Press release

RSA Conference 2020 Opens Call for Submissions for RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest and RSAC Launch Pad

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RSA® Conference, the world’s leading information security conferences and expositions, today announced that submissions for the 15th annual RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest and second annual RSAC Launch Pad are now open. The two initiatives are designed to encourage innovation, growth and support for startups within the ever-changing cybersecurity community.

Since 2005, the RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest has brought together the most promising young companies in the cybersecurity space to compete for the title of “Most Innovative Startup.” Recognized as a platform that opens new doors for startups, the contest’s top 10 finalists have collectively seen 48 acquisitions and received $5.2 billion in investments over the past 15 years. Previous winners include Imperva, Phantom, and most recently, Axonius. Qualifying companies can apply online for a chance at competing in the RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest.

RSAC Launch Pad, now in its second year, gives early stage startups a platform to introduce their game-changing solutions to high-profile security venture capitalists in a Shark Tank®-style format. Three finalists have five minutes to pitch their ideas to the panel of expert judges and will walk away with invaluable insights and tips to take their business to the next level, and potentially secure real funding. Interested parties can apply online to compete in RSAC Launch Pad.

Startups interested in participating in either the RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest or RSAC Launch Pad are invited to submit entries no later than 8 p.m. PT on Wednesday, December 4. The Top 10 finalists for RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest will be announced at the end of January 2020 and the three selected participants for RSAC Launch Pad will be announced in early February 2020. Terms and conditions can be found here.

“The cybersecurity landscape is constantly evolving and presenting new challenges, making it ripe for innovation. For well over a decade, the innovation programming at RSA Conference has brought together the most creative minds in the industry to tackle the latest security issues head-on,” said Niloofar Razi Howe, Senior Operating Partner, Energy Impact Partners. “We’re looking forward to welcoming the next cohort of disruptive thinkers, all at various stages of their careers and entrepreneurial journeys, to take part in the excitement and showcase ideas that will undoubtedly reshape security as we know it.”

In addition to its flagship contest and RSAC Launch Pad, RSA Conference will again provide space to 50 promising industry newcomers in the RSAC Early Stage Expo, an area dedicated to privately-held companies under five-years-old with less than $3 million in revenue. Each company has an opportunity to showcase its products and solutions to a community of influential innovators, decision makers and investors. During the conference, attendees are also encouraged to join the half-day seminar, How-To for Innovators and Entrepreneurs, to learn best practices for building a successful cybersecurity company.

A summary of the criteria to compete in RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest include:

  • The product has been in the market for less than one year (launched between December 1, 2018 and December 1, 2019)
  • The product matches an identified problem in the cybersecurity marketplace
  • The product takes an original and sound approach to solving a problem and has the potential to make a significant impact on cybersecurity
  • The product is validated through a client’s beta testing or purchase of product
  • The product can be demonstrated live and on-site during the RSAC Innovation Sandbox Contest
  • The company has a management team with a track record of successfully delivering products to market
  • The company is privately held, with less than $5M in revenue in 2019

After the submission period ends on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 8 p.m. PT:

  • Entries will be reviewed and ranked by a panel of judges that include venture capital professionals, CISOs and other outstanding industry experts
  • The top 10 finalists will be notified in late January 2020 and invited to present and pitch to a panel of expert judges in front of a live audience on Monday, February 24, 2020
  • The top 10 finalists will be recognized on the RSA Conference website with company and product profiles, and will be promoted in other RSA Conference public relations efforts

A summary of the evaluation criteria for RSAC Launch Pad:

  • The company has been incorporated for two years or less
  • The company is privately held with no revenue
  • The company has no more than a first round of funding
  • The product has the potential to make a significant impact on the cybersecurity space
  • The product is not available for commercial sale to the public on or before RSA Conference 2020 (February 24 – 28, 2020), but is expected to be launched by summer 2020

After the submission period ends on Wednesday, December 4, 2019 at 8 p.m. PT:

  • Entries will be reviewed and ranked by participating venture capitalists
  • A select tier of the startups will be invited to audition for Launch Pad by giving live pitch and short demo
  • The 3 selected participants will be notified at the end of January 2020 and invited to present a 5-minute live pitch on stage to the panel of venture capitalists on Wednesday, February 26, 2020
  • The 3 selected participants will be recognized on the RSA Conference website and will be promoted in other RSA Conference public relations efforts

For more information regarding RSA Conference 2020, taking place at the Moscone Center in San Francisco from February 24-28, please visit

About RSA Conference

RSA Conference is the premier series of global events and on-demand programs where the world talks security and leadership gathers, advances and emerges. Whether attending in the US, the EMEA region, the Asia-Pacific region or online, RSA Conference events are where the security industry converges to discuss current and future concerns and get access to the people, content and ideas that help enable individuals and companies to win, grow and do their best. It’s about bringing all people in the cybersecurity industry together and empowering the collective “we” of the cybersecurity industry to stand against cyberthreats around the world. RSA Conference is the ultimate marketplace for the latest technologies and hands-on educational opportunities that help industry professionals discover how to make their companies more secure while showcasing the most enterprising, influential and thought-provoking thinkers and leaders in security today. For information on events, online programming and the most up-to-date news pertaining to the cybersecurity industry visit

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