The accelerator programme is part of the UK government’s long-term plan to boost the country’s cyber security sector
The first seven cyber security startups have been selected to join the new GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, which officially opens today.
Powered by Wayra UK, the accelerator is part of the Government’s new Cheltenham Cyber Innovation Centre, created to help keep the UK secure online and develop the next generation of cyber security systems.
The joint partnership between GCHQ, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and corporate accelerator Wayra UK also aims to boost the country’s £22 billion cyber sector, which currently contributes around £2 billion a year in exports to the UK economy.
Securing our future
A three-month development programme awaits the startups selected to join the accelerator, during which they will receive mentoring, office space, access to GCHQ’s personnel and technical expertise and contact with an extensive investor network.
Matt Hancock, the Minister of State for Digital and Culture, said: “I congratulate all the companies selected to join the new accelerator facility which is now open for business. This is an important step in delivering our National Cyber Security Strategy, and supported by £1.9 billion transformative investment in cyber security.
“Based in Cheltenham, the accelerator will help UK entrepreneurs create cutting-edge technology to better protect the nation from cyber attacks and make going online safer for all.”
The seven companies selected specialise in a range of areas related to cyber security, from providing counterintelligence, to analysing human behaviour and creating data visualisations. They are: CounterCraft, Cyberowl, Cybersmart, FutureScaper, Spherical Defence, StatusToday and Verimuchme.
The UK government has made cyber security one of its key priorities for the future, unsurprising given the current threat landscape. It started with the launch of a £250,000 programme last January to boost the development of cyber technology in the UK, followed by the opening of the UK National Cyber Security Centre in October.
Furthermore, 2015 saw the launch of a scheme called CyLon, which aims to help young companies become the next generation of security specialists and recently received a boost after BAE systems extended its partnership with the accelerator.
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