incubator

The UK’s first government funded programme to help up-and-coming cyber security entrepreneurs, HutZero, has opened applications for participants to join its second cohort.

The HutZero programme is designed to guide and support early-stage cyber security entrepreneurs, providing them with the skills, mentoring and networking opportunities to turn their ideas into viable business initiatives. Applications are invited from individuals at any stage of their career who can demonstrate entrepreneurial flair and who are committed to progressing a career in cyber security.

The programme is being run in partnership between Cyber London (CyLon)2, Europe’s leading cyber security accelerator and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT)3 at Queen’s University Belfast, as part of the government’s National Cyber Security Programme. There are no costs for participants selected to join the cohort.4

There are two stages to HutZero, which starts with a week-long bootcamp in September, in London, with workshops on technical development, business fundamentals and team building. This is followed by a three-month period of mentoring by a panel of experts recruited from academia, business, government and investors, with the aim of launching the next generation of cyber security start-ups.

The 22 participants from the 2016 HutZero programme, selected from a large number of initial applicants, came from a wide range of different backgrounds across industry, academia and government including a 6th Form student, a City worker and a Professor of cyber security.

Gary Robinson, a participant of the first HutZero programme and founder of security start-up Uleska, comments: “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."

According to Jonathan Luff, one of the CyLon founders: “The UK is home to a wealth of entrepreneurial talent, ready and waiting to be discovered. The first HutZero participants have achieved amazing things already, underlining the value of harnessing this raw talent and providing practical support. The next programme promises to be just as exciting.”

Louise Cushnahan, CSIT Innovation Programmes Manager, comments: “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. We’re looking forward to replicating this and helping a brand new crop of cyber security talent to flourish.”

Applications for the HutZero Programme are open from, April 4th. For more information, go to www.hutzero.co.uk