Startup Foundry DataTribe Announces Finalists of Second-Annual Cybersecurity Startup Challenge

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Winner Eligible for $2 Million in Seed Financing

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"These three companies combine the next-gen technology and the potentially market changing focus we look for in this competition,” said Mike Janke, co-founder of DataTribe.

DataTribe, a global cyber foundry that invests in and co-builds next-generation cybersecurity and data science companies with nation-state experienced technical teams from the intelligence community, research labs, and industry-leading experts, announced today the three finalists of its second-annual DataTribe Challenge.

The DataTribe Challenge is a global competition to identify and develop high-technology startups with a vision to disrupt cybersecurity and data science. This year’s challenge received hundreds of submissions from a wide-range of companies – more than double that participated in 2018.

Three finalists will split $20,000 in prize money, and one winner will be eligible to receive up to $2 million in seed capital from DataTribe. The investment could also potentially include a follow-on investment up to $6.5 million in Series A venture funding from DataTribe and AllegisCyber, a Silicon Valley-based cybersecurity venture capital firm.

The Final Three

The 2019 finalists are: Bloomfield Robotics – Pittsburgh, PA, SecurityAdvisor –Sunnyvale, CA, and – Northport, NY.

  • Bloomfield Robotics is an agricultural robotics and machine learning company, spun out of Carnegie Mellon University's Robotics Institute. Bloomfield combines hardware, machine learning, and analytics to augment plant growers, breeders, and scientists, developing tools to provide the high-resolution crop data they need to breed better plants, faster. Like another portfolio company Blueridge.AI, Bloomfield Robotics is applying cutting-edge technology to a traditional industry to dramatically improve profits and efficiencies.
  • SecurityAdvisor was founded on the belief that security products and practices usually ignore the most fundamental element of an organization -- the user. SecurityAdvisor empowers users through an AI based behavior management platform, making the security aware user a critical part of an organization’s defense against cyber threats. The leadership team at SecurityAdvisor has held senior leadership positions in companies such as McAfee, Intel, Fortscale (now part of RSA) & Bain & Co. among others.
  • Code Dx, Inc. was founded on the principle that application vulnerability management should be an integral part of the software development process. Code Dx offers an automated application vulnerability management tool that allows multiple, disparate testing tools work together and provide one set of correlated results on an easy to read dashboard. This accelerate the application security process, lowering costs and speeding development times. Code Dx’s software suite grew from research funded by the Department of Homeland Security, Science and Technology Directorate’s Small Business Initiative Research (SBIR) program.

Turbocharging Company Growth

Past winners have found the DataTribe Challenge to be a strong catalyst for rapid growth. A prime example is Prevailion, a specialized business compromise intelligence platform that uses nation-state level tools to clandestinely monitor the Internet to predict and mitigate breaches before they happen. The company closed its Series A round valued at $35M million in July – less than 12 months after winning the contest last year.

DataTribe has built a unique reputation as a partner with elite engineering teams at the cutting edge of innovation, typically leveraging experience gained at national security agencies or government R&D labs. DataTribe’s mission is to advance the state-of-the-art in cybersecurity and data science.

“We’re proud to announce the three finalists of what is a highly selective competition,” said Mike Janke, co-founder of DataTribe. “This year the volume and quality of applicants was even higher than last year, and the judges had to make some tough calls. These three companies combine the next-gen technology and the potentially market changing focus we look for in this competition. We’re ready to provide the eventual winner with the resources to go from practice to product far faster than they probably think is possible.”

“The quality of these finalists proves that DataTribe continues to bring the Silicon Valley playbook, network and resources to a new generation of cybersecurity entrepreneurs,” said Bob Ackerman, Founder and Managing Director of cyber security firm AllegisCyber and co-founder of DataTribe. “Cybersecurity is no longer an area of discretionary investment -- it’s an area where companies have no choice but to invest in technologies to defend their businesses. These finalists are using highly advanced technology to solve serious business challenges.”

The three finalists will present and answer questions from judges on November 14th at City Garage, Baltimore MD. Those judges include:

  • Daniel Weinard, co-founder of Shopify, a publicly traded provider of eCommerce solutions
  • Jon Callas, Senior Security Scientist Apple, Senior Technology Fellow at ACLU and co-founder of Blackphone
  • John Stewart, SVP, Chief Security and Trust Officer at CISCO
  • Bob Ackerman, Founder and Managing Director of AllegisCyber
  • Dmitri Alperovitch, Co-founder and CTO of CrowdStrike Inc.
  • Mike Aiello, Director, Product Management for Google Cloud & Infrastructure

About DataTribe

DataTribe was launched in 2015 with the vision of empowering technologists in the Washington, D.C. region to build and grow successful cybersecurity companies.

Founded by leading investors, startup veterans and alumni of the U.S. intelligence community, DataTribe commits capital, in-kind business services and decades of professional expertise to co-build the next generation of cybersecurity, big data and analytics companies. DataTribe is headquartered in Fulton, MD, with offices in San Francisco, CA. For more information, visit

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Matthew Langan
L&R Communications
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