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Five Createch Companies to Watch…

Posted 26 Apr 2023

From gaming to fashion here are five ‘createch’ companies to keep your eye on.

Sir Peter Bazagette, Chair of the UK’s Creative Industries Council, recently shared his thoughts with The Financial Times about how the UK is not exploiting ‘createch’ enough. Createch is where creativity meets technology – it brings together creative skills and emerging technologies to create new ways of engaging audiences and to inspire business growth and investment.

As Bazagette pointed out in his President’s Talk later that night at The Royal Society of Arts, Digital Catapult has been a constant support in developing skills and technology at the intersection of creativity and technology.  Accelerating digital adoption in the creative industries is at the core of our work, and we are leading the Catapult Network’s activity supporting the UK’s world-leading creative industries. Since 2017 Createch companies have seen steady growth in investment which started to show real promise with £499 million raised, increasing by 50% in 2018 to £759 million and reaching £981.8 million in 2020. Venture capital (VC) funding of UK Createch businesses is forecasted to reach £1.14 billion in 2023. 

Our projects and programmes across the UK are helping to drive innovation for the creative sector, reaching new audiences, providing existing audiences with new experiences, and developing innovative ways of producing new content for the creative industries. From harnessing Bristol’s award-winning creative media, film and television capabilities, to strengthening the virtual production skills pipeline in the North West of England, Digital Catapult’s work is propelling the UK’s iconic media, arts and culture sector into the future. 

In light of the call for more interest and investment in ‘createch’, Digital Catapult has compiled a list of the five companies that are making waves in the createch space. Interested in understanding more about the businesses that are combining creative ideas with cutting-edge technology? Read more below… 

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GroundWaves has developed haptic footwear that enables people to capture the live music experience in a new and exciting way hearing the music in their ears while they get the feeling of vibration, in their feet. 

They are currently participating in our cyber-physical systems and virtualisation accelerator in collaboration with Arrow Electronics which is supporting participants to develop and commercialise their products to get investment-ready by. Haptic footwear will bring a whole new element to the live music experience, perhaps with greater applications outside of the music industry. 

We have a long history supporting the UK’s music industry, from the world-first 5G Festival programme to our early support for Blokur, a startup using blockchain for music rights.

Arcade – The Creative Reality Agency 

Arcade is a leading immersive experience agency that uses augmented reality to create more meaningful connections between people and the world around us. They have produced award-winning, three-dimensional storytelling for some of the world’s leading brands, and arts and culture institutions, including The National Gallery, Sky, Disney, ECB, and UK Parliament.

The Arcade team have recently returned from SXSW where they were showcasing its augmented reality experience ‘Bazaar’. ‘Bazaar’ was built during Digital Catapult and Niantic’s AR accelerator programme, users at SXSW  were able to hunt for ‘drops’ at some of Austin’s most iconic locations, collecting rewards from Niantic. Bazaar is another AR experience developed by Arcade that is finding creative ways to create unique experiences that connect people through advanced digital technology. 

Digital Catapult and Arcade previously worked together on an award-winning project with MUNCH, Norway’s leading museum dedicated to artist Edvard Munch. This project created a prototype augmented reality crowd-sourced immersive experience inspired by Norway’s greatest artist and his approach to art, to inspire children to get creative.

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Alice Camera 

Alice Camera is an AI camera built for content creators that has the experience of a smartphone with the quality of a DSLR and allows users to share content seamlessly. 

The Alice camera works with smartphones to shoot and share better content in a fraction of the time. Allowing content creators to capture crystal clear 4K footage straight out of the camera and share it instantly with their followers. 

The Alice Camera team has just returned from their LA showcase where they hosted over 100 content creators to test the second version of their AI-powered camera. Founder Vishal Kumar also took part in the SXSW Pitch 2023 competition, where Alice Camera was named a finalist in the Entertainment, Content, and Media section. It’s great to see how technology is being leveraged to allow creatives greater flexibility in the way they shoot and create content. 

Alice Camera is an alumni of Digital Catapult’s Machine Intelligence Garage, our flagship AI and machine learning accelerator programme, which has championed dozens of early-stage AI-powered businesses in the last 10 years.  

alice camera


CuteCircuit combines cutting-edge fashion design with emerging technologies and smart fabrics to design garments with interactive capabilities. The CuteCircuit team is currently taking part in our cyber-physical system and virtualisation programme, where experts from our team and Arrow Electronics are supporting scaleups to bridge the gap between physical and digital worlds. 

CuteCircuit holds a number of patents in the field of wearable technology, such as 3D Spatial Audio, Haptics for Augmented Reality, Interactive Luminous Garments, and Sensor Enhanced Fabric constructions, blending the worlds of technology and fashion design. 

Another early-stage fashion-industry business supported by Digital Catapult is Emperia, part of our Augmentor acceleration programme back in 2019. It works alongside leading fashion brands such as Burberry and Louis Vuitton to create virtual retail environments, and recently raised $10 million in investment. 

No Ghost 

No Ghost is a real-time story studio that specialises in immersive media. They work with the latest game engine technology to create custom apps that deliver narratives and interactive experiences to a digital audience. Their VR adventure Madrid Noir – which was part of our CreativeXR programme in partnership with Arts Council England – featured a meticulously detailed re-imagining of Spain’s capital and was part of the Official Selection for the Tribeca Film Festival in 2021, winning “Best VR Experience” at the VR Awards and an Emmy in the Outstanding Interactive Media category earlier this year. 

As part of our Niantic Lightship AR Accelerator earlier this year, No Ghost developed an AR experience ‘ékhóes’ in collaboration with world-renowned choreographers The AR experience takes users on a physical exploration of urban space through light, dance and sound. Designed to inspire people to move in new ways and intentionally experience space through all of their senses, this game champions inclusivity and the freedom of self-expression.

Find out more about our work with Niantic here

no ghost emmy

The combined creative industries form the fastest-growing sector of the UK economy, as we harness the power of digital technologies in the sector, we can create new and innovative ways of engaging with audiences. 

The companies featured here are just a small sample of the many exciting createch developments across the UK, and a selection of the many hundreds of early stage creative businesses that have been supported by Digital Catapult over the last 10 years. 

From Ground Waves’ haptic footwear to No Ghost’s immersive storytelling, these companies are pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in the creative industries.

As the UK continues to invest in and support createch, we can expect to see even more exciting innovations in the years to come. Digital Catapult will continue to be at the forefront of this industry, helping to accelerate digital adoption and develop new markets for the creative industries. If you are interested in learning more about hour work to support createch businesses, subscribe to our newsletter here.