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Meet the finalists of the Cyber Startup Challenge 2021

Decentriq, Constella Intelligence and Pandora Intelligence convinced the jury in the selection process of the Cyber Startup Challenge 2021. All three companies gave a pitch at the Cyber Defence (CYD) Campus Conference on the 28th of September.

30.09.2021 | Dr. Colin Barschel, Cyber-Defence Campus, armasuisse science and technology

Bright dots in front of a purple background forming two shaking hands.


Cyber threats become increasingly more challenging to understand and to protect from because attack tactics, techniques and procedures evolve quickly. To increase their security, operators of critical infrastructures can join a closed group of customers and have access to information that is not available to the public.

Startups often have novel and disruptive ideas and can provide technologies that can offer a technological advantage over attackers. Therefore, it is essential to identify and deploy such technologies as early as possible, even if the technology is not yet fully mature.

The Cyber Startup Challenge 2021 was organized by the Cyber-Defence Campus of armasuisse Science and Technology. The challenge takes the form of a market exploration where young companies could propose their technologies for an Information Sharing and Analysis Center (ISAC). The goal this year is to find innovative and new solutions and to test them in a real environment.

This second edition of the challenge attracted 38 startups from Europe, the USA, India and other Asian countries, offering a broad spectrum of innovative technologies. The jury selected the following three finalists:


Maximilian Groth - Decentriq
Maximilian Groth - Decentriq
© Decentriq

Decentriq was chosen as the winner of the challenge at the CYD Campus conference on September 28th, 2021. The startup can now develop a proof of concept in 2022 together with the CYD Campus of the DDPS.

Decentriq developed a Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) platform which provides «data clean rooms» to companies. «Data clean rooms» are safe, secure environments where sensitive data is cleaned and processed so that it can be used for a variety of data analysis purposes.

Large organisations in particular face the dilemma of either sharing data and thereby compromising on data protection and control, or keeping data isolated and thus missing the opportunity to increase their market opportunities.

Decentriq solves this dilemma by providing data clean rooms for secure and straightforward data collaboration. The platform uses the latest technological advances in cloud computing, cryptography, confidential data processing and filtering techniques to protect privacy.

Multiple parties can collaborate on sensitive private data within Decentriq’s «data clean rooms» and perform any analysis on the merged sensitive data. No parties have direct access to this data, as it is protected by encryption techniques. This means that the participants neither have to trust the other participants, nor Decentriq or the cloud provider.

For example, the technology enables internal and external stakeholders and critical infrastructure companies to securely share cyber data and obtain aggregated and anonymous insights. By using «data clean rooms», organisations can access cross-organisational insights, work closely with other organisations and better protect their critical infrastructure. This leads to an improvement in their overall cyber security without compromising on data protection.

Constella Intelligence

Lindsay Whyte - Constella Intelligence
Lindsay Whyte - Constella Intelligence
© Constella Intelligence

Constella Intelligence is an identity-recognition company used by governments and businesses for three-dimensional insights into data breaches. Through automation and comprehensive open-source intelligence (OSINT) datasets, the company can link an online identity to a real person or organisation.

Constella Intelligence provides intelligence analysts and investigators with capabilities to protect national government sectors and detect adversaries with one of the world's largest data pools. For example, it enables investigators to analyse names, pseudonyms and other identity attributes (including cryptocurrencies) to make connections across social media and other channels to identify the real identities behind threat actors and networks.

Pandora Intelligence

Maaike Lousberg, Strategic Business Consultant and Prof. Dr. Peter de Kock, founder and CIO of Pandora Intelligence
Maaike Lousberg, Strategic Business Consultant and Prof. Dr. Peter de Kock, founder and CIO of Pandora Intelligence
© Pandora Intelligence

Pandora Intelligence is an independent Dutch intelligence company specialising in security risks. Pandora provides analysis software for law enforcement agencies, governments and ministries, intelligence agencies, intelligence services and military organisations. The patented software recognises correlations in large amounts of data. Based on these correlations, Pandora creates intelligence scenarios that help its clients anticipate future developments.

For cyber security, Pandora Intelligence has created a platform where organisations in the same sector can share and analyse sensitive and confidential information about incidents, threats, vulnerabilities, measures and lessons learned. Furthermore, the combined data is presented in operationally usable scenarios that can be used by all connected partners. The Pandora platform could therefore help ISACs and critical infrastructure operators make sense of complex data related to cybercrime by combining historical information with current information on developments. This ensures that all partners in an ISAC are informed about important events.

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