Cyber Security Is Being Given The Start-up Treatment As Government Announces Launch Of £165m Fund


Every year the British Government spends 2% of GDP on defence

After the devastating events of last week in Paris George Osborne has been quick to find an extra £1.9 billion to almost double the amount the government will spend on cyber security by 2020 to around £3.2bn.

Prime Minister David Cameron wants to add 1,900 staff to the Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) in Cheltenham to help combat the threat of terrorism which will be announced as part of the Spending review due to be delivered, alongside the Autumn Statement, on November 25th. In response, GCHQ launched an innovative recruitment drive this morning, spray painting job ads on paving slabs around Shoreditch.

Osborne gave a speech at GCHQ yesterday in which he praised staff for their efforts, commenting “the public will never know your names, but you are the unsung heroes who never get the recognition you deserve by dint of the sort of work you do.” He thanked staff on behalf of the nation saying that this year alone GCHQ had helped prevent seven separate terrorist plots from taking place.

Osborne said that the spending review has succeeded in reducing spending across 11 government departments by 24%, funds which will be re-allocated to “key priorities like National Security”.

He also suggested that the internet, invented by a Briton, Sir Tim Berners Lee, represents “an enormous economic and commercial opportunity for our country”, and that  “a far higher proportion of British retail is done online than in any other country in the world.”

National security and taking real measures against cyber criminals aimed at scotching the myth that it is a victimless crime must come first however, according to Osborne, who went on to discuss the ways in which the government has carried out its “duty to protect the country from cyber-attack” over the past five years, and outline his plans for the next five.

Referring to ISIL, Osborne said “They have not been able to use it (the internet) to kill people yet by attacking our infrastructure through cyber-attack, they do not yet have that capability. But we know they want it, and are doing their best to build it.”

He also suggested that the UK is currently monitoring cyber threats from high end adversaries against 450 companies across the aerospace, defence, energy, water, finance, transport and telecoms sectors.

Outlining the steps the government has taken since 2010 Osborne began by discussing the creation of the National Cyber Security Programme which has received £850m of funding, as well as the National Cyber Crime Unit, Computer Emergency Response Team, and Cyber Information Sharing Partnership.

He also mentioned the Cyber Essentials scheme for companies, which now has over 1,000 accredited companies, as well as attempts made to introduce cyber security into the education process through schemes like Cyber first and Cyber apprentices, as well as making reference to one of many secret exercises which take place in preparation for a cyber-attack, operation Resilient Shield, a joint UK/US exercise across the financial sector which took place last week.

Osborne suggested that there is an asymmetry between attack and defence when it comes to cyber security, it being far easier and cheaper to mount an attack than to defend one. He said that last year the number of cyber national security attacks doubled to 200.

The chancellor’s five year plan is also a 5 step one; the first stage is “to get to the point where all internet service providers will as a matter of routine divert known bad addresses, a scheme, he says, which has already saved HMRC £40 million on a £1 million investment.

Secondly Osborne wants to address the “Alphabet Soup” of agencies responsible for protecting Britain’s cyberspace. This will happen in the form of the establishment of a National Cyber Centre, reporting to the Director of GCHQ.

Thirdly, the government wants to widen the global cyber security workforce to 1.5 million staff by 2020, following advice from this year’s Global Information Security Workforce Study. This will involve identifying and training young people with cyber talent and offering them “a diversity of routes into cyber careers.” This will be done with the help of universities and higher and degree level apprenticeships as well as an ambitious programme for 14-17 year olds modelled on a highly successful Israeli programme.

the launch of a new £165m development fund for Cyber Security start-ups will excite tech entrepreneurs

The fourth element of the plan however is the part that will most excite the start-up community.

Citing examples such as GlassWall, Garrison, Digital Shadows and Titania, who were also present at the speech, along with the founders of Cyber London, Osborne praised the progressive nature of the UK’s start-up scene and thanked Paladin Capital for launching a dedicated cyber fund in London.

The government plans to establish two cyber-innovation centres  – effectively cyber security start-up incubators for “their crucial early months”, which “can become platforms for giving start-ups the best possible support”. The chancellor confirmed that one of these centres will be based in Cheltenham.

He also announced the launch of a £165m Defence and Cyber Innovation Fund, “to support innovative procurement across both defence and cyber security”, suggesting that “Government can itself provide a huge boost for British cyber start-ups, if it can be smart enough to marshal its procurement in a coherent way. This should be a win-win – our cyber start-ups need endorsement, investment and first customers.”

Finally, Osborne suggested a shake-up of the cyber security regulatory framework was needed to ensure that the country can defend itself robustly, going as far as suggesting: “Strong defences are necessary for our long-term security. But the capacity to attack is also a form of defence” and adding that the government is building “a dedicated ability to counter-attack in cyberspace” through its new National Offensive Cyber Programme.

Overall, this was typically bullish stuff from Chancellor George Osborne, on the front foot and outlining the importance of national security, which accounts for 2% of GDP in government spending, the wars that will be played out in cyberspace, and the ways in which Britain can stay strong and face down any threats with help from its academics, techies, GCHQ staff, businesses, and the general public.

From a start-up perspective it serves to reinforce the already strong relationship between the current government and “Tech City” and the start-up community. Another £165 million in the investment kitty will be welcome and help make cyber security a popular area of focus for budding entrepreneurial talent. After witnessing the negative effects that a cyber-attack can have even on the biggest businesses, like Talk Talk and Sony, SMEs and corporates are likely to be taking cyber security far more seriously from now on.

Which is no bad thing – perhaps the ultimate goal here is to create disruptive, efficient and effective technologies that will not only protect businesses and the public but also help to reduce costs so that spending can be diverted into other government departments areas where funds are also much needed.

The Unexpected Trend for Multi-Stories and Pop-ups across London and London Fashion Week


Fashion correspondent Abi Buller writes:

Who could have predicted the sudden cool-factor of industrial spaces, carparks and rooftops?

If you happened to be passing through the streets of Soho in mid-September, you may have noticed a particularly fashionable clan of VIPs, models and attaches hoarding their way into and around the NCP carpark on Brewer Street for this season’s London Fashion Week. The week’s celebratory atmosphere was infectious and sprawled itself across Golden Square and Carnaby Street, feeding it through to a wider audience. Although you could argue it was time for an update from the more traditional setup of its previous years in Somerset House, this particular choice of location may well have come as a surprise to fashion followers.

Tech City Is Nearly 4, Silicon Valley Nearly 45; Can The Young Buck Really Usurp The Old Master?

Does London need a guy like this watching over it?

Does London need a guy like this watching over it?

Tech city will soon be celebrating its 4th birthday, and around the same time, Silicon Valley will turn 45. By human standards, that means Tech City has learned to walk, talk and make friends and will soon be saying goodbye to the nursery and hello to a new uniform and its first days as a fully paid up member of a society that will be less forgiving, endlessly testing and demanding of tangible, consistent, results; signs that it can look after itself in the long term.

Leads united – we are leads, we are leads, we are leads…


Leads, not Leeds!

Marketing correspondent Marc Duke writes…

Don’t worry this is as not an article about the once mighty powerhouse of UK football rather some thoughts on one of the most important areas I think there is in marketing – lead generation. The ultimate measure of effective marketing and something that any start up just has to deliver on, if it is to secure the next round of funding, become a take-over target or simply just to survive is leads.

Eileen Burbidge To Take The Tech City Chair – Replacing Joanna Shields – Is This A Political Succession Plan?


Tech City; not necessarily a natural habitat for London’s top tech brass?

So farewell then Joanna Shields, and welcome Eileen Burbidge; whilst the latter probably needs no introduction to ground level Tech City aficionados, the former may not have been quite so much on start-up’s radars.

Baroness Shields of Maida Vale, in the City of Westminster, as she was appointed just over 1 year ago, has been the driving force behind some of “Tech City’s” most notable achievements of the past 3 years; since being appointed Chief Executive of the Tech City Investment Organisation in 2012, declaring London to be the “next Silicon Valley”, she has enhanced an already impressive CV which included spells as head of Facebook in Europe, and CEO of social networking site Bebo.

Techtoberfest, “Probably The Best Beer & Tech Festival The World Has Ever Seen” Is Coming To London Fields Brewery This Friday

By Wednesday, September 30, 2015 0 No tags Permalink 0


It’s finally (almost) here! The hype has been immense and by now most tech-savvy start-ups, investors, craft ale enthusiasts and fans of German festival style, oompah-fuelled parties (that’s most people) will know all about Techtoberfest, which opens its doors this Friday at the London Fields Brewery, from 4pm until – well, who’s checking!

London’s tech start-up scene is never short of places to meet and discuss the latest trends, be it Drupal programming geeks, superstar marketers, operations heroes, founders, partners, software evangelists, high-net-worth angel investors or those who consider themselves all of the above (and even lawyers!), but like a giant, disruptive platform, Techtoberfest is consolidating all the disparate parts of start-up land into one virtuous, holistic, whole…with lederhosen!

London Dining App Velocity Acquires US Payments Start-Up Cover, Gets Ready For New York Launch


velocityVelocity founders Zia Yusuf, an ex-Goldman Sachs Executive Director and LSE alumni, and Alex Macdonald, a Turnaround specialist with restaurant management experience and a penchant for Jamon Iberico, are helping to create the ultimate in frictionless dining experiences on both sides of the Atlantic by allowing diners at top restaurants to view itemised bills in real time using their smartphones.

The app will also help restaurants to increase diner’s spend per head by an estimated 14%, and save venues up to 80 man hours per month thanks to the increased efficiency of letting diners pay via mobile as soon as they are ready. Additionally, restaurants are able to compile invaluable information about diner’s habits and preferences, using big data style analytics to turn their POS systems into a CRM tool.

Get To Know The Founders Of Knomi As They Introduce Shopping Through Social Interaction…


knomiHaggerston Times Fashion Writer Abi Buller talks to one of the co-founders of Knomi, Hans-Christian Zappel, about their recently launched e-commerce and social networking application. Knomi is a social fashion discovery app which allows users to curate profiles based on their own style choices, as well as sharing and interacting with others about the latest trends.

Having come from an entrepreneurial family background, it was always likely that Hans Christian Zappel would at some point become a company founder. Together with co-founder Markus Ehrnrooth, he has identified a gap in the market for a new shopping app. This is where the story of KNOMI unfolds, a fashion app that integrates social interaction into the online shopping sphere.

When asked for the motivation behind their company, Hans explained that whilst both online and offline retail exist independently, they are very much a part of the same world. Their initial reaction to this was therefore to work directly with 20 stores across London. After reviewing this instore experience, the founders decided to rethink their proposition in 2014. With supporting funders onboard with their idea, they began to reconsider the shopping experience as being driven from the customer journey, therefore creating a more personal and social mobile app. After completing an extensive research phase involving around 2000 participants, they were able to identify how they would be able to work with their customer’s desires.

Start-up Capital Accelerator Programme Concludes By Looking At Future London Tech Trends


UCL BASE co-working and event space was chosen as the venue for the Capital Accelerator Programme’s look at London’s future technology trends and also provided a timely opportunity to celebrate the conclusion of their 18 month program, financed by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the Mayor of London’s office.

CAP’s aim was to provide expertise, mentoring and guidance to start-ups plus a network of supporting services and resources including incubators and accelerators such as Entrepreneur First, Startupbootcamp and Seedcamp, co-working spaces including Bathtub2Boardroom and ImpactHub Westminster, and data providers and information agencies like F6S and City University London.

Shopping Senses: Where Do We Feel More At Home; Online Or In-Store?

By Tuesday, September 15, 2015 0 , , , , Permalink 0


Fashion Correspondent Abi Buller writes:

Consider the initial smell of a brand new leather jacket, or the sound of a chunky zip or buckle being fastened for the first time. Whilst each of these sensations can be replaced after card details are entered, confirmation email received, 3-5 days in the post, a signature, and an excited state of unwrapping, these can of course be experienced from the comfort of your own home. The element that cannot be replaced, however, is the physical retail space itself. Although people often complain about crowds and queues, isn’t there something exciting about the buzz of a shopping centre and the experience of being physically surrounded by tangible items, not to mention the often invaluable advice and inspiration from those around you as you select garments. In relation to the senses, the issue in question is particularly relevant to those which cannot be replaced by a screen-based alternative.

Rendeevoo is A No Nonsense Dating App That Gives You A Time, Place, Cocktail & A Date


You. Me. Drinks. Now say’s the Rendeevoo website, and sometimes you can’t say fairer than that.

Not everyone is a fan of using Tinder to meet new people and prospective partners; the small talk can be misleading and you may end up finding you have radically different tastes to the person you’re only talking to on the strength of a couple of photos and a brief “about me” section.

London’s Top Fashion Bloggers! As Described by Fashion Correspondent Abi Buller


NEW YORK-FEB 10: Blogger Micah Jesse (L) and Nicole Volynets attend the Cantamessa Men Launch Party at Tao Downtown Lounge on February 10, 2014 in New York City.

Fashion can be a tricky enough thing to get your head around, even without an online presence. But with the ever growing array of fashion-centric blogs available online, I have chosen to review of a selection of my favourite fashion blogs, and outline what makes them unique.

Here are 10 of my favourites:


1. Liberty London Girl

Having initially only been drawn to this blog because of the association with the Liberty department store, I was pleasantly surprised by the content and scale of the Liberty London Girl, or ‘LLG’, brand identity. Founded by Sasha Wilkins, this blog features a wide variety of content from architecture, dachshunds, cocktails and wellies, to the fashion at Ascot and other London events; this blog has something for every mood and personality.

“Waddle” It Be My Friend? Social Discovery App Is Coming This Fall (that’s Autumn for Londoners!)


waddle2Forgive the horrendous puns, but when a hot new app lands in Haggerston Times’ inbox, all the way from New York City, via the White House, its worth making a fuss over, right?

Waddle, currently in beta, but launching this Autumn / Fall depending on which side of the Atlantic you live, is a cool new discovery app that allows you to share the best places you have been to with your trusted friends, from museums and art galleries, to coffee shops, bars, restaurants and concert venues.

Wanna The Parenting Marketplace Lets Users Buy and Sell Goods And Services For Their Kids Locally



An app that makes parent’s lives easier? Isn’t that the same as an app that keeps kids distracted?

Not quite. Launched in North London at the end of July this year, Wanna is a mobile app marketplace where parents can connect with other parents to get recommendations, sell baby goods they no longer need, like prams, clothes or toys and games, or hire other goods and services such as tutors, violin instructors, or childminders.

Fun Augmented Reality Pop-Up Game For Ipad Starting At $39 Is About To Launch On Indiegogo


John Zhao is an entrepreneur, designer and the founder of AR school in China, a team of graphic designers and consultants with a background in teaching and education who make, amongst other things, cool Augmented Reality games for kids. John’s attempts to impress his 5 year old daughter by designing some “AR” game cards have resulted in a crowdfunding campaign aimed at distributing his amazing “Magic Cards” internationally.

John describes his product as the “easiest and most interesting way to enjoy augmented reality”, and as you will see from the video, the cards and games are certainly colourful, well designed and nicely executed.

Rime Is A Desktop App From 2 Indian Founders That Allows You To Display All Of Your Social Media Content In One Place

By Thursday, September 3, 2015 0 No tags Permalink 7

rimeIt’s been a decade at least since social media exploded into our lives, and hardly a day seems to go by without another new social networking site being thrust into our consciousness. There are so many ways to connect to people online that it is becoming hard to know where we should be, when, and for how long.

What site should we upload our pictures to? Shouldn’t we be using video anyhow? What platforms are the people that matter to us using? Which is social, and which for business?

It’s a headache that 2 young founders from India, Shubhajit Saha, an ex Ubisoft employee and previously founder of BitSits Games, and ex-IBM technician Girish Nayak are setting out to solve with a new app, a social media aggregator called Rime.

VIBBIDI Taps Into Social Media Craze For Video & Migration To Mobile With Beautifully Crafted Editing & Sharing App



“We believe that within humanity lies the fundamental desire to beautifully set aside and preserve life’s precious moments”, says the about section on the website for a new app, VIBBIDI, due to be officially released to the public at the end of this month.

The app has been created by Kazuhiro Naya, an entrepreneur who was also behind mobile video and text messaging app Mechika. Although Mechika failed to hit the big time, the first impression of VIBBIDI is a pretty positive one.

Playfair Capital Leads £1m Investment Into On-demand Food Service Pronto


pronto 1Healthy food delivery service Pronto has raised a £1m seed round, led by Playfair Capital, with Seedcamp, the London Co-Investment Fund, Ballpark Ventures, The Next Web founder Patrick de Laive and serial investor Floris Rost van Tonningen also joining the round.

Pronto was founded in 2014 by CEO James Roy Poulter, Simone D’Amico and Lukas Dolezal with the aim of delivering restaurant quality food cooked by experienced chefs to homes and offices in London in under 20 minutes.

Could Salcombe Gin Be Your “Shot” At Tax Efficient Investing?

By Friday, August 28, 2015 0 No tags Permalink 0

Are you the kind of person who finds it hard to resist a cool G&T at the end of hard day’s work, or even at the end of hard day’s loafing? Are you also the kind of person who likes to invest in and back exciting new companies led by experienced founders with a track record of success? If so, Angus Lugsdin and Howard Davies, the founders of Salcombe Gin Company, may have the perfect opportunity for you.

The duo are looking to complete a £900k equity raise to fund the launch of a new Gin Distilling Company in the drinks sector, Salcombe Distilling Company Limited.