Alabama company expands to Arizona, sees ‘massive market’ for cybersecurity

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This article was published on April 24, 2024, in the Phoenix Business Journal

A cybersecurity startup headquartered in Alabama is gearing up for expansion in Arizona with plans to double its workforce within a year.

Huntsville, Alabama-based MARS Suite began establishing its presence in Arizona last year, driven by the state’s growing population and reputation as a hub for innovation in cybersecurity and artificial intelligence, said Mark Dallmeier, company president and CEO.

“We have less than a dozen employees across the U.S., but we would expect to double that in the next 12 months,” he said. “As we grow the company over the next two years, a large percentage of those employees will be headquartered in Arizona.”

There’s a massive market opportunity for cybersecurity amid a growing number of data centers, biotech startups, semiconductor technologies and large, global defense companies in the Valley, Dallmeier added.

“If you take a look at the demographics of Arizona, it’s quickly evolving and expanding into these strategic markets,” Dallmeier said. “… As the economy and population within Arizona grows, so does (cybersecurity) risk. And it’s one of the major reasons why we are focused in the area.”

Most members of MARS Suite’s leadership team — including Dallmeier — reside in Arizona. The company is focusing on forming partnerships with managed service providers and valued added resellers.

Dallmeier declined to disclose the number of users for MARS Suite’s platform, citing privacy concerns. He mentioned, however, the company serves dozens of clients nationwide across various regulated industries.

“And we’re onboarding a number of others,” Dallmeier said.

MARS Suite’s platform used by NASA

The MARS Suite platform was developed through a joint venture between Mission Multiplier and All Points Logistics, both headquartered in Florida.

MARS Suite’s platform combines cybersecurity IT and network scanning, alerting, detection and response into one package.

The MARS Suite team operated as the cybersecurity products division of All Points Logistics, where it developed its platform and completed deployments with the defense industry and NASA.

“The platform and technology was used at NASA’s Johnson Space Center for three years. (All Points) commercialized the product and took it out to market a couple of years ago,” Dallmeier said. “So the technology has broad market usage across a number of different industries — health care, financial services, retail, manufacturing, just about any organization that operates in a regulated industry that has to adhere to some type of data privacy, which cybersecurity regulation needs.”

Dallmeier previously served as the chief security officer and chief marketing officer of Phoenix-based Avertium, formerly known as Terra Verde. He joined MARS Suite as president and CEO in 2022.

MARS Suite released the latest version of its software in Q4 2023. In January, the company spun off from All Points Logistics — a move in which it says will provide greater flexibility to pursue new business opportunities.

The company’s workforce is mostly remote, but it operates facilities in Florida, in addition to its headquarters in Huntsville, Alabama.

MARS Suite plans to open an office in the Valley by the end of the year. Dallmeier said.

MARS Suite recently raised $2 million in a seed round co-led by GOVO Venture Partners and AP Ventures. The company will use the investment to accelerate development of its platform and expand its reach into new markets.

Mars Suite is looking forward to establishing partnerships with government agencies and Arizona universities to provide cybersecurity workforce development and training programs.

The company has already forged a partnership with Boise State University in Idaho. It has not yet discussed what a potential partnership may look like with Arizona State University, but would welcome those discussions, Dallmeier said.

“We would greatly appreciate the opportunity to partner with one of the biggest and most established universities in terms of engineering, cybersecurity and AI,” Dallmeier said.

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