanese FinTech market and enable them to pitch their products and services as well as all-important networking.
Back in London, the Gartner Security & Risk Management Conference was aimed at helping businesses and other entities to adjust their organisational culture to improve their resilience in the face of cyber security breaches. CyNation CTO Shadi Razak was one of the participants at this important UK event.
The practical elements of the Kickstart programme – known as the Collaborative Sprint – began in earnest on September 30 and ran throughout October, ending on November 8.
While the previous three quarters of 2019 were undoubtedly busy, they were almost leisurely when compared with October! The month was selected as European Cyber Security Month and – appropriately – it was crammed with events and travel for our C-suite executives.
Among the highlights of the month was our partnering with Compumatica at infosecurity.nl, the leading Dutch exhibition in the areas of IT security, data management and cloud computing. Building on the event, we hope to do much more with this new partner.
In addition to the Netherlands, the executive team’s travel activities took in Switzerland (for Kickstart) and Saudi Arabia, where Shadi took part in the UK technology trade mission, which was led by the Department of Industry and Trade (DIT) in partnership with the Saudi British Joint Business Council (SBJBC).
Back in Europe – or still in Europe – Executive Chairman Steve Berry travelled to Luxembourg to attend and pitch at the country’s Cybersecurity Week. We were just one of five companies invited to pitch and Steve delivered a presentation on CyDesk.
At the end of the month, Shadi was back in London for techUK’s Cyber Innovation Den. In addition to a “Dragons Den”–style pitching session, the Den also hosted talks from various subject matter experts as well as two panel discussions.
Finally, the month was rounded off with another award nomination, when COO Daniela Menzky was shortlisted in the Women in IT Awards. The results will be announced on January 29, 2020.
Given how much took place during Cyber Security Month, we have prepared a more detailed summary.
November was a little less busy, but the month began with excellent news when we were selected for the Oracle for Startups programme. This is a very exciting new blockchain project and it sees us become just one of 20 companies from around the world to be asked to take part. Shadi explained what it means in a follow-up article after the initial announcement.
It would hardly be a standard month if we weren’t nominated or included on a list (…not that we are complaining!). At the end of November, we were named on the latest RegTech 100 list. This gathers together those companies that are perceived to be transforming compliance risk management and cyber security.
Although it is not quite over, December has been another busy month. Among the highlights was the publication of our brand new white paper. Titled Proactively Manage Digital Transformation Risk, it outlines the key steps for ensuring risks are continuously identified, analysed and managed. It’s a must-read for everyone concerned with the challenges of digital transformation, especially the risks that go hand-in-hand with its many benefits.
Finally, in an echo of where we started this review, once again we have just been shortlisted for the 2020 FStech Awards!
It’s been quite a year! Here’s to 2020!