Cyber Runway

by Mark Rowe

Plexal, the innovation company founded by Delancey, has detailed the 108 cyber entrepreneurs, start-ups, SMEs and scale-ups joining the Cyber Runway accelerator programme. Cyber Runway has been designed to address challenges facing cybersecurity, such as diversity and inclusion, and regional representation; and support the most promising innovators at various stages of growth.

Organisers say Cyber Runway will not only be the largest cyber startup accelerator in the UK, but the most diverse community of cyber founders. The cohorts are taking on such problems as ransomware, cyber fraud, cyber-physical threats to critical national infrastructure, cloud security, threat intelligence and how to use emerging technologies such as AI, quantum and cloud security in education. Some 45 per cent of Cyber Runway members are female-led startups and 52pc are run by founders from black, ethnic or minority backgrounds.

Plexal reports that half of member companies are based outside of London and the South East of England. Cyber Runway will be delivered in person and virtually to maximise nationwide reach.

The Cyber Runway membership includes scale-ups 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, such as in anti-money laundering, digital footprint, and modern slavery, as featured in the September 2019 print edition of Professional Security magazine; insurtech startup, which aims to disrupt cyber regulatory compliance; and Hack The Box, which raised £7m in April for its online cybersecurity training platform. The full list of Cyber Runway members is at

The 108 companies will receive business classes (virtual and in person); mentoring, engineering support from CSIT and access to CSIT’s data and testing centre; technical product development support; chances to connect with international cyber hubs; and connections to investors and corporates.

Plexal at Stratford, east London (pictured) now delivers four of the five UK Government-backed cyber programmes in the UK. The company has delivered LORCA (the London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement) for the last three years and is delivering LORCA Ignite, which is supporting cyber scale-ups. Over the last three years, LORCA has helped cohort companies raise more than £200m in investment and generate over £37m in revenue. Plexal is also delivering NCSC For Startups, which connects cyber startups to technical people within UK government.

Saj Huq, director of innovation at Plexal, says: “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.”

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