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Sergei Hodakova Names SCI Among The Most Interesting International Projects in the Field of Information Security

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Information security  has become one of the most interesting areas for investment. For example,  it is estimated Insights CB, only the last 5 years has been committed in 1028 investment transactions in IB company totaling more than $ 7.3 billion. At the same time, more than 60% of transactions fell on the projects that are at an early stage (Seed / Angel / Series A). Startups in the field of IS(information security) are promising especially now when everyone is talking about import substitution. In September, the 8th International Conference will be held again  BIS Summit  – her young companies the scope of information security will be provided in section Standup for Startup.

We talked with Sergei Hodakova – Head of “Information Technology Security” fund “Skolkovo” – about start-ups in the field of information security and the search for investment.

 

 


Sergey, could you tell us about the development trends of information security programs and support projects that are currently leading IT cluster Fund “Skolkovo”.

The IT cluster is being implemented more than 30 projects in various information security technology areas, such as:

  • infrastructure solutions to improve the safety of engineering and business systems;

  • solutions for the prevention of cyber threats and fraud, as well as conducting cyber investigations;

  • solutions for data protection in the cloud and distributed environments, and others.

Consolidated revenues of the participating companies in the field of information security grows annually by more than 40%, last year it reached 500 million rubles.

Program to support projects of IT-cluster focused primarily on the creation and commercialization of new technological solutions. We help in several ways: in addition to the financing of development, provide marketing, mentoring and expert support and help in finding investors, protection ofintellectual property, with the help projects to international markets.

One of the important tools to support project is providing the grant funding. The direction of information security is a priority in the IT cluster – in the first half of 2015 of 19 projects, which were approved grants, six work in the field of information security, and received funding totaling more than 118 million rubles.

What projects are participants of the “Skolkovo” will be presented at BIS Summit 2015?

This year, under the BIS Summit we decided to focus on new entrants “Skolkovo”. The session StandUp for StartUp we present:

  • Novilab Security, develops solutions for the protection of APCS (solutions of hardware and software designed to automate the control of technological equipment in industrial plants – approx. Rusbase);

  • Solidsoft, which deals with the protection of Web applications;

  • “Coda”, specializing in the prevention of intrusion of a new generation; solution to protect against interception of traffic, and other projects.

What, in your opinion, the difference between start-ups in the field of information security from other beginners IT companies? What are the specifics?

First of all, it should be noted that modern solutions in the field of information security, usually require a significant scientific and technological innovation and highly specialized technological expertise – both at the stage of fund raising as well as on the further development stages of the decision. For example, the IT cluster is working with more than 45 experts and 20 mentors. This helps us to successfully support the creation of new security technologies.

In addition, there are several factors to consider when implementing projects in the field of information security:

  • significant obstacle can be a lack of understanding customer problems of importance and seriousness of the risks;

  • very often a prerequisite for the successful implementation of the project is the certification of the product;

  • Many startups are faced with the fact that the introduction of the finished product certified can take a tremendous amount of resources.

Where can I find a good team for a startup?

In our experience, successful technological solutions create a team that already have experience in the implementation of technology projects, significant expertise and understanding of customer needs, and only then decided to create his own project. Typically, a team of professionals not only find, but it is possible – on the thematic events and forums, especially if they are informal.

Please tell us about a few, in your opinion, the most interesting international projects in the field of information security, with whom you met recently.

From projects that track now, I would like to mention start-ups, aimed at ensuring the safety of the Internet of things. In this area I was interested in a startup Bastille, which is developing a solution for the vulnerability scan IoT devices and detect possible violations at the corporate level. The project has already attracted several rounds of financing. The project was awarded to the Mobile World Congress IoT and is included in the rating of the top 10 innovative companies in 2015.

Also, I would point out enterprise-solution developed by start-(up) Secure Channels. The company builds the encryption framework, which offers customers greater freedom of configuration uses its own patented technologies and strong authentication advanced technology cascade encryption.

Can you give examples of successful Russian start-ups in the field of information security? What, in your opinion, the secret of their success?

It is worth noting the project Wallarm (company ONSEK INC), which is the winner of the “Skolkovo» iSecurity-2014. If we talk about the components of the project’s success, I believe that it is, above all, a high expertise and professionalism of the team. Solution Wallarm used in several large companies.We help companies in the finance, marketing, participation in exhibitions and conferences, mentoring support, and attracting new customers.

How do accelerators IT cluster?

This year we have launched of acceleration programs in the field of mobile technology. The program provides an opportunity to attract experts to focus on the intensive development of the project and minimize the time to market. These development programs we are implementing with known accelerators iDealMachine and HaxAsia.

As a startup right to present their product to become a member of the “Skolkovo”, to interest potential investors, and the like?

Every entrepreneur faces the need to present your product and usually winning strategy here – is the capacity and brevity. In preparation for the meeting, the project team recommended to know in advance on what makes sense to focus in the presentation, who will be at the meeting, what kind of questions are often specifies a particular investor, what is its feature.

For example, if we talk about our Foundation, we provide grant financing only to participants of“Skolkovo”, so the first step before applying or meeting on financing will pass the examination on the status of the participant “Skolkovo”. To pass the examination can apply through websitewww.sk.ru.

When preparing an application for funding from the Fund “Skolkovo” has a meaning very clearly and simply articulate the essence of your product and what problem it solves. Will the project reduce costs, improve business processes, or company, or to provide new opportunities for business development? In terms of solving the problem – it is important to show and to evaluate the result of the implementation of your solution for the client’s business is in measurable terms. It makes sense to bring market research confirming the existence and importance of the stated problem. It is also necessary to answer the question whether the project addresses some narrow issue or technology project can be a platform to address a wide range of tasks. One of the first questions will be about the technology and scientific and technical novelty of your decision: What technological differences from competitors and how to justify the benefits provided by technology.

Much attention is paid to the commercialization of the plan and its feasibility. It often happens that there is a potentially interesting market, great decision and attractive figures in terms of revenue in the next 3-4 years, but there is no answer as to how these figures will be achieved. It makes sense to answer the following questions: on what customers primarily oriented project? How many potential customers with whom negotiations have been? Is there a preliminary agreement about flying?Which sales channels plan to use? Why do these channels work? What partners are needed in Russia and abroad?

If your project is interesting, most likely, at a meeting with investors, he will cause a lively discussion, which will allow to understand how the project looks at the investor what the weaknesses are in the project or in the application and how they can be corrected, so that eventually attract financing.

Find the original article here, written by Elina Asfaganova, Chief editor elina@rusbase.com

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