National Cyber Security Centre announces latest Cyber Accelerator cohort
04 February 2021
TECH ENTREPRENEURS are receiving support from the UK’s top cyber security experts to help protect the country’s connected places of the future. Thanks to their innovative ideas, the start-ups have gained a place on the acclaimed Cyber Accelerator programme, a joint initiative between the National Cyber Security Centre and the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
Cyber Accelerator provides companies with the support and expertise needed to develop their products, which in the latest round are all designed to protect the interconnected systems that connected places – also known as Smart Cities – depend on in order to function efficiently.
The products include software to help organisations with incident response and systems that monitor and flag real-time threats. They have the potential to benefit not only the UK, but also other countries around the world.
Since the Cyber Accelerator programme began, no fewer than 40 companies have been successfully mentored via the scheme, raising more than £90 million in funding. The latest start-ups will be the seventh group to benefit from the programme and, for the first time, represent a mixture of new companies and Accelerator alumni whose collective expertise focuses on securing critical assets.
Chris Ensor, deputy director for growth at the NCSC, said: “Connected places have huge potential to benefit society so it’s great to see these companies come forward with such innovative security ideas. The Cyber Accelerator programme will provide excellent support structure in helping them to reach the next level, as it has done with numerous start-ups in the past.”
Ensor added: “We look forward to working with these businesses and other pioneering companies in the future to address the UK’s evolving cyber security challenges.”
The ten-week scheme, which is to be held entirely virtually, enables tech entrepreneurs to play their part in helping to make the UK a safer place in which to live and work online, as well as encouraging skills and jobs to boost the country’s economic growth.
Matt Warman, Minister for Digital Infrastructure, explained: “The UK’s cyber security industry is booming and will play a key role as cutting-edge technology transforms economies across the globe. The Cyber Accelerator is a fantastic scheme that enables innovators to develop their businesses and reach their full potential. The Government is committed to supporting tech companies of all sizes to grow such that, working in partnership, we can build back better from the pandemic.”
This is the seventh cohort of the Cyber Accelerator programme, which is part of the UK Government’s £1.9 billion National Cyber Security Strategy. Those companies participating benefit from the technical expertise of the NCSC and will be given the chance to pitch their ideas to potential clients and investors.
The scheme is being delivered with Wayra, Telefónica’s open innovation arm designed to support enterprises creating new products for the UK’s security industry. The start-ups receive benefits to help them scale all aspects of their businesses, including funding, office space and contact with an extensive investor network.
The companies in this cohort of the programme are Awen Collective, the Cyber Defence Service and WatchKeeper International.