A FIRST-OF-ITS-KIND technology business accelerator programme has been launched in the county.

Funded by Worcestershire Local Enterprise Partnership (WLEP) and supported by leading local technology and cyber businesses including Titania and DeepSecure, BetaDen, will offer up to 10 individuals, small to medium sized firms or scale-ups a nine-month programme of intensive support, all designed to build their idea and make it ready for market launch, or catalyse the growth of their existing business.

The programme was launched this week in the heart of the UK's Cyber Valley, in the Malvern Hills.

As well as having their own space at the BetaDen Hub in Malvern Hills Science Park, participants will be able to access industry-leading technologists, lab spaces, handpicked business mentors, investment coaching, proof of concept grant funding, events, workshops and commercial meetings offering real routes to market.

The three-day per week programme across nine months will see BetaDen’s cohort develop alongside Worcestershire’s new 5G testbed project, the £4.8m trial awarded to the county by government to explore high-tech mobile technology.

Linda Smith, founder and chief executive of BetaDen, said: “The Midlands is home to more than 17,500 cyber and digital companies and is exploding with talent and potential.

"Our aim through BetaDen is to continue this growth journey and position Worcestershire as the UK’s cyber and tech hub outside London, unlocking further trade and investment opportunities for businesses located here.

“What makes BetaDen unique in the accelerator market is its commercial focus and willingness to not only support tried and tested SMEs and scale-ups, but early concepts too."

Applications are open for the first cohort of up to 10 individuals/businesses until August 17. To apply visit Beta-Den.com.