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Cyber Challenge

Frequently Asked Questions


Each Cyber Challenge will run for approximately eight months from start to finish and is broken into two stages. Stage One is six weeks, and Stage Two, for those who move on, is six months.

The Automotive and Life Sciences Cyber Challenges will begin in September 2024. The Advanced Manufacturing and Smart Infrastructure Cyber Challenges will launch in Spring 2025, and the Mining and Law Enforcement Cyber Challenges will begin in Fall 2025.

This Cyber Challenge is hybrid. Participants will have access to webinars, networking sessions, one-on-one mentorship opportunities, and online learning modules, all of which will be curated to foster their development as they progress throughout the Challenge. In-person components include Orientation and Pitch Day at the end of Stage One.

The Cyber Challenge is only offered in English. Participants must be able to comprehensively read and write in English.

Ideal Cyber Challenge participants are small to medium-sized companies in the cybersecurity, IT, or software development industries, who are Ontario-based or have a presence in Ontario and are past the ideology stage of their product development.

For each sector challenge, 10 companies will be invited to participate in Stage One and five companies per sector challenge will be selected to move into Stage Two.

Relevant Automotive industry partners may include vehicle manufacturers, automotive suppliers (Tier 1, 2 & 3), dealerships and retailers, aftermarket product and services, automotive insurance, and more.

Relevant Life Sciences industry partners may include pharmaceuticals, healthcare, biotech, medical technologies, digital health, and more.


The application process for the Cyber Challenge is a three-step process:

  1. Screening Call
  2. Application Form Submission
  3. Panel Presentation

Interested candidates are encouraged to contact us at cyberchallenge@torontomu.ca  to schedule a 15-minute introductory call to determine their fit for the Cyber Challenge. Following this call, eligible candidates will receive an application form for completion. 

An email will be sent shortly thereafter with the next steps regarding the panel presentation, which will take place with the Catalyst Cyber Challenge team and industry experts. Our team will review each application and communicate a decision via email.

Applicants will receive information about next steps in July 2024.

Yes. We understand many founders have products that can be tailored to a variety of sectors. If you are not accepted into one of the Cyber Challenges you have applied for, you are welcome to apply to a future Challenge.

Companies may apply to multiple Challenges, but may only participate in one Cyber Challenge. Should this change as the Challenges progress, we will contact those who express an interest in participating in multiple Challenges.

This would be decided on a case-by-case basis. The Cyber Challenge team will connect with any companies who may be eligible to apply to a future challenge if they did not progress to Stage Two.


Participation in the Cyber Challenge is free — no equity is taken from participating companies. Our mission is to support growth and success.


We work directly with industry partners within six specific sectors (Automotive, Life Sciences, Smart Infrastructure, Advanced Manufacturing, Law Enforcement, and Mining) who will have input into the products that are developed throughout each challenge. Founders will have the opportunity to pitch their products to industry partners, with the goal of securing product testing opportunities and potential sales agreements.


Please contact the Cyber Challenge team at cyberchallenge@torontomu.ca.

Please contact the Cyber Challenge team at cyberchallenge@torontomu.ca.