LORCA announces open call for fifth cohort of cybersecurity innovators
Government-backed innovation programme launches recruitment for new group of scaleups.
The London Office for Rapid Cybersecurity Advancement (LORCA) today launches a global open call for its fifth cohort of cyber scaleups. Delivered by Plexal, the innovation centre established by Delancey, the year-long programme will support selected companies to scale, secure investment, access new markets and expand their international presence, with the ultimate aim of growing the British cybersecurity industry and making the internet safer for everyone.
Members of LORCA’s accelerator programme will receive business mentoring, connections to investors and get access to commercial and engineering expertise from LORCA’s delivery partners, Deloitte and the Centre for Secure Information Technologies (CSIT) at Queen’s University Belfast.
They will also benefit from close engagement with industry to help with achieving a stronger product-market fit. LORCA connects its members with its dedicated corporate partners (including Lloyds Banking Group, Dell Technologies, Kx, Kudelski Security and the Global Cyber Alliance) as well as a broad cross-section of industry stakeholders through events, forums and introductions to LORCA’s international network.
In light of COVID-19, LORCA will be taking a digital-first approach for this cohort, with all course curriculum and some events being delivered virtually.
The deadline for applying is 4 May with full details available at lorca.co.uk/apply.
LORCA is looking to support a broad range of technology innovators on the cusp of high-growth who can solve real-world cyber challenges across a variety of business and societal contexts.
After consulting with industry leaders from various sectors, LORCA is inviting applications from scaleups developing cutting-edge solutions to address key challenges posed by a world in which everyone and everything is connected.
Industry has made it clear to LORCA that it needs new breeds of cybersecurity solutions to tackle the complexity that technology has created. LORCA is especially keen to support innovators working on the next frontier for security: technology solutions that protect individuals from increasing cyber threats across the full spectrum of their digital lives.
This can include securing the virtual workforce, combating disinformation and enhancing privacy in a world of hyper-connectivity. LORCA believes that as data becomes the new currency for digital citizens, the tech sector must adapt to serve the needs of the individual and not just organisations. It has a role to play in building people’s trust in technology and empowering them to feel in control of their digital presence.
LORCA launched in June 2018 with funding from the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport. Since then, the programme has significantly surpassed its investment target, with VC investment in LORCA companies now at over £86 million. Most recently in February, OutThink received £1.2 million in seed funding, after graduating from LORCA’s second cohort.
Saj Huq, programme director, LORCA, said: “As well as meeting the needs of industry today, LORCA catalyses innovation that caters to the cybersecurity challenges on the horizon that will intersect both society and business and require new models of collaboration to solve. We know there is cutting-edge technology available to meet these challenges, and we want to ensure those solutions get the support they need to scale, access the right funding and develop in direct response to what the market requires.
“Coupled with this, the current global pandemic has underlined and increased our reliance on technology. And with this, it has brought very real cybersecurity challenges to the fore. This is a time to support the cybersecurity innovations that our digital world needs most and we look forward to enabling this next wave of high- potential SMEs to scale and succeed.”
Louise Cushnahan, Head of Innovation, CSIT, said: “At this time of COVID-19 related international emergency we are seeing the online spread of disinformation aggravate the public health crisis, rapid adoption of remote working putting pressure on information security and malicious actors seeking to take advantage of weak links in cyber security and overburdened IT teams. Sometimes the most innovative, resilient and successful companies grow out of times of uncertainty and adversity. Our highly experienced academic and engineering teams are looking forward to engaging with and delivering impactful support for Cohort 5 in the months ahead.”
Applications close at 5pm on 4 May with the fifth cohort starting the programme in July 2020.