Audience of the Future Investment Accelerator
Posted on 06/05/2019
Immersive businesses have been one of the highlights of the UK’s creative industries in recent years, with a flourishing of young creative businesses developing new forms of experience, production tools and technologies. But despite this growth, the sector is still failing to secure commensurate private investment. The Immersive Economy in the UK report of 2018 showed that, after skills shortages, businesses identified lack of access to finance as one of the biggest barriers to growth. Although venture capital investment in both AR and VR grew healthily in the previous year, seed stage investment in AR stagnated and actually fell in VR.
These figures reflect the difficulty faced by early-stage creative technology businesses in achieving the commercial proof points required by seed funders. The gap in angel and seed investment at a critical early point in a business’s lifecycle hinders investment at venture capital level, and therefore the growth of the UK sector overall. There are also considerable regional variations – while London and cities such as Oxford and Cambridge have vibrant networks of start-up and early-stage investors, this is far from the case across the country as a whole – according to a survey of angel investment companies across the UK, two thirds of all investors were based in London and South East.
In order to address this barrier and to stimulate greater private investment in the sector, UKRI through the Audience of the Future programme is launching this investment accelerator. Up to £2m is available for UK creative and tech businesses to undertake R&D projects that enable immersive content to be created more effectively and in new ways through simultaneous grant funding and private investment.
This competition is ideal for businesses seeking funding and finance at seed stage to drive R&D and growth, and thus providing the runway for later stage equity investment. The project funding provided by Innovate UK will be matched with finance from our pre-selected private partners, enabling you to develop a relationship with investors, and to secure the capital you need to grow your business.
Applications open: Monday 20 May 2019
Applications close: Wednesday 3 July 2019
Competition details can be found here.
Information and briefing events:
London, 20 May, 09:30-13:00, Cavendish Conference Centre: Register now
Edinburgh, 21 May, 13:30-16:00, Codebase: Register now
Wales webinar, 3 June, 13:00-14:00, online only: Register now
Manchester, 4 June, 09:30-13:00, The Landing: Register now
Belfast, 10 June, 13:30-16:00, Digital Catapult NI: Register now
Nottingham, 12th June, 15:30-16:30, Mixed Reality Lab, University of Nottingham: Register now
Can’t make it to these events? You can get the information from our webcast, recorded on 20 May from 09:30-13:00. Watch it here.