Plexal alongside Barclays Eagle Labs, Lancaster University, University of Manchester and Manchester City Council is operating an 11,000 square foot Digital Security Hub (DiSH) workspace in Manchester, which has a target of supporting 500 startups and creating over 1,000 jobs in Greater Manchester.

This is in keeping with Plexal’s mission of closing the gap – between public and private sectors, between startups and corporates, between local and global – to work towards a common goal: using technology to improve national security and deliver prosperity.

Sir Richard Leese, leader of Manchester City Council, says: “There is a real opportunity now for Manchester to become a centre of excellence in developing new products to help safeguard both the public sector and businesses of all sizes. This will help drive economic growth and job creation in this fast-growing area which is emerging as one of Manchester’s distinctive strengths. The fact that we are emerging from the economic shock of a pandemic makes the Digital Innovation Security Hub all the more important.”



As part of DiSH, Plexal is delivering the three-month DiSH Accelerator, which will provide Greater Manchester-based digital security and cyber companies the tools to achieve growth.
Our 12-week programme provides companies specialising in key technologies that underpin digital and cyber security capabilities with the support and mentoring necessary to grow, scale and integrate into the burgeoning Greater Manchester ecosystem.
Suitable companies are those based in Greater Manchester or those looking to set up operations there and who can attend the programme in person, up to two days per week.
Applications for the third cohort have now closed. 
Watch this space and our socials to meet the cohort and hear about what they get up to on the programme.

As part of the programme, companies will receive the following benefits:

  • Free workspace at DiSH Manchester during programme days
  • Business masterclasses designed to help you lay solid foundations for your business
  • 1:1 mentoring from business growth and industry experts
  • Coaching to help perfect your sales and investment pitch
  • Investment readiness and potential funding support
  • Facilitated industry introductions
  • Industry events
  • Access to perks including: 
    • Azzure credits
    • Founders Card – Complimentary six-month trial
    • Discounts for products and services including: Hubspot, Seedlegals, and Dell products

Key dates and timelines

30th October 2023

Applications open

26th November 2023

Applications close

27th November 2023

Shortlisted companies notified

4th-5th December

Selection to take place with a virtual pitch day

11th December 2023

Successful applicants notified

17th January 2024

Programme begins

4th April 2023

Programme concludes


Ayaan Mohamed, CEO and Founder, Digitech Oasis

“Being a part of the second DiSH Accelerator cohort was transformative for me as a founder. The collaborative and supportive environment cultivated by DiSH was instrumental in shaping not only my startup but also fostering a sense of community within the wider Manchester ecosystem. The accelerator programme provided unparalleled resources, mentorship, and networking opportunities. The structured curriculum, combined with the diverse expertise of fellow founders, significantly accelerated the growth of my venture.

“To the next generation of DiSH cohorts, I’d say: ‘Embrace the challenges, leverage the network and never underestimate the power of collaboration. DiSH isn’t just an accelerator; it’s a family of innovators propelling each other toward success.’

“Grateful to have been a part of such a great experience. Thank you once again for the opportunity.”

Patrick Smith, CEO and Founder, Zally

“As a founder, the DiSH Accelerator has been a transformative journey. Our cohort’s support and collaborative spirit have been invaluable. Being a part of this vibrant community has enhanced my skills and broadened my perspective on entrepreneurship. The Manchester ecosystem, through DiSH, has provided a nurturing environment where innovative ideas are not just encouraged but celebrated. 

“I advise the next generation of cohort members to fully embrace the opportunities DiSH offers. Engage actively, collaborate openly, and don’t hesitate to explore unconventional ideas. The power of this community lies in its diversity, so make the most of the different perspectives and experiences your fellow founders bring to the table. Remember, every challenge is an opportunity to learn and grow, so approach them with tenacity and creativity.”