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Plexal launches Cyber Runway 3.0 accelerator programme

The latest iteration of Plexal’s government-backed cyber security startup accelerator will run four work streams to boost startups at various stages of maturity and growth

London startup hub Plexal is launching its third Cyber Runway accelerator programme to provide more tailored support for security startups in specific areas.  

The Cyber Runway accelerator was created to address some of the most pressing security challenges facing the UK – such as ransomware and fraud – with cutting-edge emerging technology, while supporting startups at various stages of growth.

Delivered in partnership with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology (DSIT), the third iteration of Plexal’s Cyber Runway will see startups supported across four work streams.

This includes Launch, a bootcamp designed to help budding entrepreneurs get their business of the ground; Grow, a programme for helping startups commercialise and find product-market fit; and Scale, which will help scaling, high-growth  startups further boost their growth.

The final stream is Ignite, which is focused on developing founders’ leadership abilities, was launched as a separate programme in November 2022, but is now being incorporated into the main accelerator programme.

Through these streams, Cyber Runway will connect entrepreneurs and startups with investors, security leaders and the government to support them in developing technologies which address a broad commercial need.

“It’s a real honour to have again won the trust of our partner, the Department of Science, Innovation and Technology, to clear Cyber Runway for take-off through 3.0. This year’s accelerator will enable the vast array of cyber founders in the UK to have more opportunities to develop in a way that best suits their individual needs,” said Saj Huq, head of innovation at Plexal.

“Our Cyber Runway 2.0 Graduation Conference demonstrated how we’ve developed a virtuous cycle of successful entrepreneurs who have been here before are continuing to support the upcoming founders joining the ecosystem. I’m really excited for that to continue, leading to more prosperity and job creation, as well as enhanced national security – both of which are central to our mission at Plexal.”

While previous Cyber Runway accelerator programmes – all backed by government – were held in 2021 and 2022, this is the first to combine all four work streams under one roof.

Overall, in the past two years, Plexal says its Cyber Runway programmes have supported more than 170 companies across seven cohorts, just over half of which are outside of the South East.

“Whether it’s budding entrepreneurs, a business laying the foundations for growth, or startup founders wanting to develop as a leader, the third iteration of Cyber Runway will offer the most comprehensive support package yet for our peerless cyber security startups community,” said the minister for cyber, AI and intellectual property, Viscount Camrose.

“In just two years, the scheme has helped more than 170 companies and even produced Forbes 30-under-30 winners. It will now continue its mission to support our brightest minds as they fuel and safeguard innovation across our economy.” 

Plexal have already begun recruiting for the Launch and Ignite streams, which start in July, and has said that expressions of interest are open for the Grow and Scale streams.

Plexal runs a variety of other startup accelerator programmes, including Greater Manchester’s Digital Security Hub (DiSH), which is designed to help commercialise early-stage security startups throughout the north-west; and Lorca Ignite, an intensive cyber security scaleup programme Plexal ran thorough its London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (Lorca) programme. 

It also runs an accelerator initiative in partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) – part of British signals intelligence agency GCHQ – known as NCSC for Startups, which is designed to help the UK government rapidly expand its cyber security capabilities.

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