Ascent Solutions To Launch a Global Cybersecurity Think Tank in Cypress Waters

Minneapolis-based startup Ascent Solutions recently announced it has chosen Cypress Waters in Coppell for its new 33,000-square-foot "cybersecurity epicenter." The center will house secure areas for cyber investigation, automation, and intelligence. But it will also feature a nationally scaled cyber apprenticeship program and serve as a think tank to drive thought leadership in the industry.

CEO JD Harris tells Dallas Innovates the center will be a place for "cyber professionals to gather to share important ideas, pilot critical technologies, and test many new security processes, systems, and workflows."

A global cybersecurity think tank is coming to Cypress Waters in Coppell—and the CEO behind the project aims to help Dallas-Fort Worth “become synonymous with cybersecurity education, thought leadership, and cyber operations.”

Minneapolis-based cybersecurity firm Ascent Solutions announced the plan two weeks ago, saying the new center will “initially” take up 33,000 square feet—the entire seventh floor—of the newest building in the Cypress Waters complex, 2999 Olympus Blvd. (at right in photo above). The center is slated to open in early 2023, with a larger campus expected to grow around it.

Since the announcement, the company has shared new details about the planned center with Dallas Innovates.

CEO plans a cybersecurity ‘epicenter’

JD Harris CEO of Ascent Solutions [Photo: LinkedIn]

Ascent CEO JD Harris told us the sprawling center will be “the epicenter for not only Ascent’s vision surrounding cybersecurity services of the future, but [also] a location where like-minded cyber professionals will want to gather to share important ideas, pilot critical technologies, and test many new security processes, systems, and workflows.”

The new campus will house a “modernized” security operations center with secure areas designated for cyber investigation, automation, and intelligence, Ascent says.

The center will also be where the company scales its apprenticeship program on a national level—and where a think tank will aim to drive thought leadership in the industry.

Moving beyond operations to global problem-solving

“Part of our Cypress Waters vision is to move beyond cybersecurity operations into changing the way cybersecurity is applied to solving the world’s biggest problems,” Harris said. “That takes the world’s foremost thought leaders uniting to generate those ideas, plans, and procedures. Our Cypress Waters location will provide the environment to do exactly that.”

The Coppell think tank will feature an auditorium with stadium seating, where Ascent plans to host seminars and innovation workshops “with the nation’s foremost cybersecurity thought leaders, developing solutions for the most pressing cybersecurity problems.”

Scaling apprenticeship program for Texas’ 67,439 open positions

Texas currently leads the U.S. with 67,439 cybersecurity open job positions, according to CyberSeek

To help fill those positions, Ascent plans to scale up its apprentice program to a national level with “a revolutionary model for cybersecurity education.” The effort will begin with new candidates who’ll be recruited from the Dallas-Fort Worth area.

While the new center buzzes with “discreet” security operations, it will simultaneously serve as an “education center for apprentices and the cybersecurity industry at large,” the company says.

Ascent’s program extends “far beyond” people with deep technical backgrounds by lowering barriers to entry. To date, the program has trained cyber professionals with backgrounds including medical management, manufacturing, law enforcement, music production, and the military.

CEO: Cypress Waters will be ‘our launch pad’

“Choosing Cypress Waters was a defining moment for Ascent,” CEO Harris said in a statement. “Our firm has a clear goal to save the world from cybercrime. We have definitive plans to achieve that vision, and Cypress Waters is the obvious location for us to use as our launch pad.”

“I continue to be impressed with the vision of the leaders at Cypress Waters and in Texas,” Harris added. “We couldn’t be more excited to contribute to the area’s economic growth and inevitable prominence in the cybersecurity industry.”

Hiring to staff up with 250 to 300 ‘stewards’

Ascent says the Cypress Waters location will be home to 250 to 300 employees, or “stewards,” as the company calls them. By the ribbon cutting early next year, Ascent expects to have around 300 “stewards” in its workforce overall.

To fill those 33,000 square feet, Ascent plans to hire people for “corporate leadership, administration, core office functions, sales roles, SOC analysts, threat hunting teams, cybersecurity incident responders,  and cybersecurity apprentices,” the company said.

Ascent Solutions’ new Dallas epicenter will positively impact the Dallas region and the global business landscape at large, says Cribb Altman of JLL. Altman, along with Shannon Reilly of Reilly Commercial, helped the cybersecurity firm find the “perfect space” for its needs at Billingsley Company’s Cypress Waters development

Received new funding in May from RunTide Capital

To help fuel its growth, Ascent Solutions announced last month it had received new funding from New York City-based  RunTide Capital, a private equity firm focused on building tech-enabled growth companies. The funding amount wasn’t disclosed. 

Ascent says it is a Microsoft Gold-Certified advisor for over 300 blue-chip organizations, including over fifty Fortune 500 companies and five Fortune 50 companies. 

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