Call us Toll Free (USA): 1-833-844-9468     International: +1-603-280-4451 M-F 8am to 6pm EST
  • facebook
  • linkedin
  • twitter

Black Unicorn Awards for 2021 – Fact Sheet


Cyber Defense Black Unicorn Awards are now open for entry with a specific category for the Black Unicorns – cybersecurity companies with the potential to be worth $1B valuation within the next 36 months.  Only ten companies will be named as Black Unicorns this year, with a reasonable number of finalists, depending upon the materials provided in the nomination and the judges analysis.  We are in our 9th year and most importantly, we’re taking BlackHat 2021 by storm both in person and virtually/online.  Winners announced on Wednesday, August 4, 8:30 AM PST at Black Hat USA 2021 in Las Vegas, NV, USA and online.

Here are the entry deadlines and prices:

Awards Promo Price Start End
Super Early Bird $695 6/01/2021 6/15/2021
Early Bird $795 6/16/2021 6/29/2021
Normal Entry $895 6/30/2021 7/14/2021
Late Entry $995 7/15/2021 7/21/2021

The winners will be unveiled and announced at the BlackHat USA Conference 2021 in Las Vegas, NV, USA at the Mandalay Bay Hotel during Black Hat USA Virtual Business Hall hours starting at 8:30am August 4, 2021 PST and online (guaranteed) and in our Annual Black Unicorn Report for 2021 we will make available during the conference and deployed electronically online in flipbook, pdf and mobile formats.  Late entries will be included in the updated online version after the show.LATE ENTRIES ALLOWED – HOWEVER THEY WILL NOT MAKE SHOW EDITION IF CHOSEN AS A WINNER AND WILL NOT RECEIVE THEIR TROPHY UNTIL AFTER THE SHOW.   HOWEVER, LATE ENTRY WINNERS WILL RECEIVE MOST OTHER BENEFITS.  ALL TROPHIES SHIPPED FOR NO EXTRA CHARGE TO US OFFICES OR BLACK HAT TRADE SHOW IN LAS VEGAS, NV, USA.  DUE TO ONGOING INTERNATIONAL COVID RESTRICTIONS AND INCREASED DUTIES AND TAXES, THERE ARE EXTRA FEES FOR INTERNATIONAL SHIPPING.


Update This Year:  Red Carpet Awards Photo-ops Online Virtually for all winners and finalists, which will be social media posted throughout the show schedule.

Why are our Awards So Important?

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 black unicorn awards are designed to help showcase companies with this kind of potential. Ultimately, the judging in our awards is tough and it’s still up to those notable mentions, 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.

This will be our ninth year of delivering these awards for the most innovative and valuable cyber defense companies from around the globe.  We’re a market leader in Cybersecurity awards, news and information in the USA and are expanding throughout Europe and Asia as we deliver an incredible, high quality, color, digital edition Black Unicorn Report for 2021 online and available to potentially thousands of attendees at one of the biggest InfoSec conference in the world, Black Hat USA 2021.  There is prestige associated for winners of these awards.

Winning a Black Unicorn award helps with media coverage, sales, marketing, investment and credibility to rise above the noise.  With over 3,200 cyber defense companies around the globe boasting the best executives, team, products or services, we help you get above the noise of this large group – we only select a small number – 10 of the most innovative very successful infosec companies who are changing the landscape in cybersecurity who could have a $1B valuation over time.  It will be your opportunity to shine in the spotlight throughout year end of 2021 and beyond.  We have the following growing INFOSEC and IT readership (many are cyber defense product and service buyers) professionals’ audience:

Social Media Status as of May 1, 2021 (growing daily):

  • Over 5m DNS Queries on our main website, monthly
  • Over 150k opt-in email subscribers with 50k being CISOs
  • Over 250,000 InfoSec Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn followers

All normal or early entry winners and finalists will be published in the annual Black Unicorn Report for 2021 special edition and will have their award available for a virtual Red Carpet Photo-op delivered to their attention at the FedEx facility in the Mandalay Bay convention center by CDM during the Black Hat USA 2021 Business Hall opening.  If you are not at this conference you can easily arrange for us to ship you your award at no extra charge, in advance, anywhere in the USA or internationally (extra charges will apply).  There are also many options to help you leverage the marketing opportunities, electronically, throughout the year.


About Black Unicorn Awards for 2021

This is Cyber Defense Magazine’s ninth year of honoring cyber defense innovators with a focus on this specific category of cybersecurity excellence.  Our submission requirements are for high growth and high valuation infosec companies who believe they could be valued at $1B or more within 36 months.  The company must be in a high growth revenues stage to be a winner – it’s really all about your rapid trajectory through execution and market adoption.  This is a very hard category to win and a very coveted award.

What Winners Will Receive:

Award logo shield and description published in the annual Black Unicorn Report for 2021 distributed electronically online during Black Hat USA 2021 conference in Las Vegas, NV, USA.

Your Company’s name as a “Black Unicorn for 2021” listing in the special edition of the Black Unicorn Report for 2021.

Unlimited full-page press release/ executive or product or service release /article promotion about the award that can be used by you for media circulation throughout the year.

Online downloadable PDF certificate and high quality acrylic award will be given to you on our virtual Red-carpet Photo-op or to your attention at the FEDEX facility in the Mandalay Bay Convention Center or mailed to your US Offices (extra fees for international shipping will apply). A high-resolution PDF of the award will be emailed to you for your press release along with the shared rights of award logo usage throughout the year.

Interested in Applying?

Submissions open on June 1, 2021 and begin here:

While our Judges will decide (based upon follow up information we’ll request from you) if you will be a finalist and possibly a winner, we’ll let you know in time to share it with the media and in time for Black Hat USA 2021.

About the Judging

The judges are CISSP, FMDHS, CEH, certified security professionals who will be voting based on their independent review of the Company materials on the website of each submission including but not limited to data sheets, white papers, product literature and other market variables. CDM has a flexible philosophy to find more innovative players with great executives, new and unique technologies, than the one with the most customers or money in the bank. CDM is always asking “What’s Next?” so we are looking for Next Generation & Future Market Leaders. Announcements will be made for all our winners in our press release, at the Black Hat USA 2021 event and online on August 4, 2021.

Judges this year include:

  • Dr. David DeWalt, Chairman & CEO of NightDragon
  • Robert Ackerman, Chairman & CEO of AllegisCyber
  • Dr. Peter Stephenson, Director of CDM Labs
  • Gary S. Miliefsky, CISSP, Publisher of Cyber Defense Magazine

We don’t accept submissions on this Nomination Details page without a pre-payment for your application. Please review this page in advance of payment if you need to for information purposes only.

Here our our Categories:

  • Top 10 Black Unicorns
  • Top 10 Baby Black Unicorns
  • Top 10 Cybersecurity Startups
  • Top 10 MSSPs
  • Top 10 Women in Cybersecurity
  • Top 10 Cybersecurity Experts
  • Top 10 Chief Information Security Officers (CISOs)

How to Apply:

  1. Apply Now and pay for all categories you are applying for or Choose a Package Deal to include multiple applications and co-marketing.
  2. Once you have made your payment you will receive an email with a link to the Nomination form.

Choose which categories you wish to enter, follow the instructions at Apply Now or Package Deal page, then you’ll be able to fill out the Nomination Form for each category:


Toll Free (USA): 1-833-844-9468   International: +1-603-280-4451 M-F 8am to 6pm EDT

New York  +1-646-586-9545    London    +44-203-695-2952    Hong Kong +852-580-89020