Government and Deloitte-backed cyber security startup accelerator returns for second intake

Shot of Plexal's office building where the Cyber Runway accelerator is ideated
(Image credit: Plexal)

Applications for the second intake of the DCMS and Deloitte-backed Cyber Runway startup accelerator have opened today.

Run by Plexal, which also runs a host of other government-backed accelerators and development schemes, the cyber security accelerator is now accepting applications for its second ‘cohort’ of UK-registered startups after the first round saw 107 entrepreneurs benefit from the initiative.

Cyber Runway said up to 100 more startups will be accepted to the programme which will run over the course of six months.

Supported startups will receive an extensive package of support including business masterclasses, one-to-one mentoring, access to investors, technical support, and more.

There will also be dedicated learning opportunities on how to build a sustainable business with modules on how to achieve net-zero targets.

Cyber Runway said every accepted startup into the second cohort will keep the entirety of their intellectual property (IP) and equity.

It also claims to be the UK’s “largest most diverse cyber accelerator”. It sees diversity as one of the biggest challenges facing the cyber security industry and sets several representation goals for its cohorts.

Cyber Runway aims to have 30% of its companies being female-led projects, 40% to be based outside of London, and at least 15% coming from Black, Asian, and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

In its first cohort, 45% of member companies were female-led startups and 52% were run by founders from BAME backgrounds. Cohort members also receive training on how to build inclusive business policies.

The accelerator is formed of three ‘streams’ - support programmes designed differently for companies at different stages of development - called Launch, Grow, and Scale.

Cyber Runway is now accepting applications for the Grow and Scale streams only. Eligible startups will be anywhere between pre-seed and Series B and above on their capital-raising journey, looking to grow further.

The Launch stream is different to Grow and Scale in that instead of a six-month support programme, members undergo a one-week bootcamp to gain skills and develop their idea into a real cyber security business.

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Previous members of the Grow stream saw a 20% increase in revenue, an 8% increase in investment and a 22% increase in headcount by the end of the programme, Cyber Runway said, and Scale graduates saw a 45% increase in revenue, a 14% increase in investment, and a 71% increase in headcount.

“The economic and geopolitical necessity for a thriving cyber security ecosystem has never been greater,” said Saj Huq, Chief Commercial Officer at Plexal.

“As the UK’s largest cyber accelerator, Cyber Runway provides a uniquely scaled platform for growth at the heart of the UK’s innovation ecosystem, that is designed to support bold, ambitious and diverse founders to realise their potential. We encourage any startup that is serious about their growth to apply and collaborate with us.”

Applications are open until 29 July and both Grow and Scale streams are slated to begin in September.

Connor Jones
News and Analysis Editor

Connor Jones has been at the forefront of global cyber security news coverage for the past few years, breaking developments on major stories such as LockBit’s ransomware attack on Royal Mail International, and many others. He has also made sporadic appearances on the ITPro Podcast discussing topics from home desk setups all the way to hacking systems using prosthetic limbs. He has a master’s degree in Magazine Journalism from the University of Sheffield, and has previously written for the likes of Red Bull Esports and UNILAD tech during his career that started in 2015.