Australian tech accelerator network Stone & Chalk has merged with cybersecurity organisation AustCyber in a deal that will see the two technology networks share resources to accelerate growth in the local sector.

AustCyber – an independent not for profit established in 2017 with federal government grants to grow the Australian cyber sector – will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Stone & Chalk.

The acquisition is due to requirements of the Corporations Act for NFPs and both companies say the deal is a merger of equals rather than a takeover of one party by the other.

AustCyber will retain its branding, staffing structure and innovation “nodes” – state based specialty areas of support for state and territory governments.

Stuart Ayres, NSW Minister for Jobs, Investment, Tourism and Western Sydney, supported the merger, saying in a statement it would help create “the jobs of tomorrow”.

Joining forces

In a joint statement the organisations said they will share resources to help their startups and scaleups.

Stone & Chalk’s commercialisation services will be made available to Australian cyber security founders working with AustCyber. Likewise, the cyber group’s expertise will also be available to startups working with Stone & Chalk.

The merge will also create a more powerful voice for input on technology policy and regulation, according to the statement.

“The COVID-19 pandemic has made it clear that Australia can no longer depend so heavily on imported technology which contains critical dependencies in supply chains,” said Stone & Chalk’s CEO Alex Scandurra. 

 “In making our two organisations one, we are combining the greatest concentration of cyber security industry expertise in the country with the most developed technology commercialisation infrastructure that Australia has ever built.”

AustCyber’s CEO Michelle Price said, “It’s in our nation’s interests to be investing in scalable, flexible and sophisticated ways and means to nurture and propel forward emerging tech industries. AustCyber has demonstrated its ability to do this for cyber security and it’s critical we apply similar approaches to other emerging technologies.

 “I have long respected the capabilities of Stone & Chalk and know that joining forces will provide our existing ecosystems with the tools they need to evolve, develop and thrive.”

Jacqueline Jayne, Security Awareness Advocate at KnowBe4 welcomed the integration of the organisations.

“Kudos to two equally important organisations in the Australian cybersecurity landscape for realising that together they are a stronger force,” Jayne said.

“There is a wonderful synergy between Stone & Chalk’s innovation and support of emerging technology and AustCyber’s work in growing our cybersecurity sector. Australia has some of the best brains in the world and we will achieve so much more working together to build a culture of cybersecurity across all verticals.”

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