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Rye partnership launches Canada’s first ‘Cybersecurity Accelerator’

By Nathaniel Crouch

Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst—a corporation at Ryerson—is partnering with the Digital Media Zone (DMZ) in launching the Catalyst Cyber Accelerator—a three-month program that provides mentorship and resources to support entrepreneurs in the cybersecurity industry.

The program will help boost Canada’s cybersecurity industry by providing guidance and mentorship to cybersecurity companies such as Rogers Communications, Government of Canada, RBC and Amazon Web Services. The type of mentorship provided is still unclear but according to the accelerator’s official site, it’ll be announced soon.

An accelerator like the one being opened up by Ryerson could have a large impact on the future of cybersecurity. According to a 2017 report by Cybersecurity Ventures, there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs by 2021. Pushing for students to take four years to fulfill a cybersecurity degree will leave those jobs unfulfilled until 2024.

The accelerator looks to shorten that gap in employment before 2024 by increasing the number of resources and connections available for established cyber-related businesses.

“Cybersecurity will be more prominent than ever to protect our privacy, rights, and freedoms,” said Abdullah Snobar, executive director, DMZ.

The Accelerator hopes to help entrepreneurs “innovate and compete nationally and internationally,” said executive director of the Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst Charles Finlay in a press release.

Over the next two months, Rogers Cybersecure Catalyst and DMZ will be working on a national recruitment roadshow—a series of info sessions in cites across Canada. This is in the hopes of attracting cyber-related companies to apply to the accelerator.

Scale-ups—start-ups that have proven to already have a firm foot in the marketplacein the accelerator will benefit from DMZ’s programming, including mentoring on product strategy, marketing, talent acquisition, investment attraction and growing sales.

Alexander Brock, senior vice-president technology strategy, innovation, and partnerships at Rogers communications, said a critical thing for Canada’s digital economy to be successful is strong cybersecurity capabilities—such as being to defend from hackers or data breaches.

The Eyeopener previously reported on where the new accelerator will be based in the Rogers Cybersecurity Catalyst.

“We are thrilled to launch Canada’s first Cybersecurity accelerator in Brampton. It is a great fit with our Innovation District in our downtown core and with our growing cluster of Cyber Security related firms,” said Brampton Mayor Patrick Brown.

“This addition moves us one step closer to growing Brampton as a center of excellence in cybersecurity.”

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