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 Deakin University, focussed on early-stage cyber security startups. We work with the best and brightest minds in cyber security from across the Asia-Pacific region to help them get better, faster. Whether product or idea, we can help you make your cyber security startup a reality. We’ll give you $50,000 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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  • Jeff Paine

    Jeff Paine

    Jeff’s the Digital Innovation Lead at AWS. Previously the cofounder and Managing Director 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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  • 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 VP Global Sales at Watchful. Previously he was VP 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

  • Sep 1st
    2022 Applications open
  • Nov 18th
    2022 Applications close
  • Nov 29th/30th
    2022 Interview day
  • Dec 7th
    2022 Offers extended
  • Feb 6th
    2023 Program starts
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CyRise Accelerator Program Timeline
  • week 1 Team Bonding, Ambition, Goal Setting (In-person)
  • week 2 Mentor &
  • weeks 3-12 CISO meetings, Product,
    Validation, Finance,
    Growth (hiring, raising, pitching),
    Go-to-Market, USA week (virtual)
  • week 13 Investor Meetings
  • week 14 Demo Day (In-person)
  • WEEKLY Workshops Lunch 'n' Learns Week-in-Progress meetings (WIP) EIR one-to-one Open Office Hours

Frequently Asked Questions

Applications close 19th November 2022. Applicants accepted into the next round will be invited to Selection Day on 29-30th November. (You will need to be available for a couple of hours on both days.) Successful founders will receive an offer by 7th December. The program will commence 6th February 2023 in-person in Sydney Tech Central.

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 Australia and the Asia-Pacific region. This hybrid program will be delivered in person for Weeks 1+2, and again in Weeks 13-14, but apart from that you can be wherever you like, as the rest of the program is delivered virtually. If you did want to stay in Sydney for the duration of the program, we can arrange a hot desk alongside our team.