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Digital Catapult reveals startups set to accelerate business adoption of AR and VR

Posted 5 Jul 2018

10 early-stage businesses working in immersive technologies to receive expert support, access to investors, mentorship, and use of state-of-the art immersive facilities

London, 5th July 2018: Digital Catapult today announces the 10 early-stage VR and AR businesses to join its Augmentor programme. They will receive technical and business mentorship, access to state-of-the-art facilities and support to confidently pitch their ideas at an exclusive investor showcase in September 2018. The programme aims to accelerate business adoption and investment in the immersive sector in the UK.

Augmentor is a 10-week long programme that supports early-stage businesses to develop immersive (virtual reality (VR), augmented reality (AR)) technologies. It connects them to mentors, commercial partners and potential investors to help them make their applications a commercial reality.

The Augmentor cohort will be granted access to Digital Catapult’s immersive facilities including the Immersive Labs in London, Brighton, North East Tees Valley and Belfast and the Dimension Studio in South London, where they can use the equipment to develop innovative and commercially focused applications for augmented and virtual reality. The teams will also receive exclusive masterclasses, sharing Digital Catapult’s own research and insight with support from Immerse UK, Seed Legals, Ignition Law & Finance and ForrestBrown, covering topics such as business models, routes to market and legal implications. As well as access to academic expertise from the Centre for Intelligent Games and Game Intelligence (IGGI), the University of Bath and University College London.

“We developed Augmentor to catalyse an immersive investment ecosystem in the UK and accelerate the creation of a VR and AR market,” said Rebecca Gregory-Clarke, Lead Technologist, Immersive, at Digital Catapult. “The UK has great potential to lead the way and become the best place in the world to produce immersive applications and we’re excited to support these 10 companies to contribute to the UK’s success.”

The early-stage companies who have been selected include:

  • an immersive experience that allows you to interact with a famous sports personality, actress or even a family member in real time as a hologram;
  • a VR platform that makes scientific information more easily digestible for the public and can be used by scientists and researchers to explore, present and manipulate data stored in the cloud;
  • a wearable that delivers a natural perception of touch for virtual simulations by using machine learning to tailor sensory experiences to each user’s strength.

Interest in Augmentor has doubled in year two of the programme, receiving over 166 registrations of interest during the Open Call period compared to 75 registrations last year.

Augmentor was launched with the support of investment firms including Mercia Technologies and Ascension Ventures, and participants in the 2017 programme, including Gravity Sketch and Reality Zero One, have gone on to receive significant investment and mentorship. Gravity Sketch, a tool that allows designers to collaborate and develop 3D models in VR, has since raised £1.25 million. Its founders will re-join the programme as one of the mentors, helping this year’s cohort take their products to investors.

“Many early-stage immersive companies have great concepts but they need support to turn these into a commercial reality. Augmentor is alleviating this gap in the market,” continued Gregory-Clarke. “Now in its second year, Augmentor has proven itself to be a door opener that brings focus for the selected companies in a condensed time-period enabling them to shape their business proposition and strategy ahead of pitching to investors.”

The following 10 companies are selected to join the programme:

  • HoloMe, London UK: An immersive experience that allows you to interact with famous personalities or even family members as a hologram in your current environment.
  • KageNova, Guildford UK: Developing a technology that aims to solve critical outstanding technological problems in VR/ MR systems that are currently stifling user uptake.
  • Lume VR, London UK: A VR platform where scientists and research can explore, manipulate and present their 3D point cloud data and, for the public, a platform to understand important scientific information.
  • Valkyrie Industries, London UK: An AI Haptic Interface providing a realistic perception of touch for virtual simulations.
  • Swim AR, London UK: An AR heads-up display for swimmers.
  • Subconscious VR, Leicester UK: A product that allows tech-aware clients in the healthcare and training sectors to easily deliver group 360 VR.
  • Kodama Ltd, London UK: Kodama is the home gaming platform for VR and AR.
  • Somewhere Else Solutions, London UK: A multi-user VR solution to power enterprise transformation for global businesses.
  • Arcade, London UK: An augmented reality venture design studio.
  • Motion Pixel, Tamworth UK: VR and 360 capture specialists holding the patent for a new VR stabilisation technology, reducing motion sickness, post-production load and allowing live, movable 360 broadcast.

More information on Augmentor can be found at

The Immersive Labs, which Augmentor participants have access to, can also be booked by organisations interested in demoing, testing and showcasing immersive applications and content to prospects, clients and interested parties. Find out more on how to book the lab here.

About Digital Catapult:

Digital Catapult is the UK’s leading advanced digital technology innovation centre, driving early adoption of technologies to make UK businesses more competitive, productive and ultimately grow the country’s economy.

By connecting large established companies, startup and scaleup businesses and researchers, Digital Catapult discovers new ways to solve big challenges in the manufacturing and creative industries. Through this collaboration, businesses can develop the right technologies to solve problems, increase productivity and open up new markets faster.

Digital Catapult provides physical and digital facilities for experimentation and testing that would otherwise not be accessible for smaller companies. As well as breaking down barriers to technology adoption for startups and scaleups, the centre is de-risking innovation for large enterprises and uncovering new commercial applications in immersive, future networks, and artificial intelligence technologies.