Digital Catapult launches Augmentor programme to accelerate UK AR and VR startupsPosted 17 Jul 2019
Digital Catapult today announces an Open Call for Augmentor, a 12-week accelerator programme offering early stage immersive companies technical and business mentorship, access to state-of-the-art facilities and regular check-ins with investors.
Augmentor is aimed at the next generation of companies developing innovative, commercially focused applications for augmented and virtual reality. Bringing together investors, commercial partners and early-stage companies, it aims to accelerate UK investment in immersive technologies, their development and adoption by industry.
Up to ten companies selected to participate in the programme will receive 12 weeks of support from Digital Catapult and partners, to help them fine-tune their technology and business proposition ahead of pitching to investors at a showcase in January. Propositions can be relevant to any sector, but the ideas must be commercially viable.
Alongside mentoring, successful applicants will receive masterclasses delivered by Digital Catapult, programme partners and mentors, including HTC Vive X, Edge Investments, Remagine Ventures, Station 12 and Mercia Asset Management PLC. They will also have access to state-of-the-art immersive facilities, including Digital Catapult’s Immersive Labs, and the opportunity to draw on Digital Catapult’s network of supporters, research groups and academic institutions.
Partnering with some of the World’s leading investment funds on the programme, Digital Catapult aims to stimulate UK private investment into companies developing innovative and commercially-focused applications of augmented, and virtual reality. Through driving awareness and understanding of the emerging sector, the programme plays a crucial role in developing an immersive ecosystem in the UK and delivering sustainable sector growth.
“Immersive technologies increasingly display massive untapped potential for business applications from product design to hazardous conditions training, across many different industrial sectors,” comments Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult. “Unlocking this depends on early stage companies innovating in this space, finessing their propositions and securing investment. We have established Augmentor to provide the skills companies need to approach investors with greater confidence and clearly establish their product market fit.”
Now in its third year, the programme already has some big-name alumni. These include end-to-end reality capture and digital delivery platform, Reality Zero One, and self-serve augmented reality platform, HoloMe, the technology provider behind Asos’ recently launched ‘Virtual Catwalk’. These and other participants have secured over £3.1 million in investment since taking part in the programme and have been connected with 50 mentors from the immersive sector and investor community.
“Augmentor has been instrumental in supporting new and early stage VR/AR startups in the UK,” comments Dave Haynes, Director of Vive X Europe. “It’s been a pleasure to mentor many of the companies, helping them prepare to meet their first investors. This led to HTC leading an investment in KageNova last year through our Vive X program.”
“To HoloMe, Augmentor was much more than an accelerator,” comments Janosch Amstutz, Founder and CEO, HoloMe. “It allowed us to become the voice of augmented reality in the UK, we were able to stand in front of businesses, government as well as the general public and share our revolutionary AR technology. These opportunities allowed us to show the world that the technology they see to be futuristic is actually here.”
The open call is now live and will run until 6th September. To apply, visit: www.augmentor.co.uk
Digital Catapult is committed to working towards a more diverse tech industry that develops products, services and experiences for everyone. Founders from diverse backgrounds will be supported through Augmentor.