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MACH37, the Virginia Center for Innovative Technology's cybersecurity accelerator, announced Tuesday that it has doubled the amount of funding participating companies will receive. The newest class of MACH37 startups will begin March 17, with each receiving $50,000 to kickstart growth instead of the previous amount of $25,000.
According to MACH37 Managing Partner Rick Gordon, "This additional financial investment will not only help Mach37 entrepreneurs attract complementary team members but also will provide them with additional resources necessary to expand target market validation and further accelerate technology development.”
At the end of the program, CIT GAP Funds will also match any outside investment up to $100,000.
The four inaugural cohorts of the 90-day program kicked off last July before wrapping up in September. The next run-throughs of the accelerator will probably look much different than last time around: More than just a doubled initial investment from the CIT, the plan is to have nearly five times as many companies, with 18 slated for this spring.
There is also increased emphasis on the cybersecurity founders bringing on partners this time around. In the fall, each company was represented by just one founder each: Roy Stephan of PierceGTI, David Lehrer of Conatix, Ethan Allen of Sikernes and Shawn Key of Key Cybersecurity.
"The amount of effort required to develop and implement a business concept over a brief 14-week period while also designing and delivering a functional prototype is more work than one full-time founder can reasonably manage," Gordon wrote in a blog post. "The best founding teams usually include full-time technical and entrepreneurial founders, all of whom understand the customer problem they are solving and how to share responsibility as they build their respective businesses."
Typically, CIT takes a 5-7 percent equity stake in the company, but now – with increased funding – that stake should be higher. Founders wishing to apply have until Jan. 31 to do so.