GCHQ launches first Manchester tech start-up accelerator with MSP, Cisco and Wayra



Four new start-ups from the Greater Manchester area have been selected to join an intense three month programme in Manchester as a result of partnership between government's intelligence and security organisation GCHQ and O2’s innovation arm, Wayra UK.

After a competitive selection process, four innovative start-ups with next-generation solutions and a visible impact to the software engineering ecosystem were invited to join the programme in Manchester. The selected companies offer smart solutions to control our data through a blockchain supported software and machine learning infused applications that shall notably improve the efficiency of data processing.

The programme has brought together government's intelligence and security organisation GCHQ and Wayra to get behind the tech disruptors. In partnership with a heavyweight in IT and networking Cisco and the UK's leading science park operator Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) this initiative focuses all its attention local entrepreneurs and startups.

Gary Stewart, Managing Director at Wayra UK said: “Since 2016, we have been committed to democratising entrepreneurship and ensuring that talented techies and founders throughout the UK do not feel compelled to move to London to realise their dreams. It is an honour to work with one of our best and most committed partners, the GCHQ, to combine the benefits of their technical expertise with O2’s commercial prowess and Wayra’s track-record in scaling start-ups.”

The accelerator will assure that Manchester with historic roots set in the industrial revolution preserves its unique engineering heritage. This northern economic powerhouse has proven itself as a hub for innovators and problem-solvers and the accelerator aims to highlight that. By bringing together the industry expertise, the partners dived into the city’s talent pool and will assure that their businesses reach the full potential.

GCHQ Director General for Technology has shared: “Manchester gave me some of the best years of my life as an engineering undergraduate. Back then, I saw first-hand how brilliant the technology talent was in the North West. It still is today and I am really excited about GCHQ’s partnership with Wayra and our new accelerator in Manchester. It gives us a chance to tap into that talent and use it to help us with some of our hardest problems. It puts Manchester right into the heart of GCHQ’s mission to keep the UK and our digital homeland safe and secure.”

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said: “Our city, is a city of purpose that makes us a natural home of the emerging digital community of our country, many of the people that we would most want to be involved, will be our new talent coming through.”

GCHQ Manchester Engineering Accelerator fuels innovation in the software engineering sector by providing the selected start-ups and entrepreneurs access to the world-class personnel and technological expertise at GCHQ, as well as the Telefónica’s – O2’s parent company - global business network, which includes heads of state, corporate leaders, investors, serial entrepreneurs and even royalty.

The start-ups gaining the access to the expertise and network:
Data Choice - A blockchain powered programmatic ad technology that rewards users for their data and allows them to take back some control of their personal data online. The hashed data segments makes it impossible for any breach of data to happen and forms the off chain Data Audience Platform allowing to the speed of transactions for the millions of programmatic bids per second.

Locometric - Founded by a serial entrepreneur Max Christian, the company offers the most effective way to create models of spaces for visualisation, monitoring and control of buildings and the technology within.

Jobseekers - The world's 1st offline-enabled, video interactive, job & culture-fit matching marketplace. Through unique features and proprietary algorithms, they enable candidates to unbiasedly connect with companies they fit, both culturally and skilfully, for their career growth. Their solution is designed to save invaluable time and money in the hiring process.

Place Dashboard - Provides actionable insight, performance indices and national benchmarking of your retail or leisure location. Additionally, Place Dashboard provides insight regarding where your audience is spending their time when they are not at your location, what draw them to the alternative sites, who isn’t visiting your site, where they are and what you need to attract them.