When this year’s winners of the InvestMaryland Challenge were announced, Bricata stood out.
Amid the Maryland companies who finished atop the Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development competition, the cybersecurity company was listed as hailing from Vienna, Va.
But as of June 1, Bricata’s home state will change. The seven-employee company is moving its headquarters to the bwtech@UMBC cyber incubator in Baltimore County.
The company was founded in July 2014, as the four cofounders saw an opportunity to produce network security systems that leveraged the open-source platform Suricata to perform faster and capture more data than current technology allows.
Like many early-stage companies, CEO John Trauth sees money as a key in growing. Since CTO Iain Davison spent two years developing Bricata in his basement, the startup is at the phase where they have what Trauth called a “fairly mature” product. Now, the company wants to build out the product to the point where it is a full on “threat exchange,” expand sales capabilities and, in connection with both of those, bring on new employees.
“It’s a living thing, and you have to keep feeding it if you want to grow,” Trauth said.
To get access to that food, Trauth thinks Maryland is the best place for the company to be right now. Along with winning $100,000 from the InvestMaryland Challenge, Trauth recently heard from Maryland Department of Business and Economic Development Mike Gill.
“He offered to help us in anyway he could,” Trauth said.
On Monday morning, Trauth talked to representatives from TEDCO, who told him about the Cybersecurity Investment Fund. That could be the source of another $100,000.
The company is also looking forward to the opportunity to be in an incubator where there are other cybersecurity companies and access to mentors to get help as they grow. When Bricata moves in, the incubator will have 38 companies. Another 12 are at bwtech@UMBC as non-incubator companies.
“Bricata is an innovative company with real growth potential and we look forward to working with John and his team to connect them with funding sources, business advisory services and access to UMBC students,” said bwtech@UMBC Executive Director Ellen Hemmerly.
In Maryland, Trauth said, “It just seems like there’s a lot more opportunities and assistance, a lot more resources in terms of helping us launch the company and get us off the ground.”