New programme to spark wave of growth in UK’s thriving cyber sector

Hub8 in Cheltenham, which has partnered with Plexal, which is running the new Cyber Runway programme
Hub8

Innovative cyber startups, small businesses and scaleups will benefit from a new scheme to help them launch and grow their businesses.

Cyber Runway will see entrepreneurs and businesses get access to business masterclasses, mentoring, product development support, networking events and backing to trade internationally and secure investment so they can turn their ideas into commercial successes.

The new programme – funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and delivered by Plexal the London innovation centre which partnered with  Hub8 in Cheltenham which supports the town’s flourishing cyber community, in partnership with CyLon, which supports entrepreneurs looking to launch, build or scale a cyber security business,

Deloitte and The Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) – aims to support at least 160 organisations and companies over the course of six months.

The cyber security sector is one of the UK’s tech success stories with revenue growing seven per cent in the last financial year and the number of companies increasing by 21 per cent. The sector is now worth £8.9 billion.

Companies participating in DCMS’s cyber growth initiatives in the past have, on average, more than tripled their revenues year on year.

Minister for Digital Infrastructure Matt Warman said: “The UK’s cyber sector is booming and we’re working tirelessly to ensure the benefits are felt by businesses and individuals right across the country.

“Our new Cyber Runway programme will help tackle barriers to growth, increase investment and give firms vital support to take their businesses to the next level.”

Cyber Runway will promote growth across the UK with a particular focus on the South West, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Wales, the North East, North West of England to support the government’s levelling up agenda. Much of the activity will build on the success of emerging cyber hubs such as Cheltenham, Manchester, Belfast, Cardiff, Glasgow and Edinburgh.

The programme will also support founders and innovators from a diverse range of backgrounds – targeting applicants from underrepresented groups in the UK’s cyber sector such as women and people from black, asian and minority ethnic backgrounds.

Saj Huq, director of innovation at Plexal, said: “COVID-19 has catalysed the need for effective cyber security across industries, and a record level of capital is being invested into the sector. But there is still a need for support for businesses at the earliest stages of their development and innovators and entrepreneurs from underrepresented communities still face barriers when entering the ecosystem.

“These are challenges we look forward to addressing with Cyber Runway by supporting the best innovators, regardless of their background or geography, to thrive and grow.”