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August 5-10, 2023
Mandalay Bay / Las Vegas
+ Virtual

Black Hat Startup Spotlight Competition

Wednesday, August 9, 2023 | 4:30 – 5:30 PM

Business Hall, Bayside ABCD, Level 1, Startup City Theater

Black Hat USA 2023 Startup Spotlight Winner

Special congratulations to Mobb, Black Hat's 2023 Startup Spotlight Competition Winner!

Read more about the onsite pitch competition experience.


Congratulations to our Top 4 Finalists:

The Black Hat Startup Spotlight is back for Black Hat USA 2023! This Black Hat special event is a video pitch competition for cybersecurity startup companies to present their products and solutions in front of a live audience at Black Hat USA.

About The Competition

Win your way to exhibit at Black Hat USA!

Create and submit your 5-minute video using the Form below, calling out your company’s competitive advantages of the product or solution and how it will help cybersecurity pros. Products and solutions can be in development, about to launch or in the recently launched phases.

Finalists Receive

  • One Turnkey Startup booth at Black Hat USA 2023
  • One 10-minute speaking session at the Startup City Open Stage
  • One 30-minute call with an Omdia Cybersecurity Analyst

Key Dates

  • March 15: Competition Opens
  • June 27: Top 4 Finalists Announced
  • August 9-10: Finalists Exhibit and Present; Winner Announced

Who Can Enter

Any Startup company less than two years old with less than 50 employees is eligible to enter the competition.

Note: it is not necessary to be an Exhibitor at Black Hat USA 2023 to enter the competition. There are no entry fees.

Submit your application


The Startup Spotlight Competition will be judged by a panel of industry leaders and innovators and the top four finalists will be announced on Tuesday, June 27.

The four finalists are invited to exhibit in the Startup City area at Black Hat USA 2023 and present their product or solution live to the judging panel and live audience where a winner will be announced.

Startup Spotlight Judges

Ketaki Borade
Trey Ford
Hollie Hennessy
Maria Markstedter
Lucas Nelson
Robert J. Stratton III
Rik Turner

Hosted by

Kelly Jackson-Higgins

Editor-in-Chief, Dark Reading

Kelly Jackson Higgins is the Editor-in-Chief of Dark Reading. She is an award-winning veteran technology and business journalist with more than two decades of experience in reporting and editing for various publications, including Network Computing, Secure Enterprise Magazine, Virginia Business magazine, and other major media properties. Jackson Higgins was recently selected as one of the Top 10 Cybersecurity Journalists in the US, and named as one of Folio's 2019 Top Women in Media. She began her career as a sports writer in the Washington, DC metropolitan area, and earned her BA at William & Mary. Follow her on Twitter @kjhiggins.