New cyber accelerator program launches in Virginia

New partnership with Virginia Tech also establishd is trying a new approach to lure cyber entrepreneurs to the state with a program to accelerate start-ups.

Backed with $2.5 million in money from the state, the MACH37 Cyber Accelerator program launched on Thursday, and the first round of companies were selected.

The MACH37 program is a public-private and market-centric cybersecurity accelerator, located in Herndon, Va., at the Center of Innovative Technology. Mach 37 is the minimum escape velocity needed for a rocket to leave Earth's atmosphere, meant to represent the gusto that companies need to push into new markets.

Supported by Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell, who helped raised $2.5 million to run the program for two years, MACH37 is meant to increase the number of qualified cyber firms in the state, and of course, one of the biggest customers for cyber solutions, the federal government, is conveniently located nearby.

The program is designed to fuel disruptive cybersecurity concepts, and is tailored to each cohort, said Rick Gordon, recently hired managing partner of MACH37.

It is made up of two 90-day sessions per year, and focuses on launching cyber startups. Upon entry into the program, companies receive an investment from the CIT GAP fund, and receive a second investment at the end if they are able to successfully pitch a demo idea to private investors. 

The first batch of companies in the program are:

  • Cypherpath
  • Key Cybersecurtiy
  • Pierce Global Threat Intelligence
  • CyberLingua
  • Sikernes

In addition to launching the program, CIT announced a partnership with Virginia Tech, and will develop a networked, remotely-accessible virtualized test environment housed in the Hume Center at Tech's facility in Arlington, Va.

More information on the MACH37 program is available here.

About the Author

Mark Hoover is a senior staff writer with Washington Technology. You can contact him at, or connect with him on Twitter at @mhooverWT.

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