Cyber Runway takes off

From new ventures to global scaleups, 107 innovators from across the UK have been chosen for the Cyber Runway accelerator Plexal is delivering.

Cyber Runway is the largest cyber startup accelerator in the UK and has one of the most diverse community of cyber founders in the country.

The cohorts are solving challenges like ransomware, cyber fraud, cyber-physical threats to critical national infrastructure, cloud security, improving threat intelligence and boosting education using emerging technologies such as AI, quantum and cloud security.

45% of Cyber Runway members are female-led startups and 52% are run by founders from Black and minority backgrounds.

Plexal has ensured inclusivity is at the heart of Cyber Runway by including under-represented groups in the design and delivery of the programme. Members will also have access to a diverse mentor pool of investors and industry experts.

From Ashford to Yeovil, 50% of member companies are based outside of London and the South East of England and the programme will be delivered in person and virtually.   

The Cyber Runway members represent some of the most innovative and high-potential cyber startups currently operating in the UK. They include scaleups such as CybSafe, which raised £5m earlier this year for its security awareness software, SECQAI, which uses quantum technology and AI to combat cyber threats, Yorkshire-based Bob’s Business, which delivers cyber training, insurtech startup, which aims to disrupt cyber regulatory compliance, and Hack The Box, which raised £7m in April for its online cybersecurity training platform.

Meet all our innovators here:

Our programme: scaling cyber’s superstars

Backed by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and delivered by Plexal in partnership with CyLon, Deloitte and CSIT (the Centre for Secure Information Technologies), Cyber Runway will be an intensive six-month programme.

Three streams will support cyber startups based on their growth phase:

Launch: 20 entrepreneurs will get support with launching their business, building a minimum viable product and creating a network.

Grow: 67 startups and SMEs will get business support to help them address their growing pains, access funding and achieve commercial success.

Scale: 20 scaleups will access support (including 1:1 mentoring) to help them grow rapidly in the UK and around the world.

Cyber Runway has replaced and consolidated three DCMS-funded programmes: HutZero, Cyber 101 and Tech Nation’s cyber accelerator for startups.

Member benefits

Our 107 members will benefit from:

  • business masterclasses (both virtual and in person)
  • mentoring, engineering support from CSIT and access to CSIT’s data and testing centre
  • technical product development support
  • opportunities to connect with international cyber hubs
  • regional events
  • connections to investors and corporates to fuel growth

Cyber innovation at Plexal

Plexal is accelerating the growth of the UK cyber startup ecosystem and enabling industry and the government to unlock the potential of game-changing technologies.  

We’ve delivered the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) for the last three years and we’re currently delivering LORCA Ignite, which is supporting cyber scaleups. Over the last three years, LORCA has helped members raise more than £200m in investment and generate over £37m in revenue.

We’re also delivering NCSC For Startups, which connects cyber startups to technical experts in UK government to help them develop innovations that can make the UK safer online.

Minister for Media, Data and Digital Infrastructure Julia Lopez said:
“We want to make sure everyone, regardless of their background, can take advantage of the opportunities in the brilliant cyber security industry.

“Our backing for the fantastic Cyber Runway programme will help boost growth in the regions, increase diversity and give firms vital support to take their business to the next level.”

Saj Huq, director of innovation at Plexal, said:

“This is a golden age for the UK cyber startup ecosystem. Cyber startups are attracting record levels of investment and both the government and global tech giants are coming to British cyber companies to adopt emerging cyber technologies. The scale of Cyber Runway is testament to the enormous potential within the cyber startup community and will help stimulate the supply of innovative cyber solutions that will be needed by the economy and society.

“However, Cyber Runway is also specifically designed to address some of the challenges facing cyber startups as they scale. Our three programmes will connect cyber founders to the mentors, investors and corporates they need to accelerate their growth and access diverse talent. This is a significant moment for UK cyber and I have every confidence that the collaboration between the government and the private sector to create Cyber Runway will make the cyber ecosystem more successful, innovative and inclusive.”

Dr Andrea Cullen

Dr Andrea Cullen, co-founder of CAPSLOCK, said:

“Having graduated from the fifth cohort of LORCA, I have experienced first-hand the impact of Plexal’s unique combination of commercial expertise, industry connections and peer-to-peer learning networks. Cyber Runway will provide opportunities for CAPSLOCK to continue scaling and realise its full potential.”

Oz Alashe

Oz Alashe MBE, founder of CybSafe, said:  

“There are few accelerator programmes that have the scale, network or the commitment to diversity and inclusion offered by Cyber Runway. I have no doubt that this will be beneficial for CybSafe. I’m delighted to join a nationwide community of ambitious, innovative cyber founders and look forward to sharing ideas, knowledge and experience with other members.”