Melbourne startup makes NYC Cyber Challenge finals

Melbourne startup makes NYC Cyber Challenge finals

Melbourne cyber security startup, Cynch, has been announced as one of just two international finalists in the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge1. The challenge, run by the NYC Mayor’s Office of the Chief Technology Officer, was launched in late 2018 to tackle the following question: How might we make every small and midsize business in New York City and beyond as resilient to cyber security attacks as a Fortune 500 company?

“It was like the brief was plucked straight from our heads!” says Cynch co-founder Susie Jones. “The opportunity to launch Cynch into a city like NYC that has 240,000 small businesses is game-changing for us.” fellow co-founder, Adam Selwood, adds. Jones and Selwood joined forces in 2017 and spent two years developing their cyber fitness platform before launching their membership in May 2019.

Like here in Australia, small businesses are critical to NYC’s economy. According to a 2017 Center for an Urban Future (CUF) report, small and midsize businesses dramatically outpaced far larger companies in delivering job growth, adding nearly three times as many jobs annually as companies with more than 500 employees2. The issue of keeping these businesses secure is therefore vital to the success of the city itself.

For Jones and Selwood, supporting the people at the heart of small business is the key, combining their backgrounds in risk management and cyber security to deliver a human-focused and holistic platform that helps business owners understand and reduce their cyber risks gradually, in a way that means they can keep focus on actually running their business. Unlocking the value in their product, however, only came through the support of CyRise, the Melbourne-based startup accelerator they completed this year that is backed by Deakin University and Dimension Data.

“The progress that the Cynch team have made over the last 12 months has been nothing short of extraordinary, and they deserve every opportunity that comes their way,” said Scott Handsaker, CEO of CyRise.

“Both Susie and Adam are focused and mission driven on solving the problem of security for the small business owner.  We have loved supporting them within CyRise and we cannot wait for the rest of the world to see what they have built”.

Cynch has been further supported by the team at AustCyber, Australia’s cyber security growth centre. “AustCyber’s sponsorship of Cynch has been critical to our success and we’re fortunately here in Australia to have such a dedicated team of amazing people tasked with growing the cyber security ecosystem” says Jones.

Michelle Price, CEO of AustCyber noted “Cynch embodies what makes Australian capability an attractive prospect for organisations globally to uplift their cyber resilience – scalable, yet tailored, with humans at the heart of what makes the tech have impact no matter the size, market segment or stage of maturity of customers.”

“Organisational context is critical to getting cyber strategy right and, perhaps more importantly, trust in supply chains is critical for any economy to improve cyber resilience. Cynch makes it straightforward for small and mid-sized organisations to tackle cyber challenges – and for a country like Australia, or city like New York City, to make a real difference to their management of cyber risk for improved economic prosperity” said Michelle.

The Cynch team are currently in New York City meeting with the Challenge evaluation panel and local small businesses as part of the NYCx Cybersecurity Moonshot Challenge Finalists Week. The winner is expected to be announced in October 2019.

About Cynch

Cynch, a small-business focused cyber security provider, recognises that small business owners need cyber risk solutions that are cognisant of their budget, time and resource constraints. Their cyber fitness annual memberships and 6-week cyber boot camps don’t require any technical expertise and are designed to facilitate gradual improvement at a price small businesses can afford.

  • Cynch Sec Pty Ltd (Cynch) was formed in October 2018 after 18 months of development
  • Features include continuous cyber risk assessment, plain language cyber advice, bundled products, goal setting and tracking, compliance mapping and collaboration capabilities
  • View more details about Cynch’s memberships at


Melbourne startup - Cynch