Tech

Plexal inducts six people into its cyber leadership program

Tech innovation hub Plexal is expanding its Cyber Runway programme with a new Ignite strand dedicated to supporting high-potential security leaders

Alex Scroxton

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Published: 28 Nov 2022 0:01

Innovation and startup hub Plexal has inducted six “high-potential” cyber security leaders into a programme set up to provide “authentic, tailored support” to enhance their leadership skills and grow their businesses.

The Cyber Runway Ignite programme is an extension of Plexal’s existing Cyber Runway accelerator, which has provided extensive technical and development support to more than 200 young UK cyber companies.

It now wants to extend this by focusing on leadership rather than business enhancement. As such, the Ignite programme will supposedly help its future graduates upskill in areas that will improve their leadership abilities – working on aspects such as boosting self-confidence, becoming a community role model, and creating and scaling robust company cultures. Plexal hopes it will help them unlock more prosperity for their employees and communities, and inspire other cyber entrepreneurs.

“The UK’s most connected cyber community has been built by Plexal for years, with active alumni from innovation programmes such as Cyber Runway, Lorca and NCSC for Startups,” said Saj Huq, Plexal’s chief commercial officer and head of innovation.

“Now we’ve leveraged this network to discover and support the best of the best cyber leaders and champion them to reach new heights,” he said.

“The Cyber Runway Ignite launch is a continued part of our mission to close the gap between organisations – small and large, private and public, local and global – and unleash technology that can strengthen our national security and enhance our socioeconomic prosperity. We’re excited to work closely alongside these six founders and be a part of their growth journey.”

The first inductees into Cyber Runway Ignite are Abu Sayed, director of security consultancy Daintta; Ryan Heartfield, chief technology officer and co-founder of artificial intelligence incident detection platform Exalens; Nadia Kadhim, CEO of security and data compliance specialist Naq Cyber; Melissa Chambers, CEO of VPN provider Sitehop; Ben Graville, founder of digital-self awareness tool Visible; and Chuck Teixeira, CEO of automated data enablement specialist WKD RZR.

All six will receive access to mentoring, workshops and networking opportunities tailored to their specific goals, business support from Plexal’s innovation services teams, and support from established Plexal partners, the Centre for Secure Information Technologies at Queen’s University Belfast, and Deloitte. Funding for the programme will flow through the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.

Cyber minister Julia Lopez said: “As part of our multi-billion pound cyber strategy, we’re unleashing the potential of the UK’s top security talent to ensure they have the skills they need to successfully grow their business.  

“Our investment in these tech founders will create new job opportunities and strengthen the country’s cyber defences,” she said.

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