Accelerator Program


Accelerating your world-class solution

You’re working on a cyber security solution. To succeed, you’ll need more than technology. Let’s see how far we can go together.

We’re a venture accelerator, funded by NTT and Deakin University. Our focus is on supercharging the growth of early stage cyber security startups. We’re looking for founders from anywhere in the Asia-Pacific region to join us in Melbourne for a three-month, mentor-driven program. We’ll give you $50,000 as part of a capped SAFE note, then do everything we possibly can to make you successful.


Fast-track your future

In our three-month, mentor-driven accelerator program, you’ll get all you need to successfully take your idea to a global market.


Grow your expectations

Your peers in this program are the region’s finest. They’re an important part of the experience, so we ensure you work with the very best.


Be mentored by the best

Receive intensive mentoring on everything from scaling tech teams to growth marketing, from Australia’s leading innovators, technologists and venture capitalists.


Reach customers early

Connect directly with early enterprise customers through our Corporate Partner Network. Want to talk to a specific CISO? We’ll open the door for you.


Enjoy full partner support

Access all the support you need. Our partners offer the full extent of their combined resources to every program participant.


Take it to the world

Embark on a structured trip overseas for a broader perspective on the cyber security landscape, deep in the heartland of security innovation and fast-growth startups.

Want to take your solution to the next level?

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  • Tony Smales

    Tony Smales

    Tony Smales is the driving force behind Forticode. Tony created Forticode when he recognized the world was becoming more connected, more technology dependent and thoroughly compromised. He has an honours degree in computer science, specializing in Artificial Intelligence.

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  • Michelle Price

    Michelle Price

    Michelle, who’s CEO of the Australian Cyber Security Growth Network, has a wealth of public sector security experience. With the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet she held Senior Adviser roles in National Security Policy and Planning and Domestic Cyber Policy, before becoming Senior Adviser, Cyber Security at ANU’s National Security College.

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  • Jeff Paine

    Jeff Paine

    Jeff’s the Cofounder and CEO of ResponSight, which is rethinking how security breaches are detected in the enterprise with the help of behavioural analytics. He recently raised over $1 million to grow ResponSight into a global company. Jeff’s long history of Founder and Advisor roles developed his passion for leadership — and for cyber security.

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  • Casey Ellis

    Casey Ellis

    Casey is the Cofounder, Chairman and CTO at security services marketplace Bugcrowd, having been working in the cyber security space since 2001. He’s founded and worked as Director and CSO at a number of enterprise and security-focused businesses while simultaneously mentoring others through Pushstart, the Tall Poppy Group — and now CyRise.

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  • Sal Unwin

    Sal Unwin

    As Chief Commercial Officer of Triskele Labs, Sal Unwin is a highly respected senior executive with over 30 years’ cross-sector experience. She is a thought leader in the cybersecurity sector and is skilled at delivering customer focused solutions.

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  • Nick Crocker

    Nick Crocker

    Having founded and run Sessions (sold to MyFitnessPal), Nick's passion for getting new projects up and running drew him to investment. Today he’s General Partner at Blackbird Ventures and Executive Chair at Startmate.

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  • Peter Huynh

    Peter Huynh

    Before co-founding Qualgro, which has raised funds of more than $50 million and made 14 investments, Peter cofounded and was Director at both Optus Innov8 and Singtel Group Digital Life. Today, Qualgro focuses its investments in health, education, communication, cyber security and financial technology — sectors Peter and his partners see as critical to the growth of the Asia Pacific region.

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  • Ran Lewinski

    Ran Lewinski

    Ran Lewinski is Vice President of Sales APAC at Checkmarx, a global leader in application security solutions. With close to 20 years of enterprise sales and marketing experience in the global tech industry, Ran has a deep understanding of Application Security, Mobile Applications, Cloud and SaaS markets.

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what to expect

  • May 3rd
    2021 Applications open
  • July 16th
    2021 Applications close
  • July 27th
    2021 Interview day
  • Aug 2nd
    2021 Offers extended
  • Aug 30th
    2021 Program starts
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CyRise Accelerator Program Timeline
  • week 1 Startup Foundations, Team Bonding
  • week 2 Meet Mentors &
    Industry Advisors
  • weeks 3-12 Validation, Go-to-Market,
    Growth (hiring, raising, pitching)
  • week 13 Demo Days,
    Melb & Syd
  • week 14 International trip
  • WEEKLY Workshops Lunch 'n' Learns Week-in-Progress meetings (WIP) CEO one-to-one Open Office Hours

Frequently Asked Questions

As well as giving you $50,000 at the start of the program we'll also fund you for an international trip to the US. One founder from each successful team will join us overseas for 7-10 days as part of a structured events program. If your co-founder wants to come as well we would love that, but your startup would need to cover that cost (around $5k). Please note that due to the ongoing issues with covid-19, the international trip is unlikely to be a feature of cohort 5. If we are unable to fly internationally, we will make every effort to connect you to the key people virtually.

Applications close 16th of July 2021. Applicants accepted into the next round will be invited to Interview Day on July 27th. Successful founders will receive an offer by August 2nd. The program will commence August 30th 2021.

The funding is given as part of a capped SAFE note. You can read more about SAFE notes here. A SAFE note is generally considered to be lightweight and founder friendly.

CyRise aims to provide equal opportunities to all in the cyber security field. So we want to do everything we can to help you be successful. If you identify as coming from a group that's been underrepresented in technology, please contact us.

As a first step, we invite you to book a 30 minute meeting with our CEO Scott Handsaker who can help with your application. We will then connect you with mentors and others in our network who will do everything they can to maximise your chances of being selected for the program.

It’s hard to describe everything about the program on a website, so we always encourage people who are interested to talk to us first. Book a 30 minute meeting with our CEO Scott Handsaker and talk it through with us. Meetings can be conducted by whatever means of communication you feel comfortable with.

Great founders come in all shapes and sizes, so we try not to have too many preconceived ideas of what you will be like. We do admit to having a preference for teams with at least two founders, however it is not a hard and fast rule. If you are an amazing single founder with a great security startup, we would love to hear from you.

The only unbreakable rule is that all teams must have technical skills. Your founding team must be able to build their own technology, as we don’t believe that outsourcing your product is the path to success.

Yes! In fact we are keen to attract teams from all over the Asia-Pacific region. You will have to commit to being in Melbourne for the duration of the program. If Covid-19 is still restricting international flights, then it is likely cohort 5 will be restricted to Australian companies only.