On the 2nd February after going head-to-head with seven other leading European cybersecurity startups, Germany-based PHYSEC was named the winner of ECSO’s European Cybersecurity STARtup Award by an independent jury, consisting of renowned European cybersecurity experts.
“Being nominated to the European Cybersecurity STARtup Award final competition was already a really big thing for our entire team. Competing with other excellent cybersecurity companies and being recognised at the European level is a huge appreciation of our 5-year work and a strong recognition of our product to secure IoT/OT devices,”said Christian Zenger, Co-founder and CEO of PHYSEC, after receiving the Award.
Eight finalists had been selected from Cyber Investor Days hosted across the previous year by European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) and its partners, including Brittany Region and its Pôle d’Excellence Cyber, eurobits e.V., secunet Security Networks AG, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, SECURITYMADEIN.LU, Sopra Steria, Systematic Paris-Region and Alliance pour la Confiance Numérique (ACN).
The final event saw intense competition through a series of pitches performed by eight finalists – Yogosha, HarfangLab, 4Securitas, MADANA, Kymatio, BYSTAMP, GLIMPS and PHYSEC. The high-level award jury ultimately decided that PHYSEC should be the winner on the basis of their scalable, disruptive and innovative solution, growth-oriented business plan, go-to-market strategy, business model, use of proceeds, team profile and pitch performance.
“I’m very glad to represent the strong support of the Jury for nominating PHYSEC as the winner of the first edition of the European Cybersecurity STARtup Award. Given the global IoT security challenge that exists today, the Jury found PHYSEC’s technological approach highly compelling and innovative in addressing this real structural problem and respective market opportunity. Congratulations to all the team at PHYSEC and the best wishes on pursuing the ambitious growth plan ahead,”said Carlos Moreira da Silva, Investment Director at Sonae IM & co-Chair of ECSO Working Group 2.2 “Investments and innovative business models”.
An Ambitious Agenda
The European Cybersecurity STARtup Award was created to increase the awareness and visibility of state-of-the-art cybersecurity companies in Europe, both at the European and the global levels. A robust European cybersecurity industry means a better protected digital Europe.
However, European cybersecurity solution providers (particularly smaller companies) have often struggled for visibility in a fragmented European market. ECSO envisages therefore that this initiative will thus increase the European cybersecurity posture across citizens, businesses and society, by increasing the prevalence of European uptake of European solutions.
PHYSEC was founded in 2016 at the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security at the Ruhr University Bochum by Dr. Christian Zenger and Dr. Heiko Koepke. Today they exchange with other founders* via the startup incubator Cube 5 and share their experience and expert knowledge; for example, Dr. Heiko Koepke is a mentor in the accelerator program “Liftoff”. And Dr. Christian Zenger is a member of the scientific-technical advisory board at Cube 5, which is responsible for the StartUpSecure funding recommendation.