ETAS mentors young start-ups

Friedhelm Pickhard (Chairman of the Board of Management of ETAS GmbH)
© Michael Schwettmann

Launch of the Bochum Cyber Security Incubator

At a cyber security support network launch event in Bochum, Germany, on May 9, 2018, Friedhelm Pickhard, Chairman of the Board of Management of ETAS GmbH, gave a speech to political decision-makers and key players in the technology industry from all over Germany.

To support young start-ups in the cyber security industry, ETAS and its subsidiary ESCRYPT have joined the recently launched Bochum Cyber Security Incubator. The network, comprising representatives from science and industry, is aimed not only at founders of start-ups who have firm plans to put their ideas into practice, but also at those whose companies’ might still be in the pre-launch phase.

“We want to help young entrepreneurs by mentoring them and see ourselves as the bridge between the world of start-ups and the world of large companies,” said Friedhelm Pickhard, Chairman of the Board of Management of ETAS GmbH, at the launch ceremony in Bochum on May 9.

Joining forces to succeed in a globalized world

In his speech, Pickhard stressed to the roughly 350 guests – which included community, state, and federal decision-makers and key players in the technology industry from all over Germany – that networking was the key to long-term success in today’s increasingly globalized society. Only by joining forces and working together would we be able to overcome the challenges globalization poses, he said. It is for precisely this reason that ETAS worked shoulder to shoulder with the Horst Görtz Institute for IT Security at the Ruhr Universität Bochum – from which ESCRYPT was born in 2003 - to establish the incubator network.

ESCRYPT: From pioneer to hidden champion

Pickhard went on to say that ESCRYPT is prime example of a company that had transformed from a start-up and pioneer into what he called a hidden champion. ESCRYPT supplies highly secure, globally regarded IT security solutions for embedded systems as well as consulting and services for enterprise security and IT-secured manufacturing – and has excellent growth prospects: By the year 2022, the company expects the workforce at its Bochum location to increase by some 350 people and further expansion at its international sites is on the horizon, too.

Long-term commitment to the cyber security excellence cluster

Densely packed with start-ups and research institutes, Germany’s Ruhr region has today established itself as cluster of excellence for cyber security. Pickhard stressed that the company’s long-term and sustainable commitment to the region was a strategic move. He explained that ETAS sees this highly dynamic environment and the great opportunities it offers founders as the perfect springboard for new, innovative companies. And, given the transformation process the automotive industry is undergoing, such companies are in great demand. Electrification, autonomous driving, and connected cars – cars that not only communicate with one another but also continuously interact with their surroundings – have been gaining ground for quite some time now. ETAS, too, must consider the future and what happens when the era of the combustion engine comes to an end.

“Luckily – and I can say this with confidence – we’re well prepared! With our cyber security expertise that comes under the ESCRYPT brand, we see great potential for growth, and ESCRYPT is already spearheading innovation in this field today,” Pickhard said.