Cyber Runway, one of the largest and most diverse cyber accelerators has now been unveiled in the UK. With 108 cyber startup members in its kitty, it is backed by DCMS and delivered by Plexal. The accelerator has been designed to address some of the biggest challenges facing cybersecurity, such as diversity and inclusion and regional representation, and support the most promising innovators at various stages of growth.
Diverse, inclusive startups
The full membership list confirms that Cyber Runway will not only be the largest cyber startup accelerator in the UK, but the most diverse community of cyber founders in the country. The six-month programme has ambitious diversity targets in a sector where inclusion has been a long-term challenge. 45% of the startups have female founders, 51% have founders from black, ethnic or minority backgrounds and 50% are based outside of London.
The cohorts are solving challenges like ransomware, cyber fraud, cyber-physical threats to critical national infrastructure, cloud security, improving threat intelligence and boosting education using emerging technologies such as AI, quantum and cloud security.
Improving threat intelligence
The programme is designed to establish a globally competitive cyber startup ecosystem in the UK and address challenges around diversity and a lack of support for early stage cyber businesses that are solving issues of national security such as cyber fraud and improving threat intelligence. Delivered by Plexal, CyLon, Deloitte and CSIT, the Cyber Runway has three distinct streams – Launch, Grow and Scale – and is designed to connect cyber founders to the mentors, investors and corporates they need to accelerate their growth.
Plexal has ensured inclusivity is at the heart of Cyber Runway by including under-represented groups in the design and delivery of the programme. Members will also have access to a diverse mentor pool of investors and industry experts. 50% of member companies are based outside of London and the South East of England. From Ashford to Yeovil, members and their teams are based across the country and Cyber Runway will be delivered in person and virtually to maximise nationwide reach.
The Cyber Runway membership represents some of the most innovative and high-potential cyber startups currently operating in the UK. Members include scaleups such as CybSafe, which raised £5m earlier this year for its security awareness software, SECQAI, which uses quantum technology and AI to combat cyber threats, Yorkshire-based Bob’s Business, which delivers cyber training, insurtech startup Regulativ.ai, which aims to disrupt cyber regulatory compliance, and Hack The Box, which raised £7million in April for its online cybersecurity training platform.
Rise of cyber startups
Saj Huq, director of innovation at Plexal, comments: “This is a golden age for the UK cyber startup ecosystem. Cyber startups are attracting record levels of investment and both the government and global tech giants are coming to British cyber companies to adopt emerging cyber technologies. The scale of Cyber Runway is testament to the enormous potential within the cyber startup community and will help stimulate the supply of innovative cyber solutions that will be needed by the economy and society.”