A million-dollar idea

JVP names Titanium Core the winner of first Cybertition.

Members of Titanium and the Jerusamlem Venture Partners: (photo credit: BRIAN L. FRANK)
Members of Titanium and the Jerusamlem Venture Partners:
(photo credit: BRIAN L. FRANK)
And the winner is: Titanium Core. After 35 submissions, four finalists and one trip to California, Jerusalem Venture Partners crowned the winner of their first “Cybertition” on February 26. As Israel’s leading venture capital firm and largest early-stage cybersecurity investor, JVP held the cybersecurity startup competition to discover new talent for their Cyber Labs in Beersheba.
Groundbreaking start-up Titanium Core took home the grand prize, $1 million to jump-start their company plus a coveted spot at JVP’s Cyber Lab incubator.
The winning product is an innovative protection program that stops hackers at the heart of mission-critical systems. The company founders, head of Ben-Gurion University of the Negev’s Cybersecurity Lab Yuval Elovici, former chief technical officer of Deutsche Telekom Labs in Israel Dudu Mimram and PhD student Mordechai Guri, discovered the technology one year ago at Ben-Gurion University.
“JVP is the best in the business. They are a cyber-powerhouse,” says Titanium Core cofounder and CTO Mimram. “Titanium Core is a first of its kind. Never before has a product been able to shield against attackers inside the system’s core. It is a bulletproof line of defense.
Our technology protects the actual processors of embedded and control systems and sends alerts when an attack starts and stops in real time. Our technology is unbreakable. JVP is unbreakable. We are a perfect match.”
JVP held the Cybertition in collaboration with the Cybertech Israel 2014 Conference. The Cybertition attracted a myriad of cybersecurity start-ups – from cellular fraud to advanced persistent threats. After selecting the four finalists, they flew the teams to San Francisco for JVP’s cosponsored RSA Conference. At the event, the start-ups presented their ideas to a judging committee of top industry executives and cybersecurity leaders. The judges included representatives from GE, Cisco, Microsoft, EMC-RSA, and Lockheed Martin.
“It was a really close competition,” says partner at JVP Cyber Labs Yoav Tzruya. “We created the competition a month ago to discover the brightest new companies in cybersecurity. And we did. We picked Titanium since their product is such a technological breakthrough in the cybersecurity world.”
JVP founder and MK Erel Margalit (Labor) supports the Cybertition since it brings fresh talent to the Cyber Labs and opens their eyes to revolutionary technology developed in cybersecurity.
“The Cybertition is not just about finding the winner,” says Margalit. “The real aim is to discover younger companies who have revolutionary ideas. In terms of the companies that did not win, we now know about them. The whole process was beneficial on both ends.”
In 2013, JVP founded the Cyber Labs in Beersheba.
It is the first government-supported early-stage incubator in cybersecurity. Located near Ben-Gurion University, the Cyber Labs create a hub that allows cybersecurity to flourish through academia, international corporations and top experts in the field.
“By creating the Cyber Labs, I feel like we are the new wave of pioneers in Israel,” says Margalit. “We needed an international center of excellence in the South for cybersecurity research. It combines academics, international corporations and leading experts in the field.
The idea came when I saw the strong minds of Ben-Gurion University students and realized they needed a place for their talents to thrive. Just like our ancestors built kibbutzim, I feel like an innovator by heating up the technological wave in the South.”
With numerous start-ups receiving their launch from JVP including CyberArk, Navajo (acquired by SalesForce), Magnifire (acquired by F5 Networks), ThetaRay and NativeFlow, the 18- to 24-month time slot in the incubator can make or break an entrepreneur’s career.
“We have been placed on the fast track for life,” says Mimram. “We are now going to connect with some of the greatest minds in cybersecurity. We can’t wait to see how our idea grows as we collaborate with experts in the labs. This is a fairy-tale ending.”