Tech Nation, the UK’s leading network for ambitious tech entrepreneurs, has announced the 20 fast-growth cyber scaleups accepted onto its first national cyber security growth programme - and one is based in Caerphilly.

Awen Collective, from Caerphilly, is one of only two Welsh firms to make it onto the programme.

Funded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and supported by global cyber security market-leaders Tessian, Digital Shadows, Darktrace and CensorNet, the six-month programme is aimed at helping to accelerate the growth of the UK’s most exciting cyber security businesses.

The breadth of innovation and application among the 20-strong cohort is testament to the UK's world-leading cyber security and broader technology sectors. From machine learning and blockchain, to biometrics and cloud solutions, the Tech Nation Cyber cohort are utilising bleeding-edge technologies to offer clients new ways to improve security, and protect businesses and individuals online.

The companies will benefit from a series of workshops held across the UK, led by industry leaders such as Digital Shadows co-founder James Chappell, Darktrace co-founders Emily Orton and Dave Palmer and Deep3 co-founder and CEO Richard Yorke.

The programme will also include meetups and networking support, to help the scaleups navigate common barriers to growth, with guidance on everything from how to recruit the right talent to meeting goals for international expansion. It will also provide them with a powerful network of peers, investors and potential clients.

Following the call for applications in February, the successful cohort was chosen by a panel of expert judges from the public and private sector. The judges assessed applicants against their growth record to date, current scaling plans and expertise, and long-term business potential (both nationally and internationally).

Margot James, minister for digital and the creative industries, said: “This important scheme will not only allow promising cyber security startups to access world-class expert advice but also help us achieve our aim of making Britain the safest place in the world to be online."

Daniel Lewis, CEO and co-founder-Director, Awen Collective, said: “We are delighted to have been chosen for the first cohort of the Tech Nation Cyber programme. We are excited to get started and continue to grow with the support from this wonderful programme and we look forward to establishing new business alongside our fellow cohort members.”