GCHQ startup accelerator launches today

News by Roi Perez

Seven startups, focusing on online security issues and threats, will join the new GCHQ Cyber Accelerator. Each startup will receive benefits including access to technological and security expertise, networks, office space and mentoring.

Seven cyber-security startups have been selected to join the new GCHQ cyber-accelerator which officially launches today.

The accelerator, announced in a press release, part of the Government's new Cheltenham Cyber-Innovation Centre, is intended to help keep the UK secure online, enable companies to produce the next generation of cyber-security systems, and boost the country's £22 billion cyber security sector, which currently contributes around £2 billion a year in exports to the UK economy.

The accelerator is a partnership between GCHQ, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and Wayra UK, the UK corporate accelerator that is part of the global Telefónica Open Future_ network.  

Companies joining the accelerator will now begin a three-month development programme, during which they will receive benefits to help them scale all aspects of their businesses, including mentoring, contact with an extensive investor network, office space within the new GCHQ cyber-accelerator, and access to GCHQ's personnel and technical expertise.

Minister of State for digital and culture Matt Hancock MP 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 £1.9 billion transformative investment in cyber-security. 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.”

Gary Stewart, director at Wayra UK and Telefónica Open Future_ (UK), said: “The opening of the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator is a significant step forward for the UK's ambitions to be a global hub for cyber-talent. By bringing together GCHQ's world-class security expertise and pairing it with Wayra's track record in accelerating businesses, we will give entrepreneurs with exceptional cyber-security ideas the opportunity to develop them in the best possible environment. This accelerator could have a huge impact on the global cyber-security sector, generating the next generation of systems that will make everyone's online experience safer and more secure.”

The new accelerator forms part of the Cheltenham Innovation Centre, the first of two innovation centres to be created as part of the Government's National Cyber Security Programme. A second innovation centre will open in London later this year. DCMS is contributing up to £50 million over the next five years to deliver the two innovation centres.

Chris Ensor, NCSC deputy director for cyber-security skills and growth said: “The accelerator will combine GCHQ's understanding of the challenges and deep expertise in cyber-security with innovative and cutting edge companies. It will help to develop the next generation of security technologies needed to keep us all safe in cyber-space.”

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