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Programme

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What is Augmentor?

Augmentor is a 12-week acceleration programme developed by Digital Catapult supporting early stage businesses developing innovative and commercially-focused immersive reality solutions. 

The programme offers companies business and investment mentorship, access to state-of-the-art facilities, workshops and support to confidently pitch their ideas directly at an exclusive investor showcase.

What are the objectives of Augmentor?

Augmentor was launched to accelerate the development of B2B immersive products and applications among the enterprise sector – helping to drive adoption of augmented reality (AR), virtual reality (VR), mixed reality (MR) and haptics, scale high growth potential immersive companies and increase the size of the immersive UK market to become a global leader. 

The programme is designed to support the startups develop more commercially viable solutions, help them understand the investment landscape and become investment ready.

Why get involved?

Augmentor offers access to: 

  • Industry Mentorship – Support network of industry mentors with technical and business expertise to help startups grow their businesses and develop market ready solutions
  • Investment Mentorship – Dedicated investment mentor to help startup improve their investment readiness, understand what investors are looking for and answer specific business challenges, preparing them to start their fundraising process
  • Workshops – More than 10+ workshops to help develop startup solutions on topics such as value proposition, customer experience,  sales and marketing, building a team
  • Facilities – For the duration of the programme, the cohort will get the opportunity to make use of Digital Catapult’s Immersive Labs in Belfast, London, MediaCityUK, and North East Tees Valley (subject to availability and site terms)
  • Peer to peer learning – Be part of a cohort of up to 10 companies made up of talented entrepreneurs from across a different range of sectors
  • Showcase event – Opportunity to participate, pitch and host demos and meetings at the final investor showcase event
Who is Augmentor developed by?

Now in its fourth year, Augmentor is developed by Digital Catapult.

What are the key dates for the Programme?

Key dates:* 

  • Open Call – Applications Open: 1st June 2020
  • Open Call – Application Deadline: 29th July 2020, 11:59pm
  • Longlisting selection: 3rd – 9th  August 2020
  • Pitch Practice: 18th August 2020
  • Shortlisting selection: 7th  September 2020
  • Intended public announcement of successful applications: 8th October 2020
  • Programme Start Date: 8th October 2020
    • Kick Off event: 8th October 2020
    •  Workshops: weekly basis October – December 2020
      • October 13th, 20th, 27th
      • November 3rd, 12th, 19th, 26th and 
      • December 3rd and 9th 2020
    • Mentorship: ongoing from October 8th 2020 – 28 January 2021
    • Showcase: 28th January 2021 (Preparation: week of 18 January and 25 January)
  • Programme End Date: 30th January 2021

 

*Timelines are approximate and can be subject to change

Will the whole team need to attend the workshop sessions?

No – just the founders or other adequate representatives for the topic need to attend the workshops (maximum three people per team).

Will Augmentor take any equity?

Since the programme is targeted on investment readiness and business support, we provide you the access to a network of mentors that can help you take your business to the next level.  To keep supporting future companies, and as part of the collaboration, Digital Catapult reserves the right to acquire 1% shares in the selected companies via a ‘Warrant Agreement’, exercisable upon specific events. Please consult ‘Warrant Agreement’ of FAQ for more information

We do not wish to take an active role in your company’s future, nor request a position on your board or advisory roles.

Will Augmentor provide me with funding?

Whilst Augmentor won’t provide any private investment or other type of funding,  the programme will help you understand the investment landscape, the different routes to accessing finance and how to build relationships with the investor community.

Will Augmentor provide me with a workspace?

Startups will gain access to Digital Catapult’s Immersive Labs, however there is no guarantee of access to workspace.

What facilities do I get to use during the programme?

You won’t be required to work from Digital Catapult offices during the programme. We expect you to have the facilities to produce your experience already.

For the duration of the programme, use of the Digital Catapult Immersive Labs in Belfast, London, Brighton, MediaCityUK, and North East Tees Valley (subject to availability and site terms). 

The Labs can be booked for many different activities, from workshops to client demonstrations, and we are happy to work with you to support your needs. 

The Labs provide support for activities such as product testing across a range of the latest Immersive headsets and devices, such as the Hololens 2, Valve Index with Index Controllers, and Varjo XR-1 (subject to availability), run UX testing with our UX Lab in a Box, or host client demonstrations and meeting.  

Participants will receive details on how to book the Labs at the start of the programme.

What if I am involved in another accelerator programme?

Participating or having participated in accelerator or other startup support programmes does not preclude you from taking part in Augmentor.

How will Augmentor respond to COVID-19 implications?

Digital Catapult is aware of the business impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and knows that early stage immersive startups need our support now more than ever. Augmentor plans to help through the following:

Business support – we plan to help startups make the right business decisions and pivot accordingly as they are now faced with complex and difficult realities (e.g cash flow, team structure, industry impact) through:

  • Bespoke workshops on pertinent Covid-19 topics such as business strategy, pivoting business models or sectors, remote team management
  • 1-on-1 mentorship with experts from business and industry
  • Leveragining Digital Catapult networks and connecting startups with potential clients and partners

Investment support – despite the current investment challenges (e.g. investment frequency, valuations) Augmentor will:

  • Continue to educate startups about the investment landscape and pair them with an investor mentor who will support and answer investment specific queries throughout the programme. Startups will begin to build important investment relationships with VCs and angels that will be beneficial in the next future
  • Inform startups about options on diversifying their funding through alternative financial and investment sources by organising workshops on R&D and loans

Peer-to-peer supportwith less opportunities for direct communication and spontaneous encounters, Augmentor will:

  • Facilitate and drive forward online peer-to-peer support via virtual sessions and private communication channels in order to bring cohort startups closer

We are also applying some important format changes:

  • Remote programme delivery Augmentor’s cohort 4 is planned to be delivered online (we are still making plans to deliver the Showcase in January 2021 as a physical or online event). This means that successful applicants won’t need to travel and only focus and invest their time
  • Extended access to Immersive Labs – If access to Immersive Labs won’t be possible during the duration of the programme we will offer free access to the space after programme completion
  • Tailored support – We will try to do everything in our power to offer startups what they actually need and do so on a case by case basis

Application process

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Who can apply?

Here are the main requirements to take part in Augmentor:

  • The startup has to be registered with Companies House in the UK (or equivalent establishment in the UK and the majority of work must be carried out in the UK. 
  • The startup has to develop solutions enabled by immersive technologies, as defined in the FAQ section on Augmentor website
  • The startup has to have a minimum viable product (i.e. at least TRL5 on Technology Readiness Level)
  • The startup has to have two or more team members with a range of different expertise
  • The startup has to be considered as an early stage business, i.e. have <£500,000 in seed investment or public funding
  • The startup has to be looking to raise private investment in the next 12 months
  • The startup team must be able to attend most of the activities (i.e. attend both Programme Kick Off and Showcase, as well as attend 70% of the workshops hosted in London for the duration of the Programme). See key dates for more.
How can I apply?
  1. Complete the short registration of interest form on this website 
  2. An email will be sent to the address indicated in the short registration of interest form with the link to the full application form 
  3. You can fill in and save the application form at any point to come back to it at a later stage
What information we ask for in the application?

The application form will seek for more details about Applicant:

  • Contact information (e.g. company name, full name, email address)
  • Product characteristics (i.e. idea, value proposition, maturity, technical production business strategy, growth potential )
  • Market characteristics (i.e. market potential and the feasibility, differentiation, traction)
  • Team characteristics (i.e. team experience and skillset)
  • Financial characteristics (i.e. runway, monthly revenues etc)

Ability to commit to attending our workshops and events

What businesses will Augmentor support?

Augmentor supports early stage B2B companies developing innovative and commercially-focused immersive solutions designed for enterprise-level clients (i.g. large organisations and SMB).

We’re aiming to back solutions that demonstrate cross technology applications, linking the immersive with other emergent technologies such as AI, IoT, DLT and 5G.

Additionally, this year Augmentor is also looking to support immersive businesses from the following industries:

  • Architecture, Engineering and Construction
  • 3D design, production and tooling
  • Advanced manufacturing (e.g. robotics, automotive, aerospace, supply chain)
  • Data visualisation 
  • Training
  • Utilities sector
  • Creative industries (e.g. entertainment, gaming, media)
How do we define ‘immersive technology’?

Although ‘immersive’ is a broad term, in the context of Augmentor, this refers to:

  • Virtual reality (VR)
  • Augmented reality (AR)
  • Mixed reality (MR)
  • Immersive audio technology
  • Haptic technologies or other sensory systems
  • Modelling and 3D graphics for immersive applications
  • 3D controllers
  • 3D scanning and capture techniques for immersive applications

 

We are interested in innovations in both the hardware and software aspects of the technology.

What are the judging criteria?

The criteria will be presented as statements. Each of the criteria has the same weight. The judges will respond by indicating how strongly they accept these statements.

Product or service characteristic

  • Idea – The product/service idea is compelling, original and it demonstrates strong product and company vision.
  • Value Proposition – The product/service solves a real problem that customers face.
  • Maturity – The product/service has been developed to the point that is ready to or has already started to commercialise. 
  • Technical assessment – The product/service uses suitable immersive technology and uses it as its core business proposition.
  • Business strategy – The product/service aims to generate revenue and make the business sustainable. 
  • Growth potential – The product/service has the potential to succeed and grow beyond the programme and receive further funding opportunities.

Market characteristics

  • Market potential and product / market fit – The market size is significant and market is ready for its application.
  • Differentiation – The product/service is different/unique/stand out to other already existing.
  • Traction – There is evidence of existing sales and distribution channels or a clear plan for the future sales and distribution strategy.

Team characteristics

  • Team quality – The team is of adequate size and is equipped with the right technical, financial and business skills, and has the ability to deliver the solution successfully, as well as showing good complementarity.

Financial characteristics

  • Financial consideration – There is a clear plan about investment or funding strategy. The risk and profitability are assessed.

The decision is taken by Digital Catapult and its relevant partners on the information submitted, any additional information gleaned from its due diligence, and their knowledge. This decision is final.

How is the selection process?

The selection process has 2 phases: longlisting and shortlisting selection.

Longlisting selection

From all the received applications, Digital Catapult along with Augmentor partners will select a final group of 15-20 applicants. These applicants will then be invited to proceed to the second phase.

Only applications made on Digital Catapult’s Open Call will be considered.
Only applications that meet the basic requirements will be added to our long list.

Shortlisting selection

The final 15-20 applicants will be invited to a: 

  • Pitch preparation day: where applicants will be asked to prepare a 5 minute pitch presentation and then practice its delivery in front of a group of business and technical experts from Digital Catapult that will provide them with feedback for the next selection stage. This event will either happen online or at Digital Catapult, in both cases via 10 minutes consultations.
  • Selection day: where applicants will pitch in front of a judges selection committee (consisting of Digital Catapult and Augmentor partners) to inform the final selection of up to ten companies. Applicants will be asked to prepare a 5 minutes pitch and then deliver it via video format if the selection happens online or via live presentation if the selection happens in person.
Will you be able to provide feedback on my application?

Unfortunately, because of the high volume of applications we do not provide feedback on Augmentor applications automatically. If you would like to receive feedback on your application, please send us an email stating so and we’ll try to get back to do our best and back to you as soon as possible.

Can I apply again even if I’ve already been on the programme?

If you have applied to Augmentor before and haven’t previously been accepted onto the programme, you are eligible to apply again.

Deliverables

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What are the deliverables for the programme?

Successful applicants will be expected to supply the following key deliverables over a 12-week period (October 2020 to January 2021):

  • Supporting material
  • Participation in key events
  • Programme communication support
Supporting material

In preparation for the final Showcase event you will deliver:

  • Pitch deck and script (video and written form)
  • 20 second linear video teaser/showreel (or audio-only alternative) that can be used to demonstrate your solution
  • Investment deck (extended, investment focus deck that can be shared with the investors after theShowcase event)
Participation in key events

Key dates:* 

  • Open Call – Applications Open: 1st June 2020
  • Open Call – Application Deadline: 29th July 2020, 11:59pm
  • Longlisting selection: 3rd – 9th  August 2020
  • Pitch Practice: 18th August 2020
  • Shortlisting selection: 7th  September 2020
  • Intended public announcement of successful applications: 8th October 2020
  • Programme Start Date: 8th October 2020
    • Kick Off event: 8th October 2020
    •  Workshops: weekly basis October – December 2020
      • October 13th, 20th, 27th
      • November 3rd, 12th, 19th, 26th and 
      • December 3rd and 9th 2020
    • Mentorship: ongoing from October 8th 2020 – 28 January 2021
    • Showcase: 28th January 2021 (Preparation: week of 18 January and 25 January)
  • Programme End Date: 30th January 2021

 

*Timelines are approximate and can be subject to change

Programme communication support  

Digital Catapult will raise awareness of the programme, its aims and successes, via multi-channel marketing  and media outreach. Digital Catapult will also regularly check up the progress and development of the startups via online surveys and phone calls.  Teams will be expected to participate in these activities.

Warrant Agreement

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What is a warrant agreement?

A warrant agreement is a legal document to acquire shares under which a company (the grantor) grants a contractual right (but not an obligation) to a third party (the warrant holder) to purchase shares in that company. In the context of Augmentor, your company will be the grantor of 1% shares at nominal value and Digital Catapult the warrant holder. 

A warrant is also only exercisable upon specific events (e.g. company liquidation, sale, asset sale, public listing and qualifying funding round) and within a specific exercise period (i.e. 5 years) and is, in many ways, similar to an option.

What are successful applicants expected to do to participate in the programme?

Successful applicants will be expected to sign a Warrant Agreement to participate in the programme. 

Is the warrant agreement negotiable?

The warrant agreement is not negotiable. In order for Digital Catapult to provide the same conditions and opportunities for the acceleration programme startups, we do not allow any changes to the warrant agreement.

What will Digital Catapult’s role be as a shareholder?

If Digital Catapult exercises the warrant option, we will not look to play an active role in your company

What happens if we dilute our shareholders further?

Digital Catapult will assess every company individually and will decide on the execution of the 1% at the time of exercise only, at which point this will be converted to shares in the company and whatever happens from that point onwards will be subject to dilution.

Still looking for answers?

Email us at hello@augmentor.co.uk