NCSC seeks new breed of cyber security startups

The UK intelligence community is seeking to promote a new breed of technology startup to help detect, respond to and facilitate rapid recoveries from cyber attacks on the UK

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), together with Wayra UK, has launched a national call for 10 startups to join its accelerator programme to develop the next generation of cyber security products.

Since its launch in 2017, the government-funded NCSC Cyber Accelerator has mentored and supported the growth of technology startups, with previous participants securing more than £20m in funding.

One of the main aims of the NCSC Accelerator is helping entrepreneurs to get into the market and helping the market identify good solutions to real problems.

For this fourth cohort of startups, the accelerator is focusing on projects aimed at enhancing cyber security through anticipating the early stages of a cyber attack and enabling action to be taken on real-time threats, vulnerability information and other intelligence.

Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for skills and growth, said the accelerator is aiming to cast “the widest net possible” for attracting startups developing cyber security technologies.

“We’ve worked with 23 companies over the past few years, offering them unique technical insights that have helped them grow their ideas and business.”

Based at an undisclosed facility in Cheltenham, the accelerator has already seen 16 startups graduate from the programme, which runs for nine months and includes a robust acceleration package, including exclusive access to experts from the NCSC and its parent organisation GCHQ, a £25,000 grant, access to Wayra’s investor network and a potential pathway to security experts from Telefónica brands such as O2.

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Gary Stewart, director of Wayra UK and Telefónica Open Future in the UK, said the NCSC Cyber Accelerator is representative of how Britain’s intelligence, cyber and security services have evolved to counter emerging threats by supporting businesses on the frontiers of new tech innovation.

“With GCHQ celebrating its centenary, we’re proud to be a leading partner in identifying and nurturing the fourth cohort of startups that will help keep Britain safe now and for the next 100 years.”

Startups have until midnight on Sunday 28 April 2019 to submit their applications to be part of the latest NCSC Accelerator programme, which is one of two government-funded programmes aimed at boosting UK cyber security innovation.

In January 2019, the other government-backed programme at the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (Lorca) announced its second cohort of companies that are focusing on user-centric security and securing supply chains.

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