GCHQ accelerator briefs first cohort

GCHQ Cyber Accelerator, announced in September 2016, has selected the first seven startups to participate in the program.

UK government-backed GCHQ Cyber Accelerator has announced its first cohort consisting of seven startups, TechCrunch reported yesterday.

The accelerator is aimed at the cybersecurity sector and was launched in September 2016. It is a joint initiative by signals intelligence agency GCHQ, the UK Department for Culture, Media and Sports (DCMS) and telecoms firm Telefónica’s Wayra UK accelerator, which runs the three-month program and will award a £5,000 ($6,000) grant to participating startups.

Based at the Cheltenham Cyber Innovation Centre, the accelerator will be offered expertise from GCHQ, which is located nearby, though the agency will not invest in startups.

A planned second centre is due to open in London later in 2017, through a £50m investment over the next five years by DCMS to operate the two locations.

The seven startups are:

  • Countercraft, a counterintelligence platform that aims to fight adversaries with decoy computers, false data and fake identities;
  • Cyberowl, developer of an early-warning technology for cyberattacks;
  • Cybersmart, which provides a platform to automate compliance, certificaition and implementation of cybersecurity procedures;
  • Futurescaper, a data visualisation platform that helps companies understand complex and volatile issues;
  • Spherical Defence, producer of a hacking detection system for financial services firms;
  • StatusToday, an artificial intelligence platform that analyses human behaviour to protect businesses from internal threats; and
  • Verimuchme, developer of a digital wallet and exchange platform.

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