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Black Unicorn Awards 2019 – Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)

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Can I Nominate a company if I’m not an employee or executive of the company?

Marketing professionals and public relations agencies may make nominations on behalf of their cybersecurity clients.  Any individual, board member, investor, management team member or their staff involved in building a cybersecurity company may nominate their company.  However, the one page nomination form needs to be complete and up to date.  The more information properly filled out in this form, the better for our judges and your potential scoring.

Are there multiple categories like the InfoSec Awards or Global Awards?

No.  There is only one category – Black Unicorn.  Unlike the InfoSec Awards  or Global Awards, both focusing on innovations in numerous cybersecurity categories, the Black Unicorn award is in a category by itself.  Winning signifies that your company has the potential to reach a $1B valuation in the cybersecurity marketplace.

Why should I nominate my Company for a Black Unicorn Award?

The Black Unicorn Awards brings a unique distinction of being vetted by three top cybersecurity trailblazers, experts and investors.  A Black Unicorn Award is among the most prestigious awards in the cybersecurity industry.  Winning represents significant value.  Whether you are a non-finalist nominee, a finalist or a winner, there are sizable benefits for everyone.  Being nominated highlights your incredible potential and an unbiased endorsement if you win.  Our Judges are shaping the future of Cybersecurity and the world is watching and listening to them.

Key takeaways and important points:

  • The Official Nomination Form is used to build your company profile for our print and electronic edition of the Black Unicorn Report for 2019, should you be a finalist or winner.  There is no need to disclose financials if you don’t want to – or current or future rounds of funding.  It’s only to help if you win, to help you rise above the noise of others in the field and put you on the investment community radar, should you wish.
  • These awards will be covered by many in the mainstream media as well…we inform over seven thousand (7,000) direct media contacts in radio, print and TV plus we are providing our own coverage for the finalists and winners throughout 2019.
  • If you wish to Rise Above the Noise! in a crowded market, this will absolutely help you.

The printed Black Unicorn Report for 2019 and the online version will be useful for customers, partners, employees, future investors, board members, etc.  This will generate serious prestige for the winners and finalists, so don’t miss out!

Can A Startup Apply?

Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer:  Yes.  Each Judge brings a unique perspective so whether you are a startup or early stage or about to go Public or even Public and growing but not yet viewed as a Unicorn, now is your chance.  The only criteria is that your revenues be less than $250m and that you have been in business or incorporated since January 2018 or longer.

Can I Win if I don’t Want to Share My Financials?

Short Answer: Yes.

Long Answer.  Yes.  The Judges will be voting based on various data points – if you feel you must leave one out, that’s fine.  For example, on your financials, this does help your score but you may not want to disclose them.  You might want to share them CONFIDENTIALLY with the JUDGES as “JUDGES EYES ONLY – DO NOT DISCLOSE” or you might say “WE DON’T SHARE OUR FINANCIALS” – it’s up to you – we know this is a sensitive area.

What Else is Important to the Judges?

Short Answer:  Filling out the Official Nomination Form

Long Answer:   Filling out the Official Nomination Form (1 page exec summary style word doc file).  We hope to find startups that could become a finalist and possibly win a Black Unicorn award.  It would be based on the information you provide to us in the Official Nomination Form which reads much like a one-sheet executive summary – tell us about the management team, the uniqueness of the product or service, your intellectual property position, your competitive advantage, where you fit in the market, who your competitors are and the market opportunity which includes the total addressable market (TAM).

Is it important to share our funding history?

Short Answer:  It’s Up to You.

Long Answer:  It’s Up to You.  If you are looking for funding and want to share your prior and current round information you might also choose to do so for the JUDGES EYES ONLY or you might want that public – if you win, it will go in our report, with your consent.  This report goes out to thousands in the media and investment community.  It’s really up to you.  We’re here to find Black Uniforms and put the spotlight on them that they want and deserve.

Is there a fee to apply for a Black Unicorn Award?

Yes, there is a one-time entry fee , which will be used for significant awards program marketing, related operating costs and to defray the expenses of the judging, delivering the winner hotseat videos, podcasts and administrative processes involved in awarding the Black Unicorn Awards. This fee is insignificant in comparison of being named a finalist or winning a Black Unicorn Award.

Will taking advantage of the marketing program between now and Black Hat USA 2019 help me win?

No, however we did create a special marketing program for those who enter this contest at an incredible one-time discount to help create additional demand for your business.  The Cyber Defense Media Group has a suite of marketing platforms to help you reach your target audience (CEOs, CFOs, CISOs, CSOs, CIOs, IT Executives, InfoSec Buyers, IT and Cyber Security Professionals, SOC and Data Center Staff and Network Administrators). Our leading platform is with over 140k unique visitors each month and growing, daily. We have other growing media outlets including and  Here’s an example of our stats, right now: in the #1 Position!  Between April 15, 2019 and August 7, 2019 you have the opportunity to spread the word that you are nominated for a Black Unicorn Award and will be attending Black Hat USA 2019.  Learn more about this marketing program, here.

What is the Schedule for the Black Unicorn Awards 2019?

  1. Black Unicorn Awards opened for nominations on April 15, 2019.
  2. All Official Nomination Forms must be received by the Judges at [email protected]no later than June 19, 2019.
  3. Judging will begin on June 19, 2019 and 30 Finalists will be selected by the Judges on July 9, 2019.   
  4. An announcement of the 30 Finalists will go out on the wire and through our marketing vehicles on July 11, 2019.
  5. Ten Winners will be selected by the Judges between July 11, 2019 and July 19, 2019 which will go into the Black Unicorns Annual Report for 2019 which comes out on August 7, 2019 during Black Hat USA 2019.
  6. Winners will then be announced on August 7, 2019 during Black Hat USA 2019.

What is the definition of a Black Unicorn?

In the venture capital industry, a unicorn refers to any tech startup company that reaches a $1 billion dollar market value as determined by private or public investment. The term was originally coined in 2013 by venture capitalist Aileen Lee, choosing the mythical animal to represent the statistical rarity of such successful ventures. Last year, CB Insights reported that the odds of becoming a unicorn — a company valued at $1 billion or more — was less than 1% for companies that had raised venture capital. In 2018, there were 47 tech companies in the US to reach this unicorn status, according to data provided by PitchBook.

In the cybersecurity industry, in 2019, Gary S. Miliefsky coined the term black unicorn as a cybersecurity company that has the potential to reach a $1 billion dollar market value as determined by private or public investment.

The black unicorn awards are designed to help showcase companies with this kind of potential. Ultimately, the judging in our awards is tough and its still up to the finalists and the winners to execute a flawless business model to reach this potential. It takes innovation, dedication, passion – the right team and the right cyber security solution, harmoniously executed to become a unicorn.

If you are one of our winners, the judges believe you have this potential. While there are no guarantees, your discovery and our award signify you meet the criterial – it’s up to you to execute and meet all the challenges that follow.

Do you have what it takes to be a Black Unicorn?