Luxembourg-based incubator Technoport is leading the way in its support of cybersecurity startups. Interview with CEO Diego De Biasio.
(Featured Image: Diego De Biasio, CEO of Technoport / Image Credit © Olivier Minaire)
Do have any cybersecurity startups in your portfolio or have you had any in the past?
Yes, we did and actually still do. Since the very beginning, cybersecurity or IT-security in general has always been a recurring theme in the startup applications we receive. Today we still have a range of those companies among us, namely Passbolt, Hotshot and Silent Breach, which are more into B2B software solutions. But there’s also APS, which operates more in the financial sector and has developed a safe and smart payment card. Overall, the IT security field has been a very successful vertical for us.
Can you give us some examples of former companies you hosted and how they developed?
In the past, we had companies like SecureWave, a leading provider in host intrusion prevention solutions. It merged with Patchlink (US) to become Lumension, now known as Ivanti. We also had GentleSecurity, active in data leak prevention solutions, which was acquired by BeyondTrust (US), and NeoValens, which was acquired by Desktop Standard (US). These are examples of companies that, during their development, were acquired or merged with bigger companies – interestingly always US companies that saw the potential of their innovations.
“I’m rather confident that we will see many more successful businesses in this area coming out of Luxembourg.”
To be thorough, it’s also worth mentioning RCDevs, Conostix, iTrust and Seezam. All these companies are still in business several years after leaving the incubator. Some are global players while others have a closer geographical market. But the fact that they are still in operation shows that the solutions they provide are relevant to their target segments.
Are you specifically targeting cybersecurity startups?
No – all kinds of startups can apply to our incubator. We basically check the innovativeness and technological component of their offering and the business case behind it. I think the reason why we continue to get a lot of applications in this field is due to the country’s economic specialization in finance, and the presence of European institutions and other big service providers (data centers, etc.) who consider security to be important to their daily business. This has attracted a specialized workforce and talent who, after some years of experience, sometimes decide to take the path of entrepreneurship.
One of our latest projects, Tomorrow Street – a joint venture with Vodafone Procurement – is a great example of this segment’s importance. The fact that this innovation center is targeting companies mainly in artificial intelligence, IoT and cybersecurity shows how critical cybersecurity solutions are today. If you deal with data or personal data, either through IoT solutions or any other avenue, security will be a crucial topic.
I’m rather confident that we will see many more successful businesses in this area coming out of Luxembourg.