City of New York and Jerusalem Venture Partners Launch “Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge” to Protect Small Businesses from Cyberattacks

NYCx & Cyber NYC’s moonshot challenge will create cybersecurity solutions for New York City’s small businesses. Winning proposals to receive over $1 million investment from JVP and additional cash prizes

Contest also leverages international partnerships with Israel, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Berlin, Helsinki, London, and Paris to launch challenge

NEW YORK, JERUSALEM – The Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO), NYC Cyber Command (C3), New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC), and Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), have launched the Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge that calls on industry experts to develop and deliver new, affordable, and scalable solutions to protect New York City-based small and midsize business from the dangers of cyberattacks. JVP has committed an over $1 million investment to be awarded to selected proposals. Four to eight finalists will receive an award of up to $20,000 to test their proposal in New York City, structured support to deliver the solution into international markets.

As cyberattacks increasingly present one of the greatest threats around the globe, the City has established a consortium of international partners to launch this challenge – all with a shared interest in developing the most innovative and effective cybersecurity solutions. The City will partner with Israel’s leading venture capital firm, Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP), and global partners from Israel, Japan, South Korea, Singapore, Berlin, Helsinki, London, and Paris. These partners will work with the City to solicit and evaluate proposals from companies and startups that can secure small and midsize businesses from cyberattacks. Additionally, the Global Cyber Alliance is partnering on the challenge to increase awareness among interested startups and will seek to incorporate Challenge learnings into its ongoing support for small businesses.

“With the Cyber Moonshot Challenge, our goal is to find solutions designed to make New York City’s small businesses more resilient,” said Laura Anglin, Deputy Mayor for Operations. “This moonshot is an exciting opportunity to partner with experts to drive innovation and safeguard consumer data.”


“Small businesses are the lifeblood of cities around the world and at the center of the global economy of the future,” said Erel Margalit, Founder and Chairman of JVP. “Unfortunately, these same companies are too frequently abandoned in their search for state-of-the-art IT and cyber security solutions. As a result, our collective aim is to help unleash a new generation of innovation and the Cyber Moonshot Challenge is an important step in that direction.” JVP was recently selected by NYCEDC to establish the city’s first international cybersecurity investment hub, HUB.NYC in SoHo as part of the City’s Cyber NYC initiative and has a track record of successful cybersecurity investments.

“With the Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge, we continue to support new technological breakthroughs that benefit businesses in New York and serve as models for other global economies,” said Jeremy M. Goldberg, Deputy CTO and Managing Director of NYCx, Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer.

“Cybersecurity is one of our world’s greatest threats, and we need to be ambitious about protecting ourselves. That’s why we’re making New York City a hotbed for cyber innovation, to protect every New Yorker and every business – all while creating good-paying jobs,” said NYCEDC President and CEO James Patchett. “We are proud to help launch this important challenge, which will benefit New York City and create game-changing technology for the world to share.”

“Cyber challenges, primarily as they relate to underserved markets such as the SMB sector are universal. As such, trying to address these would only benefit from international collaboration”, Said Yoav Tzruya, JVP general partner, “On top of the technological solutions that we are looking to source and invest in through this program, we also hope the collaboration would have positive impact on awareness, information exchange, standardization, legislation, incident response and best practices, that are so much needed for SMBs cyber security”.

At the start of October, NYCEDC announced the winners of its Cyber NYC initiative aimed at driving substantial cyber startup growth, training and skill-building for cyber careers, and deep commercialization partnerships between academic institutions and cyber companies. Similarly, C3 launched a first-of-its-kind free consumer app to help New Yorkers secure their personal devices and the WiFi networks they routinely use. This NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot will strengthen New York City as a leading hub for cybersecurity.

The nearly 240,000 small and midsize businesses that call New York City home are central to the economic growth and opportunity across the five boroughs. According to a 2017 Center for an Urban Future (CUF) report, small businesses with fewer than twenty employees have experienced net job growth every year since 2001, despite major economic downturns. The report went on to highlight that those same small and midsize businesses dramatically outpaced far larger counterparts in delivering job growth, adding nearly three times as many jobs annually as companies with more than 500 employees from 2009-2017.

In a world of heightened cyber threats, New York City must ensure that these businesses are as resilient to cyberattacks as their larger counterparts. Small and midsize businesses increasingly conduct business online and collect and store data about customers. Most cybersecurity companies target and price cybersecurity tools to larger enterprises with high expertise and budget. The Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge aims to incentivize cyber organizations and startups to develop, test, and build cybersecurity solutions targeted for the small business owners are affordable, effective, and easy-to-use.


“A coordinated cyber-attack can affect anyone, from individuals at home to major corporations and even small businesses on Main Street,” said Council Member Koo, Chair of the Committee on Technology. “The tech industry in NYC is focused on creating new protections for every level of society, and the moonshot challenge looks to make sure that our small business community is first in line to benefit from these new innovations.”

“The reality is that bad actors don’t discriminate in who they target, and small businesses need to be prepared to defend themselves. That’s where this NYCx challenge comes in,” said Samir Saini, Commissioner of the Department of Information Technology and Telecommunications. “I commend our sister agencies for their proactive and collaborative approach to keeping our city safe and resilient.”


“This initiative shows that the City of New York is thinking about cybersecurity from each appropriate angle,” said Geoffrey Brown, Chief Information Security Officer, City of New York. “With NYC Secure, we are taking cybersecurity tools to New Yorkers, with CyberNYC from EDC, we are creating an influx of energy for the cybersecurity economy of this City, and now, with the Cyber Moonshot Challenge, we are empowering small businesses with the types of tailored solutions that are all at once effective and accessible, and I look forward to where we go from here.”

NYCx Moonshot Challenges :

NYCx is the world’s first municipal program to transform urban spaces into hubs for tech collaboration, research, testing and development. New York City’s diverse population, economy and landscape offer a unique opportunity for technology companies to develop tools that improve the world. NYCx is a program in the Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer (MOCTO). Learn more at



  • February 8, 2019: Round I – Deadline to Submit a Concept Description


Applicants submit a short response outlining their team, concept, and approach. Any company, nonprofit, individual, or global entity can apply.


  • Late Winter – Early Spring 2019: Round II Submissions Requested


Selected applicants are asked to submit additional information, including a business model, examples of past deployment, and how the solution applies to challenge-provided data and NYC context.


  • Early Spring – Summer 2019: Round III Finalists Announced


A maximum of 8 finalists will be chosen. Finalists will pitch to the Evaluation Panel in NYC and build and deploy software prototypes for testing. Finalists will also be eligible to tap into a suite of prize packages provided by international partners outlined HERE, including travel support, global market access, incubation space, and more.


  • Summer 2019: Winner(s) Announced





  • Jerusalem Venture Partners (JVP):


Evaluate all Challenge participants for over $1,000,000 investment

Sponsor acceptance for chosen Challenge participants into NYCEDC’s Cyber Hub


  • NYCx and NYCEDC:


Award a $80,000 cash award split among up to 8 Finalists

Facilitate access to a solution testing environment for up to 8 Finalists

Provide proposal and product feedback for up to 8 Finalists


  • International Partners:


Offer access to prize packages for up to 8 Finalists, including co-working space, support for international market expansion and travel support


NYCx Challenge participants can submit concepts online here


The Mayor’s Office of the CTO is led by the New York City Chief Technology Officer. We’re making broadband, smart city technologies, digital services, and the tech industry work for all New Yorkers. Learn more at

New York City Economic Development Corporation is the City’s primary vehicle for promoting economic growth in each of the five boroughs. NYCEDC’s mission is to stimulate growth through expansion and redevelopment programs that encourage investment, generate prosperity and strengthen the City’s competitive position. NYCEDC serves as an advocate to the business community by building relationships with companies that allow them to take advantage of New York City’s many opportunities. Find us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter, or visit our blog to learn more about NYCEDC projects and initiatives.


About JVP

Jerusalem Venture Partners is a renowned Israeli venture capital fund, with a strong track record of innovation and company creation, as well as deep international company building expertise. Founded in 1993 by Dr. Erel Margalit, JVP has raised over $1.3 billion dollars, and has been repeatedly ranked as one of the top-10 consistently performing VC funds globally. With over 130 companies created to date — spanning Israel, the US, Europe and Asia — JVP has led 12 IPOs on NASDAQ and numerous industry M&As, totaling over $20B of transaction value. Through a theme-driven focus and strong network of strategic partners, JVP seeks to stay ahead of the latest market trends and address the most relevant market needs. The cyber security domain has been at the heart of JVP’s successful track record — with the development of notable companies CyberArk, CyActive, ThetaRay and Morphisec — and the creation of Israel’s first cyber security center of excellence in Beersheva.


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