Tech Nation, the UK’s leading network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs, has today announced the 20 fast-growth cyber scaleups accepted onto their first national cyber security growth programme.
Funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and supported by global cyber security market-leaders Tessian, Digital Shadows, Darktrace and CensorNet, the six-month programme is aimed at helping to accelerate the growth of the UK’s most exciting cyber security businesses.
The breadth of innovation and application amongst the 20-strong cohort is testament to the UK’s world-leading cyber security and broader technology sectors. From machine learning and blockchain, to biometrics and cloud solutions, the Tech Nation Cyber cohort are utilising bleeding-edge technologies to offer clients new ways to improve security, and protect businesses and individuals online.
The companies will benefit from a series of workshops held across the UK, led by industry leaders such as Digital Shadows co-founder James Chappell, Darktrace co-founders Emily Orton and Dave Palmer and Deep3 co-founder and CEO Richard Yorke. The programme will also include meetups and networking support, to help the scaleups navigate common barriers to growth, with guidance on everything from how to recruit the right talent to meeting goals for international expansion.
It will also provide them with a powerful network of peers, investors and potential clients.
Following the call for applications in February, the successful cohort was chosen by a panel of expert judges from the public and private sector. The judges assessed applicants against their growth record to date, current scaling plans and expertise, and long-term business potential (both nationally and internationally).
Of the 20 businesses joining the programme, 45% are based outside of London, with cohort headquarters located in nine different cities across the UK (Reading, Belfast, Cheltenham, London, Glasgow, Bristol, Cardiff, Caerphilly and Brighton & Hove).
Kicking off at the Farncombe Estate in the Cotswolds on 2nd/3rd May, the programme will be launched by market-leading experts within the cyber security space, with speakers including: Dave Palmer, Director of Technology at Darktrace, James Chappell, Founder and Chief Innovation Officer at Digital Shadows, and James Hadley, CEO of Immersive Labs.
Margot James, Minister for Digital and the Creative Industries, commented: “Congratulations to all the firms selected for this new programme which shows the depth of tech talent right across the country. This important scheme will not only allow promising cyber security startups to access world-class expert advice but also help us achieve our aim of making Britain the safest place in the world to be online.”
Rt Hon Karen Bradley MP, Secretary of State for Northern Ireland, commented: “I am delighted that Belfast-based companies SaltDNA and RepKnight will be joining the Tech Nation Cyber programme. Cyber security is one of the fastest-growing digital tech sectors in Northern Ireland and attracts record levels of global investment. There is tremendous talent on offer and world-class Universities which make Northern Ireland the ideal location for fast-growth tech companies. I look forward to seeing SaltDNA and RepKnight go from strength to strength and help cement the UK as a world leader in cybersecurity.”
David Mundell, Secretary of State for Scotland, commented: “Scotland’s reputation as an innovator in technology is world renowned and I’m delighted to see us leading the way in cyber security. Finding ways to fight cyber threats is one of the world’s most pressing problems and Glasgow’s tech sector has the innovation and experience to be on the front line. The UK Government has even chosen the city to host its CyberUK 2019 conference. I am pleased to see this recognised by Tech Nation and I offer my congratulations to My1Login on being chosen to join their first national cyber security growth programme.”
Kevin Foster, UK Government Minister for Wales, commented: “Cyber security represents an increasingly important part of our daily lives, and Wales already plays a leading role in keeping our data and systems safe while training up the next generation of experts. This programme will initially support two Welsh companies in Caerphilly and Cardiff in developing their potential and I look forward to seeing other companies from across Wales getting involved in the future.”
Ollie Bone, Cyber Programme Lead at Tech Nation, commented: “In recent years the success for a handful of UK Cyber Security innovators is more than could be imagined. They have enhanced the nation’s reputation for producing world-class technology, while also helping to pave the way for many more startups hoping to follow suit. Concurrently the market for cyber security is continuing to grow at a rapid pace and this conspires to make our cohort of scaleups exciting ones to watch.
Poppy Gustafsson, CEO and Co-founder, Darktrace, commented: “Cyber security is one of the biggest challenges facing modern society. Cutting edge innovations are the only way to protect our digital infrastructures and safeguard the services we rely on. Darktrace is proud to support Tech Nation’s new cyber programme, to maintain the UK’s position as a global leader in cyber defence.”
Tim Sadler, CEO, Tessian, commented: “There is a tremendous amount of cyber talent in the UK – made clear by the breadth of innovation represented in this cohort. The cyber industry is, however, a noisy, competitive space. To stand out and succeed, cybersecurity start-ups need to demonstrate credibility and clearly communicate the problem their technology solves. We are delighted to share some of the things we’ve learned along the way to help these startups take off.”
Alastair Paterson, Co-founder and CEO, Digital Shadows, commented: “Cyber security is critical to the UK’s future success and prosperity and an area we can excel in as a country. As such, I’m proud to be using my experience with Digital Shadows to help others to scale up globally.”
Douglas Orr, CEO and Founder, Novastone Media, commented: “We’re extremely excited to join the Cyber 1.0 cohort. The opportunity for Novastone to scale up and become a future leader in UK Cyber Security with the support of Tech Nation is absolutely fantastic. We’re looking forward to building relationships and learning from other experts that will no doubt be crucial to our success – we can’t wait to get started.”
Andrew Bud, CEO and Founder, iProov, commented: “iProov has entered a phase of extremely fast growth internationally, creating lots of exciting challenges. I’m certain the collective wisdom of our peers and the programme contributors will help us to plan and execute this growth with new insights.”
Jonathan Pope, CEO and Co-founder, Corax, commented: “As a UK cyber security startup seeking to scale, the timing and intent of the programme is perfect for Corax and we’re looking to benefitting from the advice and reach of Tech Nation and fellow programme participants.”
Daniel Lewis, CEO and Co-founder-Director, Awen Collective, commented: “We are delighted to have been chosen for the first cohort of the Tech Nation Cyber programme. We are excited to get started and continue to grow with the support from this wonderful programme and we look forward to establishing new business alongside our fellow cohort members.”
Peter Szyszko, CEO and Founder, White Bullet Solutions, commented: “Following a strong start up period, we are ready to scale and excited to take advantage of the vast opportunities the programme offers for growth and access to investment, as well as to learn from experts and peers.”