HERNDON, VA – Cyber-security accelerator Mach37 began accepting the first round of applications for its inaugural 90-day intensive program yesterday.

Established by the Center for Innovative Technology, Mach37 is the nation’s first “market-centric” accelerator, according to CIT chief executive Pete Jobse, because it aims to connect its portfolio companies with a network of 200 cyber-security specialists and investors who will test, advise, and guide the development of products before certifying them as viable and market-safe applications.

“We are heading towards the next generation of privacy solutions, and privacy is going to be determined by consumer, corporate, and public sector entities,” he said.

When VentureBeat asked Jobse about other incubators and accelerators operating in the cyber-security space such as neighboring Sequoia Holdings and San Diego’s CyberHive, he said  Mach37’s business model surpasses that of competitors and called his brand the Y Combinator of the cyber-security space.

Jobse said the Mach37 fund incorporates two components, or sessions, each granting admission to 10-to-12 candidates. The first session will allocate $1 million of investment annually and caters to early-stage companies. Admitted companies will receive $25,000 upon being accepted into the program, and may qualify for an additional $200,000 in funding if they deliver a successful demo day presentation to investors.

The second session will prepare more mature startups for seed stage investments and will provide an aggregate of $4-$6 million in funding annually. Ideal Mach37 candidates are companies advanced enough to be able to define their intellectual property, are actively validating their product, and are receptive to equity-based financing.

CTI developed Mach37 in partnership with over 100 organizations, including Lockheed Martin, In-Q-Tel, General Dynamics, Northern Virginia Technology Council, Virginia Tech, Intel, and the Department of Defense, according to company materials.  Jobse said the accelerator’s name is a reference to the escape velocity required for a rocket to break free of the Earth’s gravitational pull.

Mach37 will begin selecting candidates at the beginning of August, said Jobse.  The program takes flight September 16 of this year.

CIT campus image courtesy Center for Innovative Technology.