First cyber security start-ups selected for GCHQ Cyber Accelerator

Accelerator will help UK take the lead in producing the next generation of cyber security systems, boosting the country’s tech sector, says government and GCHQ

Posted 11 January 2017 by Gary Flood

Seven cyber security start-ups have been selected to join the new GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, a joint venture between the UK intelligence community, the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and private sector tech business development firm Wayra UK.
The accelerator, part of the Government’s new Cheltenham Cyber Innovation Centre, is claimed will help keep the UK secure online, enable companies to produce the next generation of cyber security systems and help strengthen the UK’s £22 billion cyber security sector, which the government says currently contributes around £2 billion a year in exports to the UK economy.
Companies joining the accelerator will now begin a three-month development programme, during which they will receive benefits to help them scale all aspects of their businesses, including mentoring, contact with an extensive investor network, office space within the new GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, as well as access to GCHQ’s world-class personnel and technical expertise.
The new accelerator forms part of the Cheltenham Innovation Centre, the first of two world-leading innovation centres to be created as part of the Government’s National Cyber Security Programme. A second innovation centre will open in London later this year, with DCMS set to contribute up to £50m over the next five years to deliver the two innovation centres.
The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) is the UK’s authority on cyber security.
“By bringing together GCHQ’s world-class security expertise and pairing it with Wayra’s track record in accelerating businesses, we will give entrepreneurs with exceptional cyber security ideas the opportunity to develop them in the best possible environment,” claimed Wayra UK Director Gary Stewart.
“The accelerator will combine GCHQ’s understanding of the challenges and deep expertise in cyber security with innovative and cutting edge companies. It will help to develop the next generation of security technologies needed to keep us all safe in cyber space,” added Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Security Skills and Growth.
The companies selected to join the programme include: 
  • CounterCraft, a counterintelligence company, protects large organisations with a cybersecurity deception platform, fooling their adversaries with decoy computers, false data and fake identities 
  • Cyberowl, a breakthrough early-warning system for cyber attacks, incorporating advanced security analytics and heuristic methods
  • Cybersmart, a platform that automates implementation, certification and compliance with cyber security standards
  • FutureScaper, a collective intelligence platform that provides data visualisations in order to make sense of complex, uncertain, or volatile issues
  • Spherical  Defence, a Banking API intrusion detection system that uses deep learning to detect hacking attempts by establishing a baseline of normal communication
  • StatusToday, which provides an AI-powered intelligence platform to understand human behavior in the workplace, boosting security against insider attacks and detecting inadvertent mistakes
  • Verimuchme, a digital wallet and exchange platform to secure, verify and re-use personal information. Through ID-based crypto-technology, individuals and enterprises are linked to personal information that can be shared digitally over and over again.
“I congratulate all the companies selected to join the new accelerator facility which is now open for business,” commented Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock.
“This is an important step in delivering our National Cyber Security Strategy, and supported by £1.9bn transformative investment in cyber security.
“Based in Cheltenham, the accelerator will help UK entrepreneurs create cutting-edge technology to better protect the nation from cyber attacks and make going online safer for all.”
Wayra UK is part of the global Telefónica Open Future_ network.