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Akamai Joins Microsoft in Cybersecurity Startup Accelerator

Internet infrastructure giant Akamai Technologies has joined Microsoft and venture capital firm Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP) in the cybersecurity startup accelerator program launched recently in Israel.

"Tech startups have the potential to shape the future of cyber security," commented Zack Weisfeld, head of Microsoft Ventures Europe. "Akamai is the perfect partner to join Microsoft in delivering unparalleled access and value to startups joining the accelerator. Like us, Akamai is a big proponent of secure computing with a massive reach. We are eager to partner with Akamai to spur the success of cyber-security innovation based on our respective insights and learnings gained over the years."

Akamai will contribute to the program by offering its expertise in the field of Internet security, mentoring, and introductions to relevant customer and partners. The company is also prepared to invest up to $25,000 in each of the accepted startups through the purchase of convertible notes.

"Akamai's globally distributed computing platform was designed from day one to be as safe and secure as possible, and we have continued to make investments in this area," said Stuart Scholly, senior vice president and general manager at Akamai's Security Business Unit. "And yet, the computer security landscape continues to evolve with new threats emerging every day. We believe that supporting security innovation, not only at Akamai, but also through promising entrepreneurs, is of true benefit to our customers and any company doing business on the Internet."

Initially, the application period was until July 24, but Microsoft Ventures extended it until Thursday, July 31. The list of companies accepted into the program will be announced on September 7.

Between September 7, 2014, and January 8, 2015, selected early-stage startups will be provided tools, mentorship and other resources they might need to accelerate their business.

JVP, considered Israel’s largest early-stage cybersecurity investor, is prepared not only to mentor the startups, but also to invest $1 million in one of the companies at the end of the program.

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Eduard Kovacs (@EduardKovacs) is a contributing editor at SecurityWeek. He worked as a high school IT teacher for two years before starting a career in journalism as Softpedia’s security news reporter. Eduard holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial informatics and a master’s degree in computer techniques applied in electrical engineering.