The Hague to Host the European Cybersecurity STARtup Award Final Competition to Boost Investment in the Sector

23 Feb 2022
Author: HSD Foundation

The European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO), InnovationQuarter, Security Delta (HSD), The Hague Convention Bureau, and TIIN Capital B.V. announce the final competition of Europe’s main start-up match-making event solely focussed on cybersecurity: the European Cybersecurity STARtup Award. On the 5th and 6th April, 12 start-ups and SMEs, a jury of cybersecurity experts and investors, as well as top European policy makers will gather in The Hague, the Netherlands, to select the winner of this prestigious prize and grant a unique business opportunity in Europe. 


In today’s fragmented European cybersecurity market, SMEs and start-ups often struggle to find the right opportunity to gain visibility, investments and to enter in a larger European market where they can promote their cybersecurity products and services. To overcome this market fragmentation and increase the awareness and visibility of state-of-the-art cybersecurity companies at European and global level, the yearly European Cybersecurity STARtup Award competition allows SMEs and start-ups to pitch their ideas and network with experts and investors, and win a mentoring opportunity, as well as a one-year subscription to the CYBERSECURITY MADE IN EUROPE Label. This year, the final competition is hosted by the city of The Hague, providing insights into the Dutch cybersecurity ecosystem. 


“A robust European cybersecurity industry means a better protected digital Europe”, said ECSO Secretary General Luigi Rebuffi. “With the ECSO STARtup Award we want to facilitate cooperation at EU level for investments and market deployment and give visibility to European cybersecurity solutions. ECSO is glad to cooperate with our Dutch partners to provide European start-ups with such an important opportunity: these 12 finalists are outstanding companies, and therefore deserve all the visibility and support they can get", he concluded. 


“Having some of Europe’s brightest cybersecurity entrepreneurs pitch their companies in our own backyard is exciting. Not only exciting for us as investors, but for the entire Dutch and European ecosystem. Cybersecurity is paramount in today’s society and transcends borders. Through our involvement with ECSO, we are therefore glad that together with IQ, HSD, and The Hague Municipality we could bring this event to the city of The Hague and put the spotlight on the entrepreneurs and build pan-European relationships for investments in cybersecurity”, said Michael Lucassen, Managing Partner TIIN Capital. 


“As the Dutch eco-system in Digital Security we make local buzz and build international bridges between public and private partners. We provide, amongst others, access to innovation, market, and capital for growth. Joining forces now with the European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO), The Hague Municipality, InnovationQuarter and TIIN Capital/Dutch Security TechFund for the Cyber Investor Days and the European Cybersecurity STARtup Award 2021/22 final competition shows how our network can pave the way on the European level for cybersecurity start-ups, VCs & industry representatives”, said Joris den Bruinen, General Director Security Delta (HSD).


A major hub for cybersecurity in Europe – the Greater Rotterdam - The Hague area 

The Hague has established itself as the international city of peace, justice and security. It is a major hub for cybersecurity in Europe, with the presence of Europol’s European Cybercrime Centre, NATO Communications and Information Agency, the Dutch cybersecurity, intelligence and security agencies as well as a wide range of cybersecurity businesses. The Hague has an unparalleled ecosystem around cybersecurity – the Security Delta (HSD) – with over 275 public and private partners collaborating to make a difference in securing our digitising society. The core is the HSD Campus in The Hague. The ecosystem is designed to facilitate organisations by providing access to knowledge, innovation, talent, capital and market. 


“In fact, about 32% of all Dutch cybersecurity firms are based in the Greater Rotterdam - The Hague area”, said Martijn van Hoogenhuijze and Philip Meijer, both Senior Account Managers Cybersecurity at InnovationQuarter. 

Moreover, the Greater Rotterdam - The Hague area is facilitating ground for the usage of AI and Data Science in the area of Security, Peace and Justice. And the regional initiatives such as Zuid-HollandAI unlock one of the largest AI ecosystems in the Netherlands, offering a solid platform focused on accelerating developments and innovation in AI and data science in the Greater Rotterdam - The Hague area. 


Investing in the backbone of Europe's economy 

The Cybersecurity STARtup Award competition embeds the European value of diversity, gathering finalists from five different EU countries and aims at building a stronger and autonomous European digital sovereignty by investing in the backbone of Europe’s economy: SMEs and start-ups. 


Access to the event is free of charge, but registration is compulsory. Click here to register. 




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