DHS funding new round of IoT cyber startups with $1M award

DHS is using a special government acquisition authority called an Other Transaction Solicitation to help "non-traditional" contractors to develop technology solutions to "some of the toughest threats facing ... the homeland security mission."

The Department of Homeland Security is dishing out nearly $1 million in competitive awards to five startups developing cybersecurity technologies for the Internet of Things.

The five companies are getting the money as they advance to phase two of the Silicon Valley Innovation Program, or SVIP, run by the Cybersecurity Division of the Science and Technology Directorate. The program uses a special government acquisition authority called an Other Transaction Solicitation to help “non-traditional” contractors to develop technology solutions to “some of the toughest threats facing DHS and the homeland security mission,” according to a release out Tuesday.

“This marks an important milestone,” said Melissa Ho, the managing director of SVIP. “We’re committed to real investments in startups and connecting them to new operational customers and applications of their technologies that they never imagined.”

The five companies have completed the first phase of the program by creating a proof-of-concept demonstration. In phase two, they will produce and demonstrate a pilot-ready prototype.


Each of the four phases lasts three to six months and can be worth up to $200,000 to each awardee.

“I am proud of the success of this program,” added Robert Griffin, the acting undersecretary for science and technology. “We have made it easier for startups to better understand the DHS mission and challenges so DHS S&T can benefit from the talent and creativity of the innovation community.”

The five companies receiving the phase two awards are:

  • Factom, Inc., Austin, Texas — $199,980 to authenticate IoT devices using blockchain technology to prevent spoofing and ensure data integrity.
  • Ionic Security, Inc., Atlanta — $199,800 to apply a distributed data protection model to solve the authentication, detection and confidentiality problems that face IoT systems.
  • Machine-to-Machine Intelligence Corporation, Moffett Field, California — $200,000 to create a deployable open-source version of the SPECK cryptographic protocol to address IoT security by making a lightweight crypto package small enough be run on IoT devices.
  • Pulzze Systems, Inc., Santa Clara, California — $200,000 to secure IoT infrastructures by improving visibility and providing dynamic detection as components connect or disconnect from a networked system.
  • Whitescope LLC, Half Moon Bay, California — $200,000 to build a secure wireless communications gateway made specifically for IoT devices and compliant with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers 802.11 standard.

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