Welsh cyber security companies urged to apply for new funding scheme

The UK Government is urging Welsh companies to apply for the next cohort of HutZero, its first fully-funded initiative for cyber security entrepreneurs and businesses.

Launched to support up-and-coming cyber security entrepreneurs across the country, HutZero has announced that it has opened applications for its second cohort.

It’s been designed specifically for early-stage cyber security entrepreneurs and provides them with the skills, mentoring and networking opportunities they need to their ideas into profitable businesses.

Entrepreneurs at any stage of their career are being invited to apply for the scheme. Applicants must demonstrate that they have flair and are dedicated to progressing in cyber security.

HutZero is run in partnership with Cyber London, which is Europe’s leading cyber security accelerator, and the Centre for Secure Information Technology at Queen’s University Belfast.

Completely free, there are two stages overall. There’ll be a week-long bootcamp in September, consisting of workshops on technical development, business fundamentals and team building.

Following this, there’ll be a three-month period of close mentoring by a panel of experts recruited from areas such as academia, business, government and investment.

At this stage, the businesses should be ready to launch. The 2016 scheme supported 22 participants, selected from a pool of applications of different backgrounds.

Gary Robinson, a participant of the first HutZero programme and founder of security start-up Uleska, said: “The support that I’ve had, both from the mentors and other programme participants has been invaluable and helped me navigate the all-important early stages of product development.

“Thanks to this input, I’m now looking forward to launching the first version of my product and focusing on building the business full time.”

Minister of State for Digital and Culture Matt Hancock said: “We are determined to make the UK the safest place to live and do business online and are investing £1.9 billion over five years to help protect the nation from damaging cyber threats and attacks.

“Our HutZero scheme is one of a series of initiatives to expand the UK’s cyber security sector and helps support innovative start-ups and entrepreneurs develop new ways to keep us safe.

The application process for the second programme is now open, and I encourage all ambitious and capable individuals to apply so they can benefit from the comprehensive training, mentoring and networking on offer.

Louise Cushnahan, CSIT innovation programmes manager, said: “It’s been incredibly rewarding to see the 2016 alumni take their concepts from the drawing board to viable – and investable – business initiatives as a direct result of the programme.”

Image credit: Blue Coat Photos