The Audience of the Future Investor Accelerator is a pilot programme from Innovate UK. 

About the AotF Investor Accelerator

The Immersive tech sector is developing rapidly but the finance and investment ecosystem remains undeveloped. A fast growing but nascent and uncertain consumer market place is driving uncertainty with investors.

The Audience of the Future (AotF) Investor Accelerator aims to provide the runway for later stage capital and equity investment beyond grant funding and enable early stage companies to get direct access to the commercial acumen and market access opportunities that equity investors provide.

Up to £2m of grant funding and a comparable amount of private investment is available to support business led R&D and to invest in companies in the creative industries that have real potential for growth through:

  • Creating and capturing additional value from the production of immersive content, IP or experiences through the application of technology
  • Developing a scalable road map  in products, platforms, services, software, hardware and tools in immersive technology

The competition recognises the potential value of creative companies who are also driving innovation through the use of immersive technologies in other industries within the B2B and B2C market places.

The programme aims to provide the runway for later stage capital and equity investment beyond grant funding, introduces new investors to the growing UK Immersive tech market place and supports existing sector investors to investors to invest earlier in R&D.

How it works

  • The Investor Accelerator provides simultaneous grant funding and venture capital investment for early stage projects:
    • Innovate UK funds the R&D being carried out by company
    • Investors invest in the company itself
  • It consists of two competition stages: stage 1 for investors (opens 4 March 2019), stage 2 for companies (opens 20 May 2019)
  • Up to £2m of funding is available for industrial R&D; projects’ total costs can be between £150,000 and £300,000
  • The Investor Accelerator will fund up to 70% of eligible project costs in grant funding for micro or small businesses (under 50 employees) and up to 60% for medium-sized businesses (50 – 250 employees)
  • Investors commit to exploring co-investment in the portfolio of companies selected in Stage 2 at 30% for SME / Micro and 40% for middle size companies
  • The competition is open to single SMEs who are looking for grant funding and who want to establish an equity relationship with a UK venture capital firm. The funding on offer should help businesses move closer towards a proposition that is commercially viable

Information and networking events for investors

These events are designed to give investors the chance to meet the teams behind the programme for Audience of the Future Challenge, Innovate UK and Immerse UK and have an opportunity to have 1-2-1 meetings and explore the opportunity in more detail.

Please note that these events are relevant for investors potentially applying as part of stage 1 of the competition. 

To find out more about this programme please follow the link provided on the right hand side. Alternatively to contac5t a member of staff directly please use the contact details also provided on the right hand side.