The Accelerator Network and partners selected to deliver 5-year DCMS programme to help early-stage cyber security businesses scale

The Accelerator Network is delighted to be announced as a key delivery partner with Digital Catapult to deliver a business advice and mentoring programme in collaboration with a strong consortium of partners. Aimed at early-stage cybersecurity companies, the training is designed to help increase the size of the UK cybersecurity market and improve their success rate in the early stages of the business lifecycle. This is supported by £1m in funding from the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS).

The Accelerator Network will deliver the Cyber 101 project with its world-class acceleration programme methodology and will work with the consortium partners, each experienced in cyber business development, including Digital Catapult Centre Northern Ireland, the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) and the VTC Group. The programme will run for four years starting with a pilot project delivered between February and April 2017. Cyber 101 will provide cybersecurity companies across the UK with access to mentoring and advice, access to intensive one day workshops, online learning content, as well as connections to public and private customers and the investment community through an annual demonstration day.

The training is designed to help support cybersecurity businesses hone their business skills and will provide guidance on specific business essentials, such as value proposition, market validation, sales and marketing, risk management and compliance and digital tools that can help them expand and export.

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: “I’m delighted to announce up to £1.1m Government funding to help our small and medium cyber security firms get the support they need to grow their businesses. This will help keep us at the forefront of the global fight against cyber threats and attacks.

“We’re determined to make sure the UK remains a world-leading digital economy, the best place for innovative firms to start up and scale up, and that we are the safest place to live and do business online. This funding, delivered by the Digital Catapult consortium, and working alongside the new National Cyber Security Centre, will play a vital role in delivering those aims.”

Ian Merricks, Chair of The Accelerator Network said: “This is an excellent collaboration of Government and the private sector, working together to advance UK cyber sector. We are keen to be developing content and partnerships around business growth for cyber security startups, in such a nationwide programme.”

Dr Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult: “Cyber security has become a tier one threat in the UK with the threat landscape evolving at a rapid pace. The Government is committed to supporting the UK’s ability to defend itself from cyber-attack and take action against cybercriminals. A significant part of this comes down to removing barriers to growth and supporting innovation in this space, in turn helping foster leading cyber security companies in UK. The Cyber 101 programme is specifically designed to help achieve these aims.”

Digital Catapult is uniquely placed to lead on this national programme thanks to its network of centres across the UK and its proven success in providing the technical expertise, connections and advice to help small businesses grow. The programme will address the specific needs of local cyber security SMEs and will provide valuable support to hundreds of UK cyber security firms.”

The Cyber 101 programme will kick-off in at Digital Catapult Centre’s in Northern Ireland and London as a pilot programme before being scaled-up to sites across the UK. The project will kick off with workshops in London on 10th and 16th March 2017, and subsequent workshops in Northern Ireland on 20th and 29th March 2017. Cyber SMEs interested in taking part in workshops can apply via the Open Call here on The Accelerator Network’s website.