Reflections on Maryland Cyber Day 2016

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Last week, our organization hosted the inaugural Maryland Cyber Day (MCD) in conjunction with the Chesapeake Regional Tech Council and Startup Maryland. Wow, what a day! Over 150 cybersecurity innovators, service providers, professionals, investors, and commercial and government buyers joined us at the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE) in Rockville, MD, and even more attended the various Startup Maryland “Pitch Across Maryland” bus tour stops throughout the day. Governor Larry Hogan even proclaimed October 5th, 2016 as Maryland Cyber Day.

state-house

The day was designed to highlight and celebrate MD’s cybersecurity innovations and connect our cybersecurity companies with two vital resources for success – customers and investment funding. It was a huge undertaking for a first-time event, with many moving parts, but thanks to support from and collaboration among a variety of national, state and local entities and individuals, when all was said and done, the day appears to have been a success. Of course, there is room for improvement for the future, but in general, feedback has been overwhelmingly positive.

Several organizations and individuals deserve a sincere thank you for stepping up in a big way to make MCD possible. A huge thank you goes out to our co-hosts, Chesapeake Regional Tech Council (Tami Howie, Jennifer Mish and Heather East) and Startup Maryland (Mike Binko and Mike Venezia). Montgomery County Economic Development Corporation (MCEDC) and Maryland Department of Commerce (MD DoC) served as our Title Sponsors and along with the National Cybersecurity Center of Excellence (NCCoE), were intimately involved in the planning of the day’s activities. These organizations’ efforts were led by Ken McCreedy (MD DoC), Steve Pennington (MD DoC), Allison Mayer (MD DoC), Maureen Kilcullen (MD DoC), Donna Dodson (NCCoE), Tim McBride (NCCoE), Jolene Loveless (NCCoE), Amber Crutchfield (NCCoE), Tim Czakoczi (NCCoE), David Petr (MCEDC), Jacob Sesker (MCEDC), Sarah Miller (MCEDC), and Joyce Fuhrmann (MCEDC). Thanks, too, to Mike Knapp of Orion Ventures for his efforts in helping to corral the various parties involved in this day.

Additional support came from Rockwell Collins (Mark Griffith), Montgomery County Chamber of Commerce (Gigi Godwin) and bwtech@UMBC (Ellen Hemmerly and Sarah Purdum) – all of which hosted Pitch Across Maryland tour stops on MCD. We also need to thank our promotional partners – Better Business Bureau, Business Monthly, Cybrary, The CyberWire, Gina Palladino (SecuLore Solutions), Regional Manufacturing Institute, United States Cybersecurity Magazine and What Works Studio.

Additional thanks go out to Rick Kohr of Evergreen Advisors who served as our emcee for the day and the following individuals who were part of the day’s program and/or judging teams: Donna Dodson of the NCCoE, Ron Gula of Tenable, Mark Griffith of Rockwell Collins, Jack Biddle of Novak Biddle, Tim McBride of the NCCoE, Gregg Smith of OptioLabs, Bill Aubin of HyTrust, Adam Cohn of Splunk, Dr. Shue-Jane Thomson of IBM Global Business Services, LaToya Staten of Connected2Tech, and Ron Kaese of TEDCO.

I’d be remiss if I didn’t recognize the CAMI team – Arlene Barrow and Karen Toohey – who deserve a standing ovation for their tireless efforts and countless hours put forth to ensure the day’s success.

For those of you who attended the event to check out some of Maryland’s most innovative cybersecurity companies, thank you for spending your day with us. I hope you found cybersecurity solutions of interest for your business or government entity or companies in which you may have interest in investing. If you need help connecting with companies that participated, please let us know (info@MDcyber.com).

Most importantly, the 17 cybersecurity companies that showcased their companies at the event and the 10 selected as the “Top 10” deserve to be recognized for their innovations and investment of time to be part of the day. For a complete list of showcasing companies, click here. And here is a list of the companies selected as our Top 10:

Last but not least, congratulations to Efflux Systems, represented by Adam Bixler, who was selected by the judges as the Grand Prize Winner and presented with a $10,000 check! We’re excited to have you as Maryland Cyber Day’s very first winner and wish you much success. [By the way, coming in a very close second was SecuLore Solutions (Tim Lorello) with Point3 Security (Evan Dornbush) not far behind in third place.]

Maryland Cyber Day 2016

As I reflect on Maryland Cyber Day, I find myself focusing on the many positives of this inaugural event – the tremendous level of statewide support and collaboration that made the day possible, the awareness created for the innovation and excellence of Maryland’s cybersecurity community, and the valuable connections and business relationships that were formed that day. It was a fitting way to celebrate our organization’s first birthday, and it makes me excited for what Maryland Cyber Day 2017 can do for our state’s cybersecurity industry!

Stacey Smith

Executive Director

Cybersecurity association of Maryland, Inc.

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