Plexal seeks new scaleups for next phase of Cyber Runway

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London innovation and startup hub Plexal has opened applications for growing and scaling cyber security startups to join the second cohort of its Cyber Runway accelerator, offering support to help them grow their businesses in the UK and abroad.

Plexal hopes to onboard up to 100 startups into the programme – which is jointly funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and supported by Deloitte and the Centre for Secure Information Technology at Queen’s University Belfast.

The first running of the Cyber Runway programme saw a total of 108 startups take part across three tracks – Launch, Grow and Scale – but this time, Plexal is only looking for organisations to join the Grow and Scale tracks. Eligible startups can be anywhere from pre-Seed to Series B and above.

“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 its growth to apply and collaborate with us.” 

Julia Lopez, who at the time of writing remained cyber security minister, said: “Our thriving cyber security sector is worth more than £10bn and attracts some of the world’s best talent. 

“We fund programmes like Cyber Runway to help startups successfully scale in this thriving sector. If you are a cyber professional looking for mentoring and masterclasses to help your business grow, then this exciting opportunity is for you.”

As before, Plexal is particularly keen to fill the second cohort with as diverse and inclusive a group of leaders as possible to overcome some of the human challenges facing the cyber community.

It has set itself the goal of having 30% of cyber companies being led by women and 52% by people from black, Asian and minority ethnic (BAME) backgrounds.

Successful applicants will keep 100% of their intellectual property and equity, and will receive a range of support, including business masterclasses, mentoring, networking opportunities with investors and corporate partners, product development support, regional events, and access to international cyber hubs.

The second round will also emphasise more sustainable, inclusive and investible business proposals, with a particular focus on solutions that achieve net-zero carbon emissions.

Plexal said startups that progressed through the Grow track in the first round saw an average 20% bump in revenues, an 8% rise in investment and a 22% increase in headcount over the course of their involvement, while for those on the Scale track, those figures were 45%, 14% and 71%, respectively.


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