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MIWIC24: Plexal Alumni Receive Multiple Nominations From Peers at This Year’s Awards

MIWIC24: Plexal Alumni Receive Multiple Nominations From Peers at This Year’s Awards

Plexal work with some of the UK’s most exciting start-ups, entrepreneurs and scale-ups who are building emerging technologies and operating across multiple sectors. Plexal help build community, foster talent, and launch graduating companies and professionals into success.

They work in conjunction with the government and industry to deliver programmes that support the next generation of promising young companies, including its Cyber Runway programme.

This year, 14 of Plexal’s esteemed Cyber Runway alumni were nominated for Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards. The awards are peer nominated and each nominee was recognised for their exceptional contribution to the cybersecurity industry.

Diane Gilbert, Innovation Ecosystem Lead at Plexal, says: “I’m thrilled to see so many familiar names from the Plexal ecosystem featured among the nominees. The breadth of their individual businesses is validation of the entrepreneurial drive, innovative spirit and diverse skills possessed by these trailblazing women and further reinforces the need to shine a light on this often-underrepresented group. The fact over a dozen leaders are from our alumni community is the icing on the cake and I speak on behalf of the whole Plexal team when I say we’re proud of their accomplishments.”

The Plexal alumni nominees are:
–         Shelley Langan-Newton, CEO of SQR Group
–         Emma Humphrey, CEO of KURO
–         Jemma Davis, Founder and CEO of Culture Gem
–         Jean Mcleod, Founder and CTO of Abri CS
–         Vivian Dufour, CEO and Co-Founder of Meterian
–         Melissa Chambers, CEO of Sitehop
–         Rebecca Taylor, Threat Intelligence Knowledge Manager at Secureworks
–         Amy Stokes-Waters, CEO of Esc (The Cyber Escape Room)
–         Dr. Andrea Cullen, CEO and Co-Founder of CAPSLOCK
–         Lorna Armitage, COO and Co-Founder of CAPSLOCK
–         Dr. Iretioluwa Akerele, Co-Founder of CyBlack
–         Clare Ryan, CEO of ITUS Security
–         Valeen Oseh-Ovarah, Founder and CEO of TISOVA
–         Jasmine Eskenzi, CEO and Co-Founder of The Zensory
Many of this year’s Plexal-affiliated nominees are alumni of the Cyber Runway Ignite cohort of 2023-2024, which is designed for the most exceptional leaders in cyber who also want to make a positive impact on the sector. The cohort’s startup founders, half of whom are women, come from a range of diverse backgrounds with varied experiences, spanning everything from military to education.
Part of this cohort is Emma Humphrey, CEO of KURO, who came to cyber as a military veteran who specialised in open-source research and analysis. As the CEO of KURO, her mission is to put secure cloud capability in the hands of those protecting our national and regional interests. Emma wants to encourage veterans, women, and girls to consider careers in cyber and cloud technologies as well as encourage employers in the sector to consider how they might make their organisations more inclusive for those groups.
Andrea Cullen, CEO and Co-Founder of CAPSLOCK, and Lorna Armitage, Co-Founder and COO of CAPSLOCK, were also part of this cohort and nominated for a Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards. CAPSLOCK is an award-winning, female-led educational organisation that reskills adults into cyber security professionals. The company is all about increasing accessibility to life-changing education, with all welcome and learners not needing degrees to qualify for a place.
Additionally, Shelley Langan-Newton, CEO of SQR Group, also part of the 2023-2024 Ignite cohort, was nominated for the prestigious award. Shelley started her career in performing arts and then secondary school teaching before changing her career entirely with a move to telecoms. Today, Shelley is the CEO of SQR Group, which is on a mission to create a safer world by enabling trust and eliminating fraud.
Dr. Iretioluwa Akerele, Co-Founder of CyBlack, received over 30 nominations. CyBlack’s sister company Fezzant were part of the 2022 NCSC For Startups programme, which Plexal deliver in partnership with the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC). Iretioluwa received exceptional praise from her peers and was hailed as a ‘selfless leader’, a ‘shooting star’, and someone who ‘paves the way’ for other people wanting to get into the industry.
Also nominated is Valeen Oseh-Ovarah, Founder and CEO of TISOVA. Valeen is a graduate of the the Cyber Runway Launch programme and is currently enrolled in the Digital Security Hub (DiSH) initiative, based in Manchester, run by Plexal alongside Barclays Eagle Labs. TISOVA is on a mission to safeguard students from online scams and fraud, which is particularly relevant given that a third of UK students have been targeted by fraud.
Other nominees, including Clare Ryan, Co-Founder and CEO of ITUS Secure Technologies, and Melissa Chambers, CEO of Sitehop, were graduates of the Launch cohort of Cyber Runway 2.0 2022. Clare continued her Plexal journey and is currently on the ‘Grow’ stream. Melissa also went through the ‘Ignite’ and ‘Grow’ streams. Both of whom are now thriving within the cybersecurity sector and actively championing women within the industry. ITUS Secure Technologies, for example, were named in ‘Ireland’s Top 100 Most Ambitious Companies’ (2022) list by Spark Crowdfunding.
Women currently enrolled on the 2023 ‘Grow’ and ‘Scale’ streams of the Cyber Runway programme have also been nominated, representing organisations including Culture Gem, The Zensory, Meterian and ITUS.

The Most Inspiring Women in Cyber Awards 2024 will be held at the BT Tower on the 27th of February. This year’s awards are sponsored by ThinkCyber, BT, and Plexal. They are hosted by Eskenzi PR in partnership with Assured, WiCyS UK&I Affiliate, and the IT Security Guru.

The post MIWIC24: Plexal Alumni Receive Multiple Nominations From Peers at This Year’s Awards first appeared on IT Security Guru.

The post MIWIC24: Plexal Alumni Receive Multiple Nominations From Peers at This Year’s Awards appeared first on IT Security Guru.


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Author: Charley Nash