ICS event
At the Institute for Cyber Security (ICS) founders day event, Purdue
University cyber security expert and guest speaker Eugene Spafford
(center) displays a commemorative plaque, accompanied by Greg
White (left), director of UTSA's ICS Center for Infrastructure
Assurance and Security, and Ravi Sandhu, ICS executive director.
(Photo by Mark McClendon)

Institute for Cyber Security launches tech incubator

By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist

(Nov. 20, 2008)--The UTSA Institute for Cyber Security (ICS) has launched the new Internet security incubator, a program which will develop and assist in commercializing promising technologies that address major cyber security and privacy issues. As part of the launch, ICS selected two San Antonio start-ups, DenimIP and SafeMashups, as the first companies entering the incubator.

In 2007, DenimIP was recognized by the San Antonio Business Journal as one of the "Best Places to Work." In 2006, the journal named DenimIP the "Fastest Growing Company in San Antonio."

"This is the culmination of years of hard work between UTSA, security companies in San Antonio and the Department of Defense institutions that reside in our community," said John Dickson, principal at Denim Group, a San Antonio-based consultancy that builds and secures software applications for Fortune 500 clients. "The ICS Incubator will help identify promising security technologies that exist at or are close to UTSA and will accelerate getting the best of these technologies to market."

The Institute for Cyber Security is led by Ravi Sandhu, ICS executive director and nationally renowned scholar. The ICS Incubator, one component of the Institute for Cyber Security, is led by Ravi Ganesan, a seasoned technology executive and entrepreneur.

The ICS incubator is structured to work with both innovations developed at UTSA, as well as to work with entrepreneurs who could benefit from the expertise and resources of UTSA researchers.

To become a part of the program, participants must agree to significant collaboration with ICS or other UTSA staff. In exchange, the ICS incubator will provide resources such as:

  • Access to entrepreneurial researchers with a proven ability to innovate and bring products to market
  • Access to seed capital
  • Access to experience in the life cycle of startups from "ideas" to "exits" and everything between
  • Support with intellectual property protection (patents, software)
  • Infrastructure (office and administrative) support

ICS will offer selected companies vital resources such as access to ICS labs and the extensive body of research and expertise of ICS advisors and university staff to support everything from product development, to marketing, to strategic guidance, to office and administrative support. By leveraging the ICS incubator to expedite its commercialization efforts, incubator companies will fast-track product development efforts and expedite time to capital, market and profitability.

"Public and private investment in sponsored cyber-security research results in the creation of technology, inventions and ideas," said Robert W. Gracy, UTSA vice president for research. "By offering local entrepreneurs access to university resources and providing a forum for researchers to transform their research into marketable business ventures, we enable students, faculty and entrepreneurs to commercialize their ideas, produce successful financially viable and freestanding businesses, and create additional jobs in the community."

The mission of the UTSA Institute for Cyber Security is to conduct world-class research with commercialization. Founded in June 2007 and funded as part of the Texas Emerging Technology Fund, the institute is staffed by leading researchers and senior software architects with expertise in emerging Internet security issues. ICS consists of three units: ICS Labs, a nationally resputed center for academic research; ICS Incubator, established to make San Antonio a fertile breeding ground for security companies; and the ICS Center for Infrastructure Assurance and Security (CIAS), which leverages San Antonio's IAS skills as part of the solution to the nation's homeland security needs.


About DenimIP and SafeMashups

DenimIP is a venture created as a spinoff of Denim Group LLP, an IT consultancy specializing in custom software development, systems integration and application security. The Denim Group serves a national and international client base of commercial and public sector organizations in industries including financial services, banking, insurance, health care and defense. DenimIP was created to commercialize leading-edge technology developed at the Denim Group to provide non-intrusive, real-time detection of attacks on certain classes of Web applications.

SafeMashups is a fledgling company founded to provide the level of security needed for enterprises to strategically leverage mashups for business purposes. With patent-pending technology that will enable companies to more strategically use mashups without placing their IT systems at risk, SafeMashups aims to build a strong position in the growing Web 2.0 applications market, predicted by Forrester Research to reach $4.6 billion globally by 2013.

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