Skip to content

Startup Weekly: Level39 launches new cyber programme, PwC’s Scale and more

startup weekly

Welcome to Startup Weekly, our roundup of last week’s top tech news for startups in the UK.

Every week, we will bring you the latest from the country’s startup accelerators, incubators, competitions and awards.

Level39 launches new programme

Level39 has announced the launch of Cyber39, a new programme designed to accelerate London’s ambition to become the most secure place in the world to do business.

Cyber39 will bring together cybersecurity firms to scale and develop new technologies that will seek to address the global digital risks facing the UK.

The programme will seek to tackle growing cyber threats across the public and private sectors, establishing the UK as a leader in cybersecurity innovation.

Ben Brabyn, head of Level39, said: “The cybersecurity threat is constantly evolving and poses a fundamental challenge to each and every major global industry, particularly financial services. While the government has committed to backing innovation to address this threat, the private sector must accelerate the growth of the ambitious startups that are so often our first line of defence.

“The UK is home to countless cybersecurity startups that are already working with public and private actors to withstand this onslaught. However, Britain cannot simply resist cyber-attacks. The moment is now to harness the billion-dollar opportunity of cybersecurity innovation and ensure the UK becomes the most secure place to do business in the world. The Cyber39 seeks to enable ambitious entrepreneurs to do exactly this.”

Minister for Digital Matt Hancock added: “London is at the forefront of the booming cybersecurity industry, and we want to keep it that way, attracting investment and keeping people safe online. The Cyber39 programme and world class demonstration centre will allow companies from across the world to showcase their cutting-edge cybersecurity products and help keep London at the top of the pack.”


PwC will be launching six new Scale programmes this autumn in a bid to harness and foster innovation across the country.

The programmes will be split regionally and by sector, with this round taking place in Edinburgh, the Midlands (both sector agnostic) and London, focusing on FinTech, commerce, health and GovTech.

Nigel Howlett, UK digital private business leader at PwC, said: “We recognise that the primary needs of scale-ups are to access new customers and gain further investment. In our Scale programmes we help businesses become fit for scaling, then open the doors to our network, facilitating introductions and funding opportunities.”

Previous participants in PwC’s Scale programmes raised £60m in equity on joining and have since gone on to raise a further £20m, demonstrating rapid progression and quality. As well as investment, the cohorts were introduced to over 500 relevant stakeholders which has so far enabled over 70 pilots.

Howlett added:“Small businesses are an essential part of the UK economy and it’s important we do everything we can to help them prosper post-Brexit. The success of our previous scale programmes inspired us to up the ante, with six more in the pipeline in autumn and more to come in 2018.

“We’re bringing fast-growing and ambitious scale-ups from all over together with the world’s biggest brands, in an environment that allows both sides to learn from each other and build commercial opportunities. Interest is extending beyond the UK and we’re seeing increased collaboration from overseas, both from our global PwC network, scale-up applicants and programme partners.”

Applications to PwC SCALE programmes are open here.

Founders Choice scheme

Imperial Innovations and Imperial College London will be operating Founders Choice, a new pilot programme to help commercialise research.

The programme is designed to facilitate Imperial College staff who consider that they are capable of finding the resources, finance and expertise necessary to make a spin-out company successful.

The two options under Founders Choice are the Founder Driven route and the Jointly Driven route. The Founder Driven route receives the basic support package from Imperial Innovations and the Jointly Driven route receives an enhanced level of support.

Best of Britain awards

And finally, Koru Kids, which has raised £600,000 in funding and helps families to find nannies in London, won the Best of Britain: South of England award.

The annual Best of Britain Awards, launched by business energy price comparison platform Love Energy Savings, in partnership with EDF Energy, Opus Energy, British Gas, Scottish Power and npower, showcases emerging businesses from across the country.

DevOpsGuys, a Cardiff-based IT consultancy, won ‘Best of Britain: Wales’.