Startup Weekly: GCHQ cybersecurity cohort, Wales’ Digital Dozen and more

Welcome to Startup Weekly – your weekly roundup of news from the UK’s tech startup world.

GCHQ announces cohort

GCHQ has announced the names of the nine startups joining its Cyber Accelerator, powered by Wayra UK.

The new cohort of nine companies will now benefit from a nine-month period at the accelerator, and will each receive increased funding of £25,000.

Minister of State for Digital Matt Hancock said: “With the digital economy continuing to rapidly expand, it’s vital that we invest in the next generation of cybersecurity startups to ensure that the UK is the safest place to be online.

“The enhanced GCHQ Cyber Accelerator Programme will bring even more investment and world-leading support to some of the UK’s most innovative companies – helping them develop the skills and cutting-edge technology that will better protect us all from any future cyber attacks.

The Accelerator – part of the Cheltenham Innovation Centre – is a key commitment in the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy and builds on the wealth of cyber excellence in Cheltenham itself.”

The companies selected to join the programme include:

  • Cybershield which detects phishing and spear phishing, and alerts employees before they mistakenly act on deceptive emails
  • Elliptic detects and investigates cybercrime involving cryptocurrencies, enabling the company to identify illicit blockchain activity and provide intelligence to financial institutions and law enforcement agencies
  • ExactTrak supplies embedded technology that protects data and devices, giving the user visibility and control even when the devices are turned off
  • Intruder – winner of UKTN’s ‘Best in Cybersecurity’ at last year’s Elevator Pitch Awards – provides a proactive security monitoring platform for internet-facing systems and businesses, detecting system weaknesses before hackers do
  • Ioetec provides a plug-and-play cloud service solution to connect Internet of Things devices with end-to-end authenticated, encrypted security
  • RazorSecure provides advanced intrusion and anomaly detection for aviation, rail and automotive sectors
  • Secure Code Warrior has built a hands-on, gamified Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) learning platform to help developers write secure code
  • Trust Elevate solves the problem of age verification and parental consent for young adults and children in online transactions
  • Warden helps businesses protect their users from hacks in real time by monitoring for suspicious activity

Wales’ Digital Dozen programme

Twelve of Wales’ brightest tech startups are reportedly on track to deliver a combined turnover of over £100m a year by 2020.

The businesses are all part of this years’ ‘Digital Dozen accelerator programme’ run by Innovation Point.

Eight of the ‘Digital Dozen’ businesses will take part in an investor showcase event at the London Stock Exchange on November 2nd. Each will be pitching to a room of potential investors, one of whom they hope will invest in them and their business idea.

These Digital Dozen businesses are disrupting humanitarian aid, global beauty, banking, retail, property and more:

  • Disberse a fund management platform built for the global development sector, Disberse can track the distribution of humanitarian aid ensuring it is used for the intended purpose and reducing fraud and corruption. Already operating on an international scale with a network of leading charities, the implications of this much needed technology on the aid sector are huge.
  • Simply Do Ideas a white-label, enterprise SaaS platform making innovation and entrepreneurship accessible to everyone. The technology provides the quickest and easiest way to capture, evaluate and share early-stage ideas driving economic, social and environmental impact. It is set to capture over 10 million ideas globally by December 2021.
  • University Cribs a student property search engine simplifying the process for students to find accommodation. University Cribs is the first property portal solely focussed on student accommodation and the first to show properties in virtual reality.
  • Dashhound a dashboard that connects users social accounts and enables them to track and purchase products used by their favourite beauty influencers. The global beauty business is set to reach $675billion by 2020 and Dashhound aims to be the single main driving force behind on and offline beauty sales.

David Warrender, CEO of Innovation Point, said:“ Wales is on the cusp of a digital revolution, and we believe that the Digital Dozen are a key element in the work that Innovation Point is doing to drive growth and ability right now.  The businesses taking part in this year’s Digital Dozen accelerator programme are already demonstrating their ability to disrupt on the international stage, giving us a great story to take to potential investors and collaborators.

“We already know of a number of investors turned on to this emerging hub of technical ability, and we are beginning to see some fantastic results from last years Digital Dozen cohort.  I can only encourage those investors not yet tuned into to the prospect to join us at the London Stock Exchange on the 2nd November and be a part of something quite exciting”

Barclays’ Eagle Lab Cardiff

‘Barclays Eagle Lab’ in partnership with Legal and General will open its doors later this year as part of a new 6,500ft incubator facility.

The Eagle Lab will seek to give the South Wales startup and scaleup communities a boost.

Mike Hayden, Barclays’ head of SME Banking in South Wales, said: “The Barclays Eagle Lab business incubator has been successfully launched in 12 other major cities across the UK, some by regenerating unused Barclays premises; and others by partnering in the regeneration of old city buildings.  We have seen the success of other Eagle Labs across the country and have been proactively seeking the right partner and location for Wales first Eagle Lab, demonstrating our support to the local SME sector, and in particular focusing on support to high growth businesses and entrepreneurs.

“Barclays have been working alongside Legal & General in various capacities for many years and collaboration for an Eagle Lab focusing on Home tech seemed the next natural step. When we heard about the plans for Brunel House, we thought it would be the perfect fit. We both appreciate the importance of supporting entrepreneurs, startups and accelerating high growth companies, and the vital role they play in creating a sustainable, prosperous Welsh economy.”

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