H.A.C.K. – Benefits

CySecK – the Karnataka state’s K-Tech Centre of Excellence in Cyber Security – has an accelerator programme for cyber security start-ups, branded as H.A.C.K. (H.A.C.K. is an Accelerator for Cybersecurity in Karnataka). This document provides an overview of the financial benefits that the programme will offer to the startups.

Financial benefits

The programme offers financial assistance to startups in the form of grants, and these come with no expectations like debt or equity. The particulars of funding assistance are listed below.

BenefitUpper LimitCommentary
Assistance for Incubation seatsRs. 4 lakhsIncubation seats
Support for Research in area of CybersecurityRs. 10 lakhsMatching grant for research with academic institute
Assistance for Proof of Concept (PoC)Rs. 5 lakhsGrant for conducting pilot at a state or central govt. body or any public educational institute
Global market exploration & participation in international eventsRs. 5 lakhsMatching grant for any activity related to establishing business in international markets
Participation in Indian eventsRs. 1 lakhMatching grant for participation in any Indian expo
Assistance for hiring internsRs. 1 lakhMatching grant for inducting Karnataka students for internship opportunities

Assistance for Incubation seats

CySecK can facilitate providing office space at the K-Wing facility at HSR Layout, which also houses the NASSCOM 10k warehouse. Start-ups that are interested in obtaining incubation seats at K-Wing can let us know their interest. The subsidy for incubation seats will be capped at Rs. 4 lakhs for a period of 12 months from beginning of the cohort. For the startups, who want to take up space in any other place apart from K-Wing, can opt for coworking spaces like Cowork, BHIVE etc.

Grant Process: The startups intending to take up incubation seats need to send their request to CySecK with particulars. The re-imbursement of payment will be done by CySecK after the submission of original invoice and a Declaration in the format provided by CySecK.

Support for carrying out research in Cyber Security

CySecK can facilitate partnership with an academic institute in Karnataka for working on research problems that the start-ups would be interested in. This will be provided as a matching research grant, where the start-up would need to provide a similar amount of grant – or higher – to the academic institute. The engagement with an academic institute can happen in two ways:

  1. If the start-up is unsure of the institute to engage with, CySecK can call for request for proposals, and the start-up can identify the most suitable institute to partner.
  2. If the start-up has already identified a specific institute, the grant can be made available to that institute as well.

The research grant provided to the institute will be a maximum of Rs. 10 lakhs, or the amount that the start-up is co-funding for the research project – whichever is lower. The time for completion of this research project by the academic institute is a period of 12 months from the date of release of first installment.

Grant Process: The start-up has to sign an MoU with the Institutes selected for their research and submit a copy of MoU to CySecK. The MoU needs to mention the detailed scope of research, expected outcomes, milestones, and breakdown of expenditure. The research grant will be transferred to the institute directly. The institute would also need to provide audited utilisation Certificates along with the Statement of Expenditure after the completion of the research project.

Assistance for Proof of Concept (PoC)

With the intent of having the government play the role of an early adopter and validator of the solutions from startups, CySecK can fund the conduct of a pilot of the solution at any state or central government body or public educational institute. The maximum funding for a pilot will be capped at Rs. 5 lakhs.

Grant Process: The startup should intimate about PoC to CySecK, along with the PoC proposal acceptance letter from the concerned entity. The proposal must also contain the cost estimation for carrying out the PoC. Grant will be provided only after completion of work as described in the scope of agreement between startup and the receiving entity and duly certified by the respective Government entity or educational institute about PoC completion.

Global market exploration

If any of the start-ups are interested in exploring the market in a foreign country or establish a presence in any foreign location, this includes participation in International trade shows and expos, or setting up an office of its own in outside India. CySecK can fund the start-up up to a maximum of Rs. 5 lakhs for this. The start-up would also need to invest a similar amount to leverage this funding.

Grant Process: Start-up would need to inform CySecK prior to their participation in the event or setting up office overseas. The amount will be reimbursed after participation and submission of original invoices along with a Declaration in the format provided by CySecK, noting that such reimbursement are not claimed elsewhere. The costs which are covered under this grant include payments towards event participation / registration, travel charges, VISA fees accommodation and insurance.

Participation in Indian expos

If a start-up is interested in showcasing their solution(s) in an expo / conference in India, CySecK can fund their participation and reimburse costs incurred for travel, accommodation and setting up their presence at the event.

Grant Process: Start-up would need to inform CySecK prior to their participation in the event. Amount will be reimbursed after participation in the event and upon submission of original invoices for all expenditure items along with a Declaration in the format provided by CySecK, noting that such reimbursement are not claimed elsewhere.

Assistance for hiring Interns

Start-ups under H.A.C.K. programme will be provided with matching grant upto 50% or Rs.10,000/- whichever is lower, for hiring internship positions for students endorsed by CoE CySecK for a maximum of 10 months and Rs. 1 Lakh.

Grant Process: Start-ups can claim reimbursement upto Rs. 1 Lakh for providing internship opportunities to students of Karnataka state through CySecK. This is matching grant and startups has to commit / bear equal amount towards payment for stipend to interns. The reimbursement will be done upon submission of payment receipts and other necessary documents.


  1. Each startup can obtain benefits from this catalogue up to a maximum value of Rs. 10 lakhs in the duration of the cohort year (May to April).
  2. For the startups to avail the benefits, they must first have to inform CySecK about their plans on seeking financial support against a particular item and get their consent through email.
  3. The startups need to submit the hard copies of all the necessary documents as applicable viz original invoices, bills, acknowledgement receipts, boarding passes, event pictures etc within 10 days from the date of event or project completion.
  4. The start-ups are expected to be prudent in using the grants provided.

Non-Financial benefits

The programme aims to act as enabler in growth of the startups with its mentoring sessions & knowledge sessions, from its panel of marque mentors who are our partners from the industry, and practitioners themselves.

H.A.C.K. also focuses on connecting the startups with potential customers for doing PoC, mostly with the government departments.