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Call for the Cyber Startup Challenge 2020

The Cyber-Defence Campus, armasuisse Science and Technology, is looking for innovative technologies for the Cyber Startup Challenge 2020.

10.08.2020 | armasuisse Science and Technology, Cyber-Defence Campus

Keyvisual Cyber-Defence Campus - Two Hands

About the Cyber Startup Challenge

The Cyber-Defence Campus is looking for innovative technologies and explores the startup market by organizing the Cyber Startup Challenge 2020.

The goal of the challenge is to discover the startup technology landscape around the subject of cyber threat intelligence and to bring innovative technologies to the Swiss Armed Forces.

Companies are encouraged to register, the best candidate will be selected through an internal selection and will be able to implement its solution.

For this challenge, three startup finalists will pitch their businesses during the conference «Cyber threat - Technology Intelligence» on November 3rd, 2020 in Lausanne.

A committee will choose one company as the finalist for the Startup Challenge. Finally, the selected startup is awarded a contract of up to CHF 100'000.- to integrate a Proof of Concept of its technology within the Swiss Armed Forces.

This challenge is not a tender; it serves as market exploration to find promising technologies best suited for the Swiss Armed Forces' demands.

What we are looking for

We are looking for novel solutions in cyber threat intelligence that can have a significant impact in the day-to-day operation of the Swiss Armed Forces. The solution will be integrated in the existing infrastructure. The technology does not need to be fully mature yet, but a convincing Proof of Concept should be implementable within a year and with less than CHF 100'000.-.

Below are some examples of cyber threat intelligence technologies of interest; however, we are also looking to discovering related technology areas.

Some examples of technologies are:

  • Faster threat analysis: finding out how a threat behaves
  • Compare binary elements and find similarities
  • Aggregate feeds to identify emerging topics (i.e., thread feed from different providers scanned together and identify the same threat with different names)
  • Semantic analysis of documents
  • Summarize text and identify topics in a hacker forum
  • Facilitate the comprehension of texts in another language, including slang
  • Analyze network traffic or metadata to identify patterns that correspond to an actor
  • Correlation of events and signatures
  • Sharing information about cyber threats with different partners («Need to Know» vs. «Need to Share»)

What we are not looking for

We are not interested in solutions that will require significant changes in the infrastructure or could pose risks. We are not interested in concepts or studies, or solutions that are in a very early development stage. We are not interested in consultancy proposals or non-technical solutions.

General Conditions for the challenge

  1. The startup is younger than six years as of November 2020.
  2. The founders are still investors and active.
  3. The company has at least three employees including active founders.
  4. The company received less than fifteen million CHF in funding.
  5. The final selected startup will be awarded a contract to integrate a Proof of Concept of the technology in the Swiss Armed Forces.
  6. The awarded contract has a maximal value of CHF 100'000.-. The value is subject to the work required to integrate the Proof of Concept.
  7. The Proof of Concept is supported by the Cyber-Defence Campus.
  8. This challenge is not a competition with price nor a tender. It is a market research to find a promising technology best suited for the demands of the Swiss Armed Forces around cyber threat intelligence and where companies can register voluntarily.
  9. The Proof of Concept is not meant for operational deployment.
  10. Any further acquisition will go through a tender, and the Proof of Concept does not guarantee any additional mandate or purchase.
  11. All other companies that applied can still be considered for tenders and further challenges.
  12. The company is willing to accept the General Terms and Conditions of the Swiss Confederation (GTC) without reservation. Companies who make changes (additions/adaptations) are excluded from the Challenge.

Selection criteria

  • Technology is related to cyber threat intelligence
  • Technology relevance and usability for the Swiss Armed Forces
  • Feasibility of the project
  • Innovation factor and potential for impact for the Swiss Armed Forces
  • Technology Concept viability
  • Dual use (military, civilian)
  • A higher priority will be given to Swiss companies; however, the startup can be internationa

Selection process

  • The startup must fill the registration template of the call and send the document to the address provided.
  • The Cyber-Defence Campus will select the ten best companies and ask for further information and details.
  • The three best companies will be invited to give a presentation of their company and technology.
  • At the conference, the three finalists will give a pitch of 10 minutes and the selected company is revealed.

What are you waiting for? Register now! Use the registration form (see under Download)


Call closed 30.09.2020
Best ten solutions selected 08.10.2020
Best three startups present at the Swiss Armed Forces 16.10.2020
Best solution revealed during conference in November 03.11.2020