Microsoft and network giant Akamai have announced a partnership that will see the firms work together to try and uncover the next generation of cyber security whizz kids.
Microsoft said that itself and Akamai, with additional backing from Israel-based Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), would create a cyber security startup accelerator in Tel Aviv, in order to give up-and-coming firms the chance to grow.
Submissions from those interested must be received by 24 August, with the accelerator working with those accepted until early January. Those accepted will receive free tools and mentorship to help develop their ideas.
Akamai is also offering to invest up to $25,000 with each cyber security startup in the form of convertible notes. At the end of the course one startup will be chosen for a $1m investment from JVP.
Zack Weisfeld, head of Microsoft Ventures Europe, said the programme was vital to ensure that those with the necessary skills, ideas and innovations in the field of security have the chance to make themselves heard. “Tech startups have the potential to shape the future of cyber security,” he said.
“Like us, Akamai is a big proponent of secure computing with a massive reach. We are eager to partner with Akamai to spur the success of cyber security innovation based on our respective insights and learnings gained over the years.”
Stuart Scholly, senior vice president for the Security Business Unit at Akamai, said programmes such as this were vital to ensure new ideas and innovations were developed.
"We believe that supporting security innovation, not only at Akamai, but also through promising entrepreneurs, is of true benefit to our customers and any company doing business on the internet.”
The announcement comes on the same day as reports that contractors involved in building Israel's Iron Dome defence system were infiltrated by Chinese hackers back in 2011 and 2012.
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