Announcing the eCISO Cybersecurity Accelerator for Growth-Stage Startups

Jeff Kohrman
Aug 19, 2019 · 9 min read

Today, August 19, 2019, we are thrilled to announce the general availability of our equity-free startup accelerator program for early and growth-stage companies.

Text stating, “Apply to the accelerator, now accepting applications to our startup security accelerator program.”
Text stating, “Apply to the accelerator, now accepting applications to our startup security accelerator program.”

The program is open to all early and growth-stage startups that want to take control of their security practices by building a mature, scalable security program and hire their first security leader within the next six quarters.

What is the security accelerator program?

Participants will have the opportunity to build their internal security program to meet their industry standards, develop a positive culture with security in mind, and grow to support a seasoned CISO or Head of Security to maintain security as their strategic market advantage.

Through the program, our advisors help your company’s leadership team position security as a business enabler to unlock new markets, close larger deals, and take the right risks to unlock your startup’s potential.

Who is the accelerator program open to?

Do I have to have a security startup?

How do I apply to the accelerator program?

The application review process comes in three stages: application review, founder interviews, and an in-person workshop (what we call the Pre-Assessment). You must pass each stage successfully to be accepted into the accelerator program.

Frequently Asked Questions

About the accelerator program.

What is the eCISO Security Accelerator Program?

What do I get from the accelerator program?

We help you set and implement your security strategy to make security your strategic market advantage, and help you find, hire and retain your own security leader to replace us. Companies also gain access to exclusive eCISO services including our network of security-conscientious Venture Capital firms, security advisors and technology partners.

How many startups are accepted in each cohort?

Where is the accelerator program based geographically?

Who is a good fit for the accelerator program?

  • Have less than 3 (including none) employees dedicated to security.
  • Are willing and able to commit to hiring a security leader within 18 months.
  • Recognize that security can be a significant differentiator in their market.

We typically ask that applicants either have existing annual revenue between $250,000 — $500,000, or have received funding of at least $500,000. Exceptions to this requirement may be made on a case-by-case basis, however, we do not work with companies where accelerator fees are a significant burden to their ability to operate.

Getting into the accelerator program.

When does the accelerator program start?

How long does the accelerator program last?

How do I apply for the accelerator program?

What happens after I submit my application?

Applications and any documentation you’ve shared with us are reviewed within one week of submission. After that, we’ll schedule a short interview with you (the company’s founders / CEO) over the phone or video chat. You should set aside about an hour for this interview.

Once your application has been approved, it’s time to begin the pre-assessment. This is done over the next 6 weeks (virtually and in-person) to evaluate your company culture and current security practices against your risks. This phase involves interviewing most — if not all — of your employees. You should expect to spend between 2 and 3 hours each week during the pre-assessment.

If you successfully pass the pre-assessment, you’ll be approved! Approved startups are enrolled in the accelerator program in the order they are received.

Six weeks is a long time — What do I get out of the pre-assessment?

If your startup successfully passes the pre-assessment, you will be accepted and enrolled in the accelerator program. In the event that the pre-assessment finds that you do not qualify for the accelerator program, we will provide you with a roadmap with recommendations for steps you can take to qualify in the future, along with introductions (and discounts) to service providers that can support you in the interim.

What happens if I don’t pass the pre-assessment?

Even if you don’t pass this phase of the application, we’ll still provide you with your third-party risk assessment and roadmap to make the changes necessary to qualify in the future (and improve your security posture). We’ll also connect you with other service providers (with discounts!) that can help you improve your security posture in the interim.

Accelerator program costs.

How much does it cost to join the accelerator program?

Pre-assessment fees: The pre-assessment is $14,360 and does not include travel expenses and related fees that may apply. This fee is non-refundable and due immediately upon the close of the pre-assessment of your company.

Accelerator fees: Participation in the accelerator program is $8,500 monthly for the duration of the program and does not include travel expenses and related fees that may apply. These fees are non-refundable and are due upon receipt of your monthly invoice.

Will you take any equity or ownership of my business?

Can I pay my fees annually (or some other payment arrangement)?

If I leave the program before graduating, can I get a refund?

Graduating from the accelerator program.

How long does it take to complete the program?

The current average is 14 months to get your company ready to support a CISO or Head of Security with a successful hire of your security leader within 16 months. The remaining months are used to transition your security program to your new CISO.

I’ve completed the program and hired my CISO, now what?

If I graduate early, what happens to the rest of my accelerator fees?

Ready to learn more?

eCISO — Security for Startups logotype and slogan
eCISO — Security for Startups logotype and slogan

Questions or comments? Ready to get started now?

eCISO - Security for Startups

We make security accessible for growth-stage companies and…

Jeff Kohrman

Written by

Jeff is a cybersecurity veteran with a passion for making security accessible to early and growth-stage startups.

eCISO - Security for Startups

We make security accessible for growth-stage companies and the humans that lead them. eCISO is a security consulting firm that provides a startup accelerator program, with additional services for advisory boards and venture capital firms.

Jeff Kohrman

Written by

Jeff is a cybersecurity veteran with a passion for making security accessible to early and growth-stage startups.

eCISO - Security for Startups

We make security accessible for growth-stage companies and the humans that lead them. eCISO is a security consulting firm that provides a startup accelerator program, with additional services for advisory boards and venture capital firms.

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