RSAC Innovation Umbrella Takes Center Stage at RSAC 2023

Posted on by RSAC Editorial Team

The growth of the cybersecurity industry is a direct result of the constant innovation in the field, which pushes the boundaries of what’s possible. RSA Conference’s suite of innovative programs serves as a platform for showcasing the most groundbreaking ideas that will shape the future. With these innovations, attendees are able to experience firsthand the latest cutting-edge technology and diverse talent.

Some of the innovation programs this year include Launch Pad, Early Stage Expo (ESE) and the Sandbox.

RSAC Launch Pad Re-Launches in 2023

Returning after a brief hiatus, RSAC Launch Pad was back with a vengeance this year. A consummate attendee favorite and spiritual precursor to Innovation Sandbox, Launch Pad pits three emerging seed-stage companies in a Shark Tank-esque pitch-off to venture capitalists.

The 2023 judging panel was comprised of Robert Ackerman (Founder & Managing Director, AllegisCyber), Emily Heath (General Partner, Cyberstarts) and Arik Kleinstein (Managing Partner, Glilot Capital Partners) - each listening to the contestants’ extended elevator pitches to determine if they are “in” (as the Sharks would say).

“The contestants this year were a good crop - representative of what’s happening across security companies,” said Heath, “Narrowing the pool down to three was a lot harder than you’d think.”

The finalists this year represented a wide range of security technology including collaboration tools, blockchain protection and device authentication. And each presentation was so compelling they all received the thumbs up from our VC panel!

Balance Theory
Building the home for cybersecurity collaboration
Presenter: CEO & Co-founder Greg Baker
Overview: Security is a team sport that requires a collective defense, but companies need to be able to provide incentive to collaborate at scale, in the field, while solving real problems. Balance Theory has created unified security collaboration technology that is domain specific and can help to automate collaboration - key to efficiency with so many security tools on the market.

Intelligent security platform for blockchain
Presenter: Co-founder Sam Saluja
Overview: Crypto crime is on its way to costing $30B a year, with no current tools sufficient to curb it. The existing options are expensive and incorporate one time audits run by third parties. The Guardrail founders had tried every off-the-shelf point solution and the most exhaustive audits to no avail, so they took a data driven approach in creating the first intelligent security platform for blockchain.

Secure device authentication without static certificates
Presenter: CEO Greg Cullison
Overview: The bane of the cybersecurity industry is static credentials - they’re everywhere, they can’t be secured and they’re the leading cause of external data breaches. To combat this rapidly growing problem, QWERX has created the QESP or QWERX Enterprise Secure Perimeter to seamlessly automate continuous verification of all networked devices every three seconds, without needing new hardware. In doing so, no keys are ever stored and therefore cannot be compromised.


Early Stage Expo Highlights Industry Trailblazers

The 2023 Early Stage Expo showcased the industry’s most promising emerging talent.  It kicked off with CyBEER Ops networking event, which transitioned to an expo with 50+ kiosks boasting innovative products and solutions. We were excited to welcome a few familiar faces this year, including the 2022 Innovation Sandbox winner Talon Cyber Security and 2023 participant Endor Labs. We caught up with Ron Harnik, VP of Marketing at Endor Labs for his thoughts on this year’s program.

“The Early Stage Expo has been a fantastic experience for us. I’ve found that the conference attendees who make it up to ESE have a more genuine interest in the new innovations emerging in the security space,” said Harnik. “The sophisticated audience and the intimate atmosphere provides more value for Endor Labs than exhibiting on the main expo floor.”

Fun & Games in the Sandbox

Not to be confused with the Innovation Sandbox contest, the RSAC Sandbox provided security enthusiasts to get hands-on with emerging technology. The Sandbox has a number of “play” areas to learn and test your skills through sophisticated simulations in the areas of aerospace, IoT, AppSec, threat hunting control and many more.

At the Dark Arts Village within the Sandbox, we ran into Marco Palacios, VP and co-founder of non-profit Pacific Hackers Association, threat analyst at Fortinet and regular RSAC presenter.

Palacios discussed his passion for the value the Sandbox offers practitioners: “The Sandbox is a place where current and future security professionals can come and learn something new. There are new insights for more senior attendees, but also for newcomers -- this is a place where you can be surrounded by the people already driving innovation in the industry.”

For year-round innovation outside of the RSA Conference, check out the RSAC 365 Innovation Showcase.

RSAC Editorial Team

Editorial, RSA Conference

RSAC Insights Innovation & Startups

Blogs posted to the website are intended for educational purposes only and do not replace independent professional judgment. Statements of fact and opinions expressed are those of the blog author individually and, unless expressly stated to the contrary, are not the opinion or position of RSA Conference™, or any other co-sponsors. RSA Conference does not endorse or approve, and assumes no responsibility for, the content, accuracy or completeness of the information presented in this blog.

Share With Your Community

Related Blogs