SparkLabs launches DC accelerator for cybersecurity and blockchain startups - DC


Oct. 12, 2018 9:57 am

SparkLabs launches DC accelerator for cybersecurity and blockchain startups

The company is expanding its accelerator group into the U.S. for the first time.

The first accelerator class will begin in March 2019.

(Photo by Flickr user Yuri Samoilov, used under a Creative Commons license)

It’s cybersecurity month at and this new accelerator program is here to heat up the discussion.

SparkLabs Group is launching a new global accelerator program for startups focused on cybersecurity and blockchain in Washington, D.C.

SparkLabs, a network of accelerators and venture capital funds, is bringing the accelerator program to the U.S. after having programs set up in Korea, China, Taiwan, Hong Kong and Australia.

The D.C. accelerator will be led by entrepreneurs and cofounders of SparkLabs Cybersecurity + Blockchain, Mike Bott and Brian Park.

Bott is the former managing director of The Brandery, a nationally ranked accelerator program that invests $100,000 in each of five startups. Under his leadership, the firm was recognized as a Top 20 accelerator by the Seed Accelerator Ranking Project.

“We’re excited to bring the SparkLabs brand, connections and expertise to D.C.,” Bott said in a statement. “If you are building the next big thing in cybersecurity or blockchain anywhere in the world, any founder should look at this exciting new accelerator we are launching.”

Park, former COO at Startup Grind, has been a part of multiple startup ventures himself and has been working as managing partner on the team that turned AOL’s Fishbowl Labs into what SparkLabs Cybersecurity + Blockchain is today. The company previously had plans to launch a regional incubator, DC reported in April, but took a different route to create this global accelerator program.

“We want to foster and grow a robust ecosystem in both cybersecurity and distributed ledger technologies. We believe these two verticals are synergetic by nature, but we will seek innovations beyond the overlap,” Park said in a statement.

The new accelerator will be supported by a wide range of advisors and partners. The advisory board includes:

  • Ray Ozzie, former chief software architect at Microsoft and creator of Lotus Notes
  • Charlie Lee, creator of Litecoin
  • Michael Crow, chairman of In-Q-Tel and president of Arizona State University
  • Eric Ly, cofounder of LinkedIn
  • Rich DeMillo, HP’s first CTO and executive director at the Center for 21st Century Universities at Georgia Tech

The team will be joined by venture partners that include: Samson Mow, CSO at Blockstream and CEO of Pixelmatic; Andrew Lee, cofounder of and chairman of London Trust Media Holdings; Ryan Selkis, CEO of Messari; and Monique Morrow, president of the Humanized Internet.

Applications are open and the first accelerator class will begin in March 2019.

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