LORCA’S searching for its fifth cybersecurity accelerator cohort now

We’re delivering LORCA, which runs year-long cybersecurity accelerators every six months. And we’re excited to reveal that applications for our fifth cohort are open now.

After consulting with industry leaders from various sectors, LORCA has set its innovation agenda for the next cohort and is looking to hear from scaleups developing cutting-edge solutions to address challenges posed by a world in which everyone and everything is connected. Full details of our innovation themes and our criteria can be found on LORCA’s application page, with applications closing at 5pm on 4 May.

Our innovation themes

Industry has made it clear to us that it needs a new breed of cybersecurity solutions to tackle the complexity that technology has created. So we’re especially keen to support innovators working on the next frontier for security: technology solutions that protect individuals from increasing cyber threats across the full spectrum of their digital lives.

This can include securing the virtual workforce, combating disinformation and enhancing privacy in a world of hyper-connectivity.

We believe that as data becomes the new currency for digital citizens, the tech sector must adapt to serve the needs of the individual and not just organisations. It has a role to play in building people’s trust in technology and empowering them to feel in control of their digital presence.

Why apply

LORCA gives members support to help them scale, secure investment, access new markets and expand their international presence. Our ultimate aim is to grow the British cybersecurity industry and make the internet safer for everyone.

Members will receive business mentoring, connections to investors and get access to commercial and engineering expertise from Plexal’s innovation team and our delivery partners, Deloitte and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast. In light of COVID-19, we’re taking a digital-first approach for this cohort, with all course curriculum and some events being delivered virtually.

They will also benefit from close engagement with industry to help with achieving a stronger product-market fit. We connect members with our corporate partners (including Lloyds Banking Group, Dell Technologies, Kx, Kudelski Security and the Global Cyber Alliance) as well as a broad cross-section of industry stakeholders through events, forums and introductions to our international network.

Saj Huq, programme director, LORCA, said: “As well as meeting the needs of industry today, LORCA catalyses innovation that caters to the cybersecurity challenges on the horizon that will intersect both society and business and require new models of collaboration to solve. We know there is cutting-edge technology available to meet these challenges, and we want to ensure those solutions get the support they need to scale, access the right funding and develop in direct response to what the market requires.

“Coupled with this, the current global pandemic has underlined and increased our reliance on technology. And with this, it has brought very real cybersecurity challenges to the fore. This is a time to support the cybersecurity innovations that our digital world needs most and we look forward to enabling this next wave of high- potential SMEs to scale and succeed.”

Louise Cushnahan, head of innovation, CSIT, said: “At this time of COVID-19 related international emergency we are seeing the online spread of disinformation aggravate the public health crisis, rapid adoption of remote working putting pressure on information security and malicious actors seeking to take advantage of weak links in cyber security and overburdened IT teams. Sometimes the most innovative, resilient and successful companies grow out of times of uncertainty and adversity. Our highly experienced academic and engineering teams are looking forward to engaging with and delivering impactful support for Cohort 5 in the months ahead.”

Applications close at 5pm on 4 May, with the fifth cohort starting the programme in July 2020.