Farewell from @CyRiseKirstin

3 min readMay 18, 2023


At CyRise, I have had the pleasure of working with some of the brightest and most ambitious people in cybersecurity.

I’ve always said I’ve had the best job in the world. It’s absolutely true.

It’s been a remarkable journey, which is now at an end, as CyRise itself closes. It’s fair to say that I feel immensely proud of my six years being part of the best cybersecurity accelerator in the APAC region. When we began CyRise in 2017, cybersecurity was a niche sector. Today, cybersecurity is a crucial issue for every business and individual.

Looking at all the CyRise founders, all 39 portfolio companies, all building amazing products, I am always humbled by your courage and conviction. This is still only the beginning of exciting new horizons. Global success awaits you — and hopefully, unicorn status too.

So grateful to all you beautiful people

New to the industry, I almost didn’t apply for the original CyRise role. The word ‘cybersecurity’ intimidated the hell out of me. Then I discovered the mission-focus of every cybersecurity founder and professional I met, which was intriguing.

To those outside the industry, I often liken you to superheroes, all using your powers for good, to protect the innocent.

And I am grateful to so many:

  • The CyRise founders who have trusted me by sharing the good, bad and ugly of your own journeys
  • The mentors who just wanted to give back, because you know how hard the startup journey is, and wanted to make it easier for others
  • The industry advisors who said yes to me, and who then became energised by the innovations you saw.
  • The peers who have become lifelong friends
  • The scaleup security leaders who believed in us, allowing us to create the Elevate program around you
  • The brilliant team with whom I worked every day — for all the laughs, crazy ideas and achievements we delivered together

What is the CyRise legacy?

I’ve come to realise that the CyRise name represents far more than our small team.

CyRise is about people. It’s about the creators, the optimists, the doers, the give-before-you-getters, and the believers.

CyRise has been the focus of a growing innovation mindset, built around ambitious individuals who are building global companies, and those people who genuinely want to help these founders to succeed. Our tagline of #BetterFaster was apt.

It has been an unique opportunity to galvanise a whole community around a vision — a vision of what is possible in cyber innovation and leadership in Australia.

Some of the messages I have received about the closure of CyRise

That’s not to say the work is all done, because it’s not. Investment and customers are far still elusive, and far too cautious. Government support is patchy, and funding often tends to be focussed on job creation rather than the long-term benefits of building an innovative ecosystem. Nonetheless, it’s worth celebrating how far we have come.

Together, we have created something very special — an ecosystem which will flourish in the future, because there are so many of you today who will nurture it and help it to grow. With an innovation mindset, you can’t ‘unsee’ potential.

So long, and thanks for all the phish

And so now I move on, having seen CyRise make an outsize impact on Australian cyber, and feeling confident that I have helped to build a solid foundation for a thriving cybersecurity innovation ecosystem for the future.

It’s been an incredible privilege and I have honestly loved every second.

I’ll see you all in another guise soon, as I still absolutely believe in what is possible — look out for my new Twitter handle. Thank you all for being part of my CyRise adventure.

PS. Take a chance on a cyber startup.




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