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Digital Catapult’s Augmentor programme returns to further stimulate AR and VR investment in UK startups

Posted 17 Oct 2019

Early-stage companies receive expert support and access to state-of-the-art immersive facilities to develop their ideas ahead of pitching to investors.

Digital Catapult’s Augmentor programme returns for 2019, aimed at the next generation of companies developing innovative, commercially focused applications for augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR). Bringing together investors, commercial partners and early-stage companies, Augmentor is helping to accelerate UK investment in immersive technologies, boosting their development and adoption in multiple industries, and showcasing their potential to some of the UK’s leading investors.

The 10 cohort teams were selected from a shortlist of 20 teams following an extensive online application process and a pitch day that determined which 10 companies would join Augmentor.

Jeremy Silver, CEO, Digital Catapult commented: “Augmented and virtual reality continue to offer exciting opportunities across a whole range of applications from high end automotive product design, to enhanced sports training visualisation, to new efficiencies in planning processes, to the quite remarkable precision remote control of flying robots. There are companies developing all these applications in this year’s Augmentor cohort. The market is still developing more slowly than investors would like and for this reason, we are excited to continue to bring together a talented cohort of companies and an extraordinary group of mentors in this programme. It’s great to see previous alumni of the programme returning as mentors too. ”

Now in its third year, this 12 week programme provides the successful teams with expert mentorship from partners and previous members of the programme who have gone on to secure funding and commercial partnerships, including masterclasses delivered by Digital Catapult and partners such as HoloMe, Realities Centre and Seed Legals. Alongside previous investor partners, this year Edge Investments, Remagine Ventures, MMC Ventures and ADV join Augmentor, bringing their expertise in creative industries as well as years of investing in tech.

In addition, the Augmentor cohort teams will have access to state-of-the-art immersive facilities including Digital Catapult’s UK-wide network of Immersive Labs and at University College London. The teams will also have the opportunity to work with Digital Catapult’s network of supporters, research groups and academic institutions, which includes University of Bristol, University of Edinburgh and more.

The ten teams are:

  • Agile Datum – A data science company focused on improving the planning and housebuilding market.
  • Also Known As – An immersive storytelling, research and design studio creating immersive training tools for people who work in high-risk jobs.
  • Artificial Artists – A team of interactive and VFX specialists. It has developed a 3D animation platform that empowers artists to create quality 3D content for digital and immersive media.
  • Extend Robotics – A robotic technology company. It is developing a drone flying platform with two robotic arms, which is guided by virtual reality technology over 5G to perform manipulation tasks remotely.
  • Darf Design – An award winning interactive design studio located in London. In 2018 it launched a mobile platform which allows users to share 3D content in the real world using AR.
  • Imaged Reality – A VR and AR startup which believes immersive technologies will transform training, knowledge and skill development across the Oil & Gas, mining, construction, engineering industries and universities.
  • IN Reality – A software technology company, specialising in VR training systems for blue chip companies. It has a background in aerospace and now seek to enter the emerging sports VR market.
  • Neuro Create – A startup specialising in immersive interactive digital platforms including developing personalised immersive collaborators that spark creativity, enhance cognitive agility and lead to ‘Augmented Intelligence’ for users.
  • M-XR – A startup developing 3D capture technology which uses a custom engineered system and machine learning to measure and extract previously unattainable 3D information.
  • Resus VR – A medical training startup, which improves the decision making of healthcare professionals through exposure to VR simulations. It’s goal is to create the first ‘flight simulator for healthcare’.

From training for doctors and sportspeople, to ‘Augmented Intelligence’, and quick and easy ways to configure 3D content, the latest Augmentor cohort runs the gamut of exciting and innovative possibilities for immersive technologies, pushing at the boundaries of what is possible. Previous Augmentor participants include Gravity Sketch which created a tool that allows designers to collaborate and develop 3D models in VR, and has since raised £1.25 million, and Reality Zero One which developed an end-to-end solution for 3D capture and raised £285,000 of initial funding following its Augmentor experience. Over the course of the previous two cohorts, the majority of companies having never previously raised investment, have raised a total of over £3 million.

The programme will run until January 2020. For more information on Augmentor, visit here.