October 18, 2017


Nine start-ups, focusing on online security issues and threats, will join the second programme of the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, powered by Wayra UK

   Companies selected to join the programme include a start-up that seeks to disrupt cyber crime by detecting and investigating crypto-currency transactions, and one that warns small businesses of their security weaknesses and how to fix them

   Following the successful first phase of the accelerator earlier this year, each start-up joining now will benefit from an expanded nine-month programme, as well as increased funding of £25,000

   Each start-up will also receive benefits including access to technological and security expertise, networks, office space and mentoring

Nine cyber security start-ups, focusing on online security issues and threats, have been selected to join the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, powered by Wayra UK.

The companies – which include a start-up that seeks to disrupt cyber crime by detecting and investigating crypto-currency transactions, and one that warns small businesses of their security weaknesses and how to fix them – will now begin an intensive acceleration programme that will help their businesses, with the aim of producing the next generation of cyber security leaders.

The accelerator, part of the Government’s Cheltenham Innovation Centre, is a partnership between GCHQ, the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS), and Wayra UK, the leading UK corporate accelerator that is part of the global Telefónica Open Future_ network.

Following a successful first phase of the accelerator earlier in 2017, when seven start-ups joined for three months, the partners have expanded the programme. The new cohort of nine companies will now benefit from a nine-month period at the accelerator, and will each receive increased funding of £25,000.

At the accelerator, they will also receive support to help them scale all aspects of their businesses, including high-quality mentoring and business services, office space, and access to GCHQ, NCSC and Telefónica’s world-class personnel and technical expertise.

Minister of State for Digital Matt Hancock said:

“With the digital economy continuing to rapidly expand, it’s vital that we invest in the next generation of cyber security start-ups to ensure that the UK is the safest place to be online.

“The enhanced GCHQ Cyber Accelerator Programme will bring even more investment and world-leading support to some of the UK’s most innovative companies – helping them develop the skills and cutting-edge technology that will better protect us all from any future cyber attacks.

“The Accelerator – part of the Cheltenham Innovation Centre – is a key commitment in the Government’s National Cyber Security Strategy and builds on the wealth of cyber excellence in Cheltenham itself.”

Gary Stewart, Director at Wayra UK and Telefónica Open Future_ (UK), said:

“Cyber security is one of the most important challenges facing us today as a society. The GCHQ Cyber Accelerator is one of the UK’s most forward-thinking collaborations, and I think that the new cohort is probably one of the best groups of cyber start-ups anywhere in the world. I can’t wait to see what they achieve with the help of world-leading expertise from GCHQ, NCSC, and Telefónica.”

The new accelerator is the first step in delivering 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.

The Government’s new National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), part of GCHQ, is making the UK the safest place to live and do business online. It is a single, central body for cyber security at a national level, managing national cyber security incidents, carrying out real-time threat analysis and providing tailored sector advice.

Chris Ensor, NCSC Deputy Director for Cyber Security Skills and Growth, said:

“We learnt a lot from our first Accelerator cohort and I’m looking forward to working with a whole new set of exciting ideas and innovative people.”

The companies selected to join the programme include:

Cybershield detects phishing and spear phishing, and alerts employees before they mistakenly act on deceptive emails

Elliptic detects and investigates cybercrime involving crypto-currencies, enabling the company to identify illicit blockchain activity and provide intelligence to financial institutions and law enforcement agencies

ExactTrak supplies embedded technology that protects data and devices, giving the user visibility and control even when the devices are turned off

Intruder provides a proactive security monitoring platform for internet-facing systems and businesses, detecting system weaknesses before hackers do

Ioetec provides a plug-and-play cloud service solution to connect Internet of Things devices with end-to-end authenticated, encrypted security

RazorSecure provides advanced intrusion and anomaly detection for aviation, rail and automotive sectors

Secure Code Warrior has built a hands-on, gamified Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) learning platform to help developers write secure code

Trust Elevate solves the problem of age verification and parental consent for young adults and children in online transactions

Warden helps businesses protect their users from hacks in real time by monitoring for suspicious activity

The GCHQ Cyber Accelerator is part of the Government’s £1.9 billion investment to significantly transform the UK’s cyber security. The 2016-2021 National Cyber Security Strategy sets out how the UK Government will deliver a UK that is secure and resilient to cyber threats; prosperous and confident in the digital world. The National Cyber Security Programme managed by the Cabinet Office coordinates the work undertaken to implement the UK’s National Cyber Security Strategy.


Wayra UK

Wayra UK is part of Telefónica Open Future_, the open innovation programme that integrates the different initiatives of the whole Telefónica Group related to entrepreneurship and innovation.

Wayra UK gives direct funding, acceleration and pre-acceleration services (such as co-working space, connectivity services, mentoring, access to Wayra UK’s network and knowhow, training in entrepreneurship and business skills) to selected start-ups. Since its launch in 2012, Wayra UK start-ups have raised approximately $150m in third-party investment.

Wayra UK has partnered with some of the world’s leading organisations to invest in a number of verticals that help generate growth, create positive societal impact and fuel innovation across a number of industries.

These include Velocity Health with Merck Sharp & Dohme Limited (MSD), a global healthcare company transforming healthcare; Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ), through the GCHQ Cyber Accelerator; our Wayra Fair By Design programme, which seeks to alleviate the poverty premium; and the Intelligent Mobility Accelerator, a partnership with the Transport Systems Catapult.

Wayra UK also works alongside local and regional partners to reinvigorate entrepreneurial ecosystems, energise local economies and democratise entrepreneurship.



Telefónica Open Future_

Telefónica Open Future_ is Telefónica´s global platform designed to connect the company to entrepreneurs, start-ups, investors and public and private partners around the world to capture innovation and business opportunities. Its goal is to support talent at all stages of growth through a comprehensive model for acceleration that is designed to connect talent with organisations, investors and companies.

The programme incorporates all of Telefónica Group’s open innovation, entrepreneurship and investment initiatives (Think Big, Talentum, Crowdworking, Wayra, Amérigo and Telefónica Ventures) through a global network that is open to participation by external partners that wish to develop their own entrepreneurial and investment strategies, and connect to large corporates.

To date, more than 51,000 proposals have been analysed, over 1,600 start-ups have been accelerated, and over 700 invested in. Telefónica Open Future_ is present in 17 countries and has committed to investment, with its partners, a total of 445 million euros.

More info: https://www.openfuture.org/en


Government Communications Headquarters is one of the three UK Intelligence and Security Agencies, along with MI5 and the Secret Intelligence Service (MI6). GCHQ works to protect the UK and its citizens from a range of threats to national security, including terrorism, serious and organised crime, and cyber-attack.

Since October 2016, the National Cyber Security Centre has lead the UK’s national cyber security effort. The NCSC has simplified the current cyber security landscape by bringing together CESG, CPNI, CCA and CERT UK and established a ‘one stop shop’ for cyber security in the UK.  It:

         Reduces the cyber security risk to the UK;

         Responds effectively to cyber incidents;

         Understands the UK’s cyber security environment, sharing knowledge, addressing systemic vulnerabilities; and

         Nurtures the UK’s cyber security capability, providing leadership on key national cyber security issues.


Kym Andrew, Head of PR, Comms and Events, Wayra UK and Telefónica Open Future_ (UK): e: kym.andrewc@wayra.org

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