The Mentor/Protégé Program (MPP)

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The USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine Activity is seeking international cybersecurity companies to act as business Mentors for developing Ukrainian cybersecurity Protégé companies.

Executive Summary

The USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine Activity (the Cyber Activity) is a 4-year program funded by USAID and implemented by DAI along with implementing partners Catalisto, Florida International University (FIU), Information Systems Security Partners (ISSP), Schweitzer Engineering Laboratories (SEL), SocialBoost, and Veterans First Initiative (VFI).

The overall goal of the Cyber Activity is to reduce and potentially eliminate cybersecurity vulnerabilities in Ukraine’s Critical Infrastructure, and to help transform Ukraine from a vulnerable, reactive cybersecurity actor to a proactive cybersecurity leader. 

One featured program of the Cyber Activity is a Mentor/Protégé Program that pairs smart, growing Ukrainian cybersecurity companies with larger, international companies who can provide advice and guidance on growing a cybersecurity business in today’s fast-changing digital world.  More, and stronger cybersecurity companies in Ukraine will contribute to the country’s overall capabilities to prevent, detect and respond to attacks on its Critical Infrastructure.    

Background

To achieve its goals, the Cyber Activity is implementing the following components: 

Component 1: Strengthening the cybersecurity enabling environment 

This component seeks to strengthen the cybersecurity resilience of Ukraine’s Critical Infrastructure sectors by addressing legislative gaps, promoting good governance, enabling collaboration between stakeholders, and supporting cybersecurity institutions. This component also enhances the technical capacity of key sectors through increased access to cybersecurity technology and equipment.  

Component 2: Developing Ukraine’s cybersecurity workforce 

This component of the Activity addresses workforce gaps through developing new cybersecurity talent and building the capacity of existing professionals. This Component will address the entire workforce pipeline from enhancing the quality of education received by cybersecurity specialists, to boosting industry training programs to rapidly upskill Ukraine’s workforce. 

Component 3: Building a resilient cybersecurity industry

A growing cybersecurity industry in Ukraine will contribute directly to national security and prosperity. This component seeks to foster trust and collaboration between the public and private sector to develop innovative solutions for future cybersecurity challenges; spur investment and growth in the broader cybersecurity market in Ukraine; support smaller cybersecurity companies to increase the overall number of local cybersecurity service providers; and to connect Ukrainian cyber firms with global industry partners to enable innovations and business opportunities. 

The Opportunity:

The Mentor/Protégé Program (MPP) is a business development activity under Component 3 of the USAID Cybersecurity Activity, designed to improve the performance and sustainability of small & medium sized Ukrainian cybersecurity service providers (Proteges) through structured association with larger multinational businesses with more mature cybersecurity capabilities (Mentors).

MPP is managed by Veterans First Initiative (VFI), a US-based technical implementer with over 5 years of experience in working on US Government funded contracts in Ukraine. 

VFI goes through an extensive screening process to team Protégé Ukrainian companies with international Mentor companies.  

MPP provides the Mentor companies the opportunity to (1) respond to the increasing need for cybersecurity and IT products and services among Ukraine’s Critical Infrastructure Providers, (2) interface with one of the fastest growing IT communities in the world, and (3) work in partnership with the Activity and the USAID mission to support the rapidly growing cybersecurity initiatives portfolio in Ukraine and Eastern Europe.

The Mentor/Protégé Program is being supported in Ukraine with funding from the U.S. Agency for International Development through the USAID Cybersecurity for Critical Infrastructure in Ukraine Activity.

Issuing Country 
Date 
Friday, January 14, 2022 - 9:00am

Last updated: January 18, 2022