Copyright: HGI, chinnarach

PHYSEC Crowned Winner of ECSO’s European Cybersecurity STARtup Award

On the 2nd February after going head-to-head with seven other leading European cybersecurity startups, Germany-based PHYSEC was named the winner of ECSO’s European Cybersecurity STARtup Award by an independent jury, consisting of renown European cybersecurity experts.

PHYSEC Crowned Winner of ECSO’s European Cybersecurity STARtup Award - News February 2021

Copyright: PHYSEC

"Being nominated to the European Cybersecurity STARtup Award final competition was already a really big thing for our entire team. Competing with other excellent cybersecurity companies and being recognised at the European level is a huge appreciation of our 5-year work and a strong recognition of our product to secure IoT/OT devices," said Christian Zenger, Co-founder and CEO of PHYSEC, after receiving the Award.

Eight finalists had been selected from Cyber Investor Days hosted across the previous year by European Cyber Security Organisation (ECSO) and its partners, including Brittany Region and its Pôle d’Excellence Cyber, eurobits e.V., secunet Security Networks AG, Saint-Quentin-en-Yvelines, SECURITYMADEIN.LU, Sopra Steria, Systematic Paris-Region and Alliance pour la Confiance Numérique (ACN).

The final event saw intense competition through a series of pitches performed by eight finalists – Yogosha, HarfangLab, 4Securitas, MADANA, Kymatio, BYSTAMP, GLIMPS and PHYSEC. The high-level award jury ultimately decided that PHYSEC should be the winner on the basis of their scalable, disruptive and innovative solution, growth-oriented business plan, go-to-market strategy, business model, use of proceeds, team profile and pitch performance.

“I’m very glad to represent the strong support of the Jury for nominating PHYSEC as the winner of 1st edition of the European Cybersecurity STARtup Award. Given the global IoT security challenge that exists today, the Jury found PHYSEC technological approach very interesting and innovative to address this real structural problem and respective market opportunity. Congratulations to all the team at PHYSEC and the best wishes on pursuing the ambitious growth plan ahead,” said Carlos Moreira da Silva, Investment Director at Sonae IM & co-Chair of ECSO Working Group 2.2 ‘2 “Investments and innovative business models”.

An Ambitious Agenda

The European Cybersecurity STARtup Award was created to increase the awareness and visibility of state-of-the-art cybersecurity companies in Europe, both at the European and the global levels. A robust European cybersecurity industry means a better protected digital Europe.

However, European cybersecurity solution providers (particularly smaller companies) have often struggled for visibility in a fragmented European market. ECSO envisages therefore that this initiative will thus increase the European cybersecurity posture across citizens, businesses and society, by increasing the prevalence of European uptake of European solutions.

"At ECSO we believe it is very important to give visibility to the best of aspiring European cybersecurity companies to help them achieve their full potential. That’s why we created the European Cybersecurity STARtup Award to find and showcase Europe’s most innovative cybersecurity startups. We congratulate PHYSEC on beating the competition to win this prestigious award," said Luigi Rebuffi, Secretary General of ECSO.


The origins of PHYSEC can be traced back to the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security (HGI): PHYSEC was founded in 2016 at the Ruhr-Universität Bochum by Dr. Christian Zenger and Dr. Heiko Koepke. They exchange ideas with other founders via the startup incubator Cube 5 and share their experience and expert knowledge; for example, Dr. Heiko Koepke is a mentor in the accelerator program "Liftoff" and Dr. Christian Zenger is a member of the scientific and technical advisory board for the StartUpSecure funding assessment.

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