Skip to content

Artificial Artists

When Artificial Artists started looking at accelerator programmes, its co-founders Ben Cyzer and Tim Phillips felt that Digital Catapult’s 12-week Augmentor was a great match. The team hoped they would receive valuable support and guidance to get Artificial Artists investment-ready.

Ben and Tim were previously part of the senior leadership team at MPC, one of the world’s largest 3D animation studios. They wanted to find a way to make 3D animation simpler and more democratic rather than just being used in high-end TV advertising and Hollywood movies. Together they founded Artificial Artists to enable brands, retailers and agencies to adopt 3D without having to hire expensive studios.

In many ways, Artificial Artists was accepted onto Augmentor at the perfect time. The team, having got over the first hurdle of developing a working prototype, needed confidence, direction and focus about what the next six months of the business would look like.

Building valuable relationships

Artificial Artists was provided with invaluable mentorship from technology and product experts alongside business and investment expertise. The opportunity to hear from mentors that were previous Augmentor graduates proved particularly inspiring for the co-founders, especially to learn how quickly they had made the leap from startups seeking investment to fast-scaling businesses.

Furthermore, one of the mentors, Alex Anpilogov, trialled the software and offered focused product feedback based on user experience.

A stimulating community

As well as the mentors, Artificial Artists benefited from being part of the whole Augmentor community. Creating a startup can be isolating, and the community of like-minded immersive technology individuals was incredibly important to learning and developing on the programme.

Ben Cyzer, one of the co-founders of Artificial Artists, said “Having somewhere to go that was buzzing with activity with lots of bright and interesting people was really stimulating.”

Investment and market-ready

Augmentor is heavily focused on helping the startups understand the investment landscape and connecting them with the investment community. This gives participants the opportunity to start building their fundraising strategies, pitch to a number of investors and receive feedback. Through this, Artificial Artists was introduced to Mercia Asset Management, one of the investor partners on the programme. They built a strong relationship early on that helped secure the £500,000 investment round led by Mercia. Chris Kilroy from the investment fund now sits on the company’s board.

The investment has enabled Artificial Artists to build and grow the client base, and take its 3dctrl animation product out to the masses.


The header image is made with 3dctrl. A virtual production studio in the cloud, enabling brands and retailers to quickly and easily create 3D content and experiences.

DC mages.001