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Kaspersky, the multinational cybersecurity company with over 400 million users, is on a mission to continue evolving and stay connected to innovators in the sector. In the past mostly known for its antivirus products, Kaspersky today boasts a comprehensive portfolio of security solutions and services, including a number of innovative products and technologies, cloud services and advanced threat intelligence.
Kaspersky >< Open Innovation
A year ago, the company launched the 'Kaspersky Open Innovation Program', inviting startups and individual project owners to apply with solutions that can address growing global security needs even faster, in transportation, blockchain, anti-fraud and IIoT.
With the program, Kaspersky doesn't aim to incubate, accelerate or invest in startups (per se), instead offering its expertise to test new products and services, validate their technical and business potential, and to develop the business jointly.
The company doesn't take any equity stakes, but proposes to build, market and distribute third-party products and services with an option to set up joint sales and revenue sharing partnerships.
Evidently, Kaspersky leaves the door open to invest in startups at a later time.
The previous call yielded 258 applications from 49 countries in total, of which 12 startups reached the final and presented their projects to an expert jury at a Demo Day in Milan (which will obviously not take place physically again any time soon). For more info on the four end winners - Enigmedia, Enigmatos, Naboo and Sedicii - you can check out this article.
Kaspersky Innovation Hub
Another, but closely related initiative is the Kaspersky Innovation Hub (iHub), with which the company aims to spark collaboration and cooperation with 'brilliant minds' through knowledge sharing and providing the necessary infrastructure to transform ideas into market-viable businesses - including a co-working space.
The unit boasts partnerships with a number of accelerators, incubators and venture capital firms such as Mangrove Capital Partners.