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Startup Weekly: GCHQ cybersecurity accelerator graduates, JLAB calls for applications and much more

startup weekly

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

GCHQ accelerator graduates

GCHQ has unveiled the names of the seven startups graduating from its cybersecurity accelerator.

The programme is the result of a partnership between GCHQ, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and Wayra UK.

The graduates are:

CyberOwl: secured a proof of concept project with Cisco to provide early warning on data theft attacks. The company was also awarded Innovate UK funding of £75,000, and will collaborate with Qinetiq to solve the challenge of reducing the time and effort to detect data breaches in increasingly complex environments.

Status Today: Also working with Cisco on a proof of concept project investigating advanced behavioural analytics. It is also working with Microsoft on platform support and pre-release access, and exploring opportunities with Microsoft’s National Safety Team for sales collaboration within the Public Sector. Founder Ankur Modi was also featured in the Forbes 30 Under 30.  

Elemendar: secured a contract that enables them to continue to develop its machine intelligence platform, which reads cyber threat reports produced by humans and turns them into industry-standard structured information.

Spherical Defence: beginning a pilot programme with one of the largest payments providers in India. It is also undergoing its first Seed funding round.

CyberSmart: went from a minimum viable product (MVP) and not only developed, but also launched its security compliance platform into beta. 

Verimuchme: completed its MVP while part of the accelerator, and is now reaching out to enterprise clients to customise it to better meet their requirements

CounterCraft: is currently positioning its product strategically in the UK market.
All startups pitched to audience at a Demo Day in Cheltenham earlier this week.
Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock MP said:”Our recent Digital Strategy set out our ambition to create a world-leading digital economy that works for everyone and makes the UK the safest place to do business online.

“The Cyber Accelerator is helping to deliver this aim by supporting entrepreneurs and innovators as they turn great ideas into cyber security products and services, and I congratulate all those who have taken part in the first programme and contributed to its success,” he added.

A new innovation space

International law firm Allen & Overy has announced the opening of Fuse, a new tech innovation space.

The law firm says the venue will be used by tech firms, lawyers, technologists and their clients to collaborate and explore innovate solutions.

Tech startups and scaleups can now apply to work in the space, housed in the firm’s offices in London.

Applications will open in April 2017 and applicants will undergo a selection process before successful companies move into the space in September 2017.

Wim Dejonghe, Allen & Overy’s senior partner, commented: “Developments in tech are rapidly transforming our industry and we are determined to play a lead role in harnessing the power of new solutions for the benefit of our clients.

“Fuse offers us a fantastic opportunity to collaborate with both our clients and some of the brightest minds in thetech sector, particularly those who have synergies with our business. I’m convinced this will not only put us at the forefront of developments in this field but will also be a key differentiator for Allen & Overy in the years to come,” added Dejonghe.

RocketSpace mobility tech accelerator

RocketSpace and BP have announced the launch of a Mobility Tech Accelerator.

The accelerator will be supported by a series of businesses working across the mobility value chain, representing different sectors.

“The mobility industry is undergoing rapid change driven by consumer preferences, advanced technologies and regulations. The opportunity to partner with startups within the collaborative model of RocketSpace’s accelerator, provides BP with a fantastic platform on which we can offer our expertise and passion for innovation to help startups grow,” said Roy Williamson, VP Mobility, BP PLC.

The official program kick off will take place in London this Spring followed by a six-week virtual curriculum that will allow corporate collaborators and startups to participate from anywhere in the world.

The launch of the Mobility Tech Accelerator coincides with RocketSpace’s expansion into London.

A win for Gazeal

London-based Gazeal won ‘PropTech Company of the Year’ at the Property Wire Awards, which took place in London last week.

Duncan Samuel, founding partner and managing director at Gazeal, commented on the win: “Bringing anything truly new to the market is always a challenge, which is why it is so great for the Gazeal team that this award is made by our peers in the property sector, who can truly see the value that the Gazeal proposition has the potential to bring for all participants and for their clients.”

JLAB 2017 calls for applications

The John Lewis Partnership has opened the call for applications for JLAB 2017.

Now in its fourth year, this year’s JLAB sees Waitrose joining the programme, creating a retail tech accelerator and widening the growth opportunities for companies with disruptive ideas.

Startups participating in JLAB will have access to capital from the dedicated microfund provided by the John Lewis Partnership and L Marks. Each team will be eligible to apply for funding of up to £100,000 from the total pot of £200,000, in exchange for equity in their company.

Paul Coby, chief information officer at John Lewis Partnership, said: “Industries are being disrupted almost overnight and retail technology in particular is evolving at a rapid pace. JLAB enables us to augment our understanding of innovation and partner with these disruptors to offer the next generation of customer experiences.

“Waitrose involvement in JLAB means we can now provide start-ups with unprecedented access to two of the UK’s leading retailers and ensure we add value to these fledgling companies, in the same spirit of cooperation the John Lewis Partnership was founded on,” he concluded.

Applications close at midnight on 30 April. John LewisPartnership and L Marks will then select five to 10 startups to complete the 12 week JLABprogramme, commencing in July 2017.

The final winner will be announced at a showcase event in September 2017.

… That’s all for today. See you next Friday!