Startup Weekly: GCHQ cyber accelerator cohort, Pi Labs cohort & more


Here’s your weekly round up of news about startup competitions, awards, co-working spaces, accelerators and any other exciting things happening in the UK tech sector.

GCHQ cyber accelerator cohort

Some seven cyber security startups have been selected to join the new GCHQ cyber accelerator, powered by Wayra UK.

Part of the Government’s new Cheltenham Cyber Innovation Centre, the accelerator will seek to help keep the UK secure online, enable companies to produce the next generation of cybersecurity systems, and boost the country’s £22bn cybersecurity sector.

The selected companies taking part in the three month development programme are:

CounterCraft: a counterintelligence company, protects large organisations with a cybersecurity deception platform, fooling their adversaries with decoy computers, false data and fake identities

Cyberowl: an early-warning system for cyber attacks, incorporating advanced security analytics and heuristic methods

Cybersmart: a platform that automates implementation, certification and compliance with cybersecurity standards

FutureScaper: a collective intelligence platform that provides data visualisations in order to make sense of complex, uncertain, or volatile issues

Spherical Defence: a Banking API intrusion detection system that uses deep learning to detect hacking attempts by establishing a baseline of normal communication

StatusToday: provides an AI-powered intelligence platform to understand human behavior in the workplace, boosting security against insider attacks and detecting inadvertent mistakes

Verimuchme: a digital wallet and exchange platform to secure, verify and re-use personal information

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock, 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 £1.9bn transformative investment in cybersecurity. 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.”

A call for nominations

Property Wire is on the lookout for PropTech companies.

To nominate who you think should be in the running for the ‘PropTech Company of the Year’ award, head over here.

Nominations will close on 12th February and the awards ceremony will take place in London on 24th March.

IAG cohort

International Airlines Group (IAG) has announced the four finalists which will join Hangar 51, its first ever accelerator programme, run in association with innovation specialist L Marks.

The finalists, selected from more than 450 applications, and due to showcase their work at a demo day on 14th March are:

Esplorio: an app that enables people to record and share travels, ensuring that travelers never forget their amazing experiences and adventures.

Resolver: an independent online resolution service helping consumers to raise issues and helping business to be more effective at resolving them.

VChain Tech: uses blockchain technology to build patent-pending Digital Identity SaaS to help airlines share data safely and securely when passengers take connecting flights.

Warwick Analytics:  is a team of expert data-scientists who produce automated predictive analytics software.

Glenn Morgan, IAG’s head of digital transformation, said: “Our finalists offer IAG a wide range of disruptive opportunities that could create next generation travel experiences and transform the aviation industry. We look forward to welcoming them to IAG and working alongside them as we develop these ideas together.”

Pi Labs cohort

Pi Labs has has announced its fourth cohort, welcoming four new PropTech startups joining its accelerator programme.

The selected companies participating in the 13 week accelerator are:

AskPam: a chat based assistant that instantly helps you get jobs done around the home with zero hassle. From finding someone to fix the sink to arranging the dry cleaning. A commercial version is also available.

FalconDHQ: a mobile based SaaS solution; focused primarily on the private security industry: overhauling and digitising its daily operations, turning

Keepsite: a software platform for individuals and businesses that design and deliver construction projects

StorageShare: an online marketplace for storage space. The platform will help landlords to rent out their attic, garage or spare room to renters who are in need of storage space.

Dominic Wilson, c0-founder and managing partner at Pi Labs, said: “Pi Labs is very much about quality rather than quantity, and we have an exceptional bunch of startups this year, in growth areas like construction and security. We saw an unprecedented amount of applications from companies across the world for this cohort, but have honed in on areas where there is a drastic need for innovation. Alongside our pre-seed investment programme, we also expect to participate in an array of later stage investments this year, so watch this space.”

Innovate Finance FinTech competition

Innovate Finance has announced a £10,000 prize at Pitch360, its first ever FinTech startup competition.

Open to startups and institutions from around the world, Pitch360 aims to strengthen the global FinTech community by showcasing the hottest innovations in financial services.

The initiative will provide candidates with exposure to a captive audience of key influencers, investors and media professionals as well as access to Innovate Finance’s member community.

The winner also be given a press package that includes media introductions and training.

Applicants can enter Pitch360 by filling out a form online. Those shortlisted for the prize will compete with each other during an afternoon of demos at Innovate Finance’s Global Summit, the organisation’s prestigious flagship event, which takes place at The Guildhall, London on 10th – 11th April 2017. They will also be able to exhibit at the event, which attracts a global audience of 2000 delegates.

The deadline for submitting applications is Friday 20th January 2017. Finalists will be announced and invited to pitch in February 2017.


That’s all for today, until next week!