I am pleased to announce the launch of the C5 Innovation Leaders Channel.
You can find a link to our new channel below.
I am pleased to announce the launch of the C5 Innovation Leaders Channel.
You can find a link to our new channel below.
As part of my earlier career, I worked with intrepid African leaders like Mandela, Mbeki, Kuofor and Kibaki who were determined to combat corruption for the health of their countries’ democracies. In South Africa, the capacity building work I led early on in South Africa’s new democracy from 1996-1998 culminated in the formation of the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) or the Scorpions, one of the most successful anti-corruption units in Africa’s history.
Those experiences showed me how the tentacles of grand corruption can reach to a high level across many countries. I have seen how corruption is corrosive, ruining lives, keeping people poor and threatening democracy. This often involves narcotics which is closely interlinked to the finance of terrorism.
But we are not just talking about grand corruption involving big conspiracies and criminal networks. No, it is not just the high level stuff of Netflix dramas and Hollywood blockbusters, because corruption seeps down to the mundane, to housing officials taking small bribes or seeking favours, customs officers turning a blind eye, and pharmacists taking payments for medicines never administered.
And although countries at war, or those rebuilding after being ripped apart by conflict, are the most vulnerable, no nation, even the most developed and sophisticated, is immune.
Corruption can be defeated- and innovation and technology create new opportunities to combat corruption. That is why C5’s Cloud Leadership Centre (CLC) launched the Shield in the Cloud Innovation Challenge, the first global anti-corruption innovation challenge, the winners of which will be announced in Washington on the 20th March with the legendary former District Attorney Preet Bharara as our keynote speaker.
We foster innovation across the major US cloud platforms, because we can see how it provides a new weapon in the armoury of those fighting corruption, harnessing not only the power of the cloud but also of cyber and space technology.
Perhaps its most important role is to provide the connectivity that enables people working against corruption to share information so that they are no longer operating in isolation with all the dangers that brings.
Technology also creates high levels of transparency, whether it is monitoring election booths or recording daily incidents of petty bribery, producing information that can be shared locally, nationally and internationally.
That information provides the raw material for big data analytics which can process it to map corruption, identify trends and patterns, and shine a spotlight on the links and correlations that help identify the culprits.
Blockchain is a valuable weapon in stamping out dishonesty as the digital ledger system provides a trusted way of recording transactions that offers a valuable alternative in countries where official systems are discredited.
New technology allows improved training, on smartphones, laptops, in real time or through video and text.
And it has opened up a whole new field of forensics, giving investigators the ability to follow a trail of communications and transactions across mobile phones, emails and computer systems, helping them collate evidence that courts can trust.
At the heart of all this is cloud computing which has transformed the economics and security of computing, doing away with the need to have racks of costly servers that were easily targeted by corrupt officials.
We know that anti-corruption work can be hard, dangerous, sometimes lonely and often overlooked, so we want to provide encouragement at the same time as building up networks where the best people working in the field can connect with each other and with technologists working in other areas.
The aim of Shield in the Cloud is to nurture the next phase of innovation and encourage building networks and information sharing. We have set up the challenge across five categories: not-for-profit; start-ups; government; corporate and bold leadership. Entrants are judged on criteria such as innovation, affordability, transferability and scalability. In 2018 we recognised the innovation done by the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA)’s Special Operations Division (SOD) in a data sharing platform with all other law enforcement agencies around arrests and cases. We also recognised anti-corruption innovation in the Ukraine in the use of blockchain by ProZorro to protect property rights, Citibank’s Tech in Integrity programme and Ushahidi, an African start-up that brings transparency to elections.
It is not just about recognising the organisations developing new technologies and applications themselves, we want to make policy and decision makers aware of what can be done and to reward those organisations that are encouraging others.
There is a strong link between fighting corruption, financial crime and cyber security and the three areas often overlap.
Fighting corruption is really about protecting the poor because if corruption is left to fester it harms the prospects of children getting a good education or a job, it increases the cost of living, prevents people saving and makes it impossible to get out of poverty.
Anti-corruption investigations are not for the faint of heart, but technology gives anti-corruption investigators an edge and we are confident that Shield in the Cloud will drive innovation and collaboration to strengthen and sharpen that edge.
Andre D.F. Pienaar
Winners of the second global Shield in the Cloud anti-corruption innovation challenge will be revealed at the event on the 20th March
C5 also announces that Derek Maltz is to join the Challenge’s prestigious judging panel
London, 12 February 2019 – C5, the specialist venture capital firm focused on investing in cybersecurity, cloud and artificial intelligence, has announced that Preet Bharara, former United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, will be the keynote speaker at the gala dinner announcing the winner of C5’s annual Shield in the Cloud, the global anti-corruption innovation challenge. The dinner will be held on the 20th March 2019 in Washington D.C.
Preet served as the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York from August 2009 to March 2017. During his tenure, he was responsible for a series of significant and systemically revelatory public corruption cases against members of New York City and State governments. Bharara is now a Distinguished Scholar in Residence at the New York University Law faculty, and his forthcoming book, “Doing Justice: A Prosecutor’s Thoughts on Crime, Punishment, and the Rule of Law” is due to be released on the 19th March, 2019. At the dinner, he will engage the audience in a conversation around the need to push for greater transparency across businesses and governments, and why the rule of law is essential to our society, based on his experience in fighting corruption.
Preet Bharara said; “Corruption is a global issue that affects all of us in some way, whether or not we even realize it. Whether it be corruption in the supply chains that bring us our food, or on a grander scale in governments around the world, this issue is not going away. Technology and a greater awareness of the challenges are key weapons in our fight to combat corruption and it’s competitions such as C5’s Shield in the Cloud that are helping to provide a platform for companies and organizations of all shapes and sizes to work towards a corruption-free world. I’m pleased to have been invited to speak at the gala and wish all the entrants well.”
C5 has also announced that Derek Maltz, the former Special Agent in Charge (SAC) of the Special Operations Division (SOD) of the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) will be joining the Challenge’s prestigious judging panel. He will be tasked with identifying innovative solutions that combat global, political and corporate corruption and promote good governance. He joins an experienced group of legal, business and industry experts with expertise in national security, anti-corruption and innovation, including Lucinda Low, Kurt Scherer and Jay Collins and Andre Pienaar.
Andre Pienaar, Founder, C5 Capital said: “We are honored to have Preet Bahara as our keynote speaker. Preet is a global leader who has an unrivalled track record of innovating the fight against corruption and crime. It will be invaluable for our judging panel to have Derek Maltz’s insights. Derek is a fearless front-line leader whose intrepid team in the DEA takes down some of the most dangerous organized crime syndicates in the world.
Jamie Lowther-Pinkerton, the Chairman of the CLC said “In C5 we believe that US cloud innovation opens up new possibilities to combat corruption and to fight poverty, globally. The Shield in the Cloud competition identifies and supports innovation leaders who combat corruption, often against the odds. Our alumni welcome the new entrants as part of a global network to help build sustainable and just societies worldwide.”
Shield in the Cloud is an annual global anti-corruption innovation challenge designed to reward and recognize the leading and emerging startups that are harnessing the power of technology and innovation to fight corruption and improve transparency worldwide. The competition is now in its second year, and the winners will be announced at the dinner following Bharara’s speech.
Nominations for the Awards will close on 25th February and applications can be made here.
For press enquiries contact:
About Shield in the Cloud
The Shield in the Cloud global anti-corruption innovation challenge is aligned with Goal 16 of the United Nations’ Global Sustainable Goal to promote just, peaceful and inclusive societies. This Goal seeks to hold institutions and governments accountable and transparent. It also aims to eliminate bribery and other forms of political and corporate corruption.
For more information on Shield in the
Cloud, please visit:
The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship
No one said building a company is easy. But it’s time to be honest about how brutal it really is — and the price so many founders secretly pay.
Cyril Ramaphosa’s announcement to create the Scorpions 2.0 is the most exciting development in the fight against corruption in a decade. But making it a reality is going to be a mighty challenge, writes Mandy Wiener.
It was in the mud at the ANC’s 52nd conference in Polokwane that the death knell of the Scorpions was tolled. It was a political decision more than anything else.
The unit had been too successful in going after high profile politicians who had become corrupt. At one point it had a 94% hit rate and that wasn’t going to fly in an era of state capture when those in office were eating the money meant for the poor.
The Scorpions had also made mistakes. It was heavily criticised for picking and choosing cases, deciding only to go after those which were sure wins. This gave the impression that they were politically motivated, only selecting those targets that suited them.
As an example, the decision to pursue former national police commissioner Jackie Selebi and cut deals with the Kebble killers and Glenn Agliotti was massively controversial. The Hollywoodesque style raids and flashing lights and branded cars were a crowd pleaser but were frowned upon by some who thought the hype ill placed.
But the fundamental reason that the Directorate of Special Operations (DSO) was killed off was those spy tapes, Leonard McCarthy and revelations that the unit was being manipulated for political and personal agendas.
Now Cyril Ramaphosa is attempting to breath new life into the Scorpions.
He’s announced a new investigative directorate that will fall under Shamila Batohi at the NPA, to probe evidence that has come out of the state capture commission and other inquiries. While it may not be called the Scorpions, it essentially is the Scorpions 2.0. Batohi watched the State of the Nation Address from the public gallery in the National Assembly, sitting next to Banyana Banyana coach Desiree Ellis, as the president affirmed her authority and independence as NDPP.
The reason the Scorpions was so successful in court was because the DSO followed the ‘troika’ principle. The unit was intelligence-driven and prosecution-led. The system saw prosecutors, investigators and intelligence operators working closely under a single command. This streamlined approach ensured the correct evidence was collected and when cases went to trial, prosecutors had the best possible ammunition to secure a conviction.
This approach means the prosecutors at the NPA don’t have to rely on a completely separate organisation like the Hawks to do the investigating for them. It also means that investigators are isolated from any political interference at the SAPS and have the independence and authority to do their work without pressure or meddling. It also means they can get the job done properly at a time when the Hawks are visibly floundering, still recovering from the assault of Berning Ntlemeza and a deliberate campaign to eviscerate it.
Ramaphosa’s announcement is the most exciting development in the fight against corruption in a decade. It has been roundly welcomed by the public. But making it a reality is going to be a mighty challenge.
The problem is one of capacity. The NPA is experiencing a 19% vacancy rate on prosecutors alone. Last year its leadership told Parliament that it needed R761m to fill over 1 000 vacancies including 244 posts which were deemed critical.
The bulk of the original Scorpions have left the NPA, pushed out by politics and disillusionment. Almost the entire Operation Bad Guys team which convicted Selebi has moved on. Most have followed Gerrie Nel to AfriForum.
Many of the original investigators moved over to the Hawks which was supposed to fulfill the anti-corruption function left vacant by the demise of the Scorpions, but failed dismally. A great many of those investigators have gone into the private sector, to audit firms or forensic companies. As an example, there is no longer one forensic accountant at the Hawks today which makes unravelling a scheme like Steinhoff or VBS basically impossible.
The mission now is to get good, qualified, capable people back into the NPA. This doesn’t only mean ex-Scorpions, but young, ambitious candidates who are eager to stick their hands up and say “Thuma Mina”.
It’s about reinvigorating the appetite to join the civil service and fight corruption from the inside and hold power to account. This is a chance to make working for the state sexy again – for young lawyers, investigators and experts to gain experience and refine their skills like so many others did in the early years of the DSO. We have to rebuild the capacity that we have lost.
As we all reel from the evidence that has been seeping out of the various inquiries and commissions underway, the country is desperate for action. But more than action, we want justice. We don’t only want arrests, we want convictions. A new Scorpions with the best capacity on board is our very best hope of getting that.
– Wiener is a specialist reporter for News24.Disclaimer: News24 encourages freedom of speech and the expression of diverse views. The views of columnists published on News24 are therefore their own and do not necessarily represent the views of News24.
Simultaneously Haven unveils its new board including Sir Mick Davis, Mike Garland, William Kilmer, Christoph von Falck, Olivier Weddrien, Mark Testoni, and Andre Pienaar, with Paddy McGuinness and General Sir Graeme Lamb as Senior Advisors
Acquisition of Onevinn, a Microsoft Elite Partner, underpins Haven’s intention to become the leading European Managed Security Solutions Provider (“MSSP”) and follows the Company’s acquisition of ITC Secure
London, 7th February 2019: Haven Cyber Technologies (“Haven”) today announces its acquisition of Onevinn, the leading Swedish provider of Microsoft cloud security services and solutions. The acquisition reflects Haven’s continued focus on strengthening its solutions, products and consulting competencies and becoming the leading European Managed Security Service Provider (MSSP). Onevinn offers security solutions for the cloud and the mobile connected world.
The specialist venture capital firm C5 Capital leads Haven based out of Luxemburg. Haven is one of the fastest growing Managed Security Service Providers (MSSP) in Europe. The acquisition of Onevinn and in particular its work with Cloud Security Services in Microsoft Azure will amplify the product and service offers of the combined Haven group.
The common goal of Haven´s operating companies – ITC Secure and Onevinn – is to provide enterprises with outstanding cybersecurity services and products. Haven will develop a common product and services offering across its operating companies.
In addition to Onevinn, Haven acquired G3 Cyber Consulting in London and SBD Advisors in Washington D.C. in 2018 as bolt on acquisitions to ITC Secure. Both contributed to the exceptional growth of ITC Secure in 2018. ITC achieved over 50% top line growth in 2018.
Haven´s exceptional network of cyber security experts combined with outstanding business leaders and company builders is positioning the Company for further acquisitions in Europe in 2019.
The Board of Haven includes:
C5’s Senior Advisers Paddy McGuinness, the former UK Deputy National Security Adviser for Intelligence, Security and Resilience, and General Sir Graeme Lamb, the former Director of UK Special Forces, bring unrivalled experience to the Haven Board.
Andre Pienaar, Founder of C5 and Haven said, “It is more important than ever to be able to provide companies and organisations with an integrated platform that can help them cover all their cyber security needs. Haven is led by a Board that has great experience in cybersecurity and in sustainable growth by acquisition. The acquisition of Onevinn expands Haven into Scandinavia and further strengthens our partnership with Microsoft as a leading cloud platform.”
Olivier Weddrien, Executive Chairman of Haven said, “With the transition to cloud services accelerating and maturing across Europe, the acquisition of Onevinn will enable Haven to be a leader in this space, providing world class solutions to our customers and supporting the geographic reach of the group.”
Christoph von Falck, Group CEO of Haven said, “In recent years it has become clear that companies can no longer ‘get by’ when it comes to cybersecurity. Today, staying safe online is a Board-level issue, and one that requires significant investment. Most organisations don’t have the in-house expertise to tackle this growing issue and must look to outside providers. This presents a clear opportunity for Haven, an integrated industrial holding, which provides a wide range of services and applications to keep companies safe and resilient to the rapidly evolving cybersecurity threats faced by every company. We are very pleased to have acquired Onevinn and ensure that Haven is a cutting-edge cyber security tool for companies across Europe and the world. We very much look forward to working with them.”
Claes Kruse, Founder and CEO of Onevinn said, “We’re all very excited and looking forward to this new journey together with C5 and Haven. The culture within C5 and Haven and their impressive portfolio is a perfect match for us.”
About Haven Cyber Technologies
Haven Cyber Technologies is a pan-European industrial holding which is focused on creating a European champion in Managed Security Solution Providers (MSSP) for enterprise customers. Haven brings together a network of organisations onto its platform, enabling it to offer a bespoke product suite to each client. Companies within Haven maintain their own brands and management and benefit from innovation across the platform, which focuses on cloud computing, machine learning and automation and also provides companies with world-class talent and mentorship.
Haven is headquartered in Luxemburg and was launched in October 2018.
About C5 Capital
C5 Capital Limited (C5) is a specialist venture capital firm, focused on Innovative Technologies in Cyber Security, Artificial Intelligence and Cloud Computing. Headquartered in London, C5 also has offices in Washington, Munich, Luxembourg and Bahrain.
Onevinn is a Swedish Microsoft cloud services and solutions market leader that enables intelligent security solutions for the cloud and mobile connected world.
About ITC Secure
ITC provides cyber threat advisory and managed security services to help organisations assess, manage and mitigate their risk – and ultimately to protect their key data assets and the reputation of their brand.
We provide independent assessments and clear outcome-based recommendations that assist businesses make the right cyber investment choices.
From our dedicated secure operations centre in London, we deliver a comprehensive range of managed security services that enable us to detect and respond to cyber events 24x7x365.
View and download full report here
On behalf of C5, SAP NS2 and AWS we are delighted to share with you our Annual Impact Report for the PeaceTech Accelerator for 2018.
C5 and our US investors have financed the creation of PeaceTech Accelerator since its inception in 2017 to support the mission of the USIP and the PeaceTech Lab.
With the support of friends and our partners we have scaled the PeaceTech Accelerator in a tough and challenging environment for startup accelerators in Washington DC against the odds. A community of trust and a global network have been built around the PeaceTech Accelerator across investors, partners, mentors and PeaceTech entrepreneurs that are now rooted in Washington and on the Hill and that is unique.
We are pleased to share with you that for our next cohort of startups (Cohort 6) the PeaceTech Accelerator received more than 300 applications from 47 countries. This places the PeaceTech Accelerator in 2019 in the top echelon of accelerators worldwide and in Silicon Valley.
To date, 38 startups from 28 countries have passed through the accelerator empowering a new generation of PeaceTech entrepreneurs with 42 percent of our founders being female.
We pay tribute to the courage and resilience of these young entrepreneurs from conflict zones who are working tirelessly to make a difference by unlocking the power of cloud innovation and AI for peace. As you will see from our report, they tell their own story.
We extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to our friends, team, partners and to the USIP leadership and Board with the USIP International Advisory Council for all their tremendous support to bring the PeaceTech mission to life.
Paddy Ashdown passed away this weekend aged 77. He was a great friend and mentor to me over many years. He served on the Advisory Council of G3 since its inception in 2005.
Paddy was not only a leader who worked tirelessly to strengthen our democracy in the UK but he did the same to strengthen the rule of law worldwide.
His life was one of service. He served as a Royal Marine officer in the Special Boat Service (SBS) and saw action in South East Asia. He subsequently joined MI-6 as a clandestine officer. He went on to become a member of Parliament (and the only officer of MI-6 to do so to date). He served his constituency over many years and became the leader of the Liberal Democratic Party in the UK. After the war in Yugoslavia he helped bring peace and stability to Bosnia as the Special EU High Representative for Bosnia. He helped to broker the Coalition Government in 2015. In recent years he researched and wrote several excellent books on grand strategy and on WW II intelligence history.
He was devoted to his family. The only time I could not reach him for business was when he was spending dedicated time with Jane, his wife, his children and grandchildren. His favourite thing was to ski with them in the Alps.
Paddy is a British hero. Our thoughts are with his wife Jane and his children and grandchildren.
In the year in which we celebrate Mandela’s centenary it is worth rereading one of his favourite poems. The strength of his spirit ensures.
By William Ernest Henley
Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.
In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.
Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.
It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.