Meet the CE50 2017! This year's cohort features film creators and festivals, groundbreaking technology, and innovative game studios. All are making great achievements in their fields. Find out how below, and click here to learn about our Future Leaders.

104 Films - Future Leader

104 films have built a world reputation for their work in developing disabled film makers. Recent films include Notes on Blindness which premiered at Sundance 2016 and was released to acclaim by Curzon in the UK. The film has won many awards including the BIFA  for Best Documentary. The company also produced Unrest – a feature film by Jen Brea telling of her battle to understand  M.E. which premiered in competition at Sundance 2017.

Why they have been nominated

104 Films is is one of the UK’s leading production company working with disabled filmmakers. Notes on Blindness, a documentary on the diaries of John Hull as he comes to terms with his blindness, is an exceptional film and VR experience which illuminates the struggles of losing sight.

Aesthetica Short Film Festival

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is an international film festival which takes place annually in York, UK, at the beginning of November. The BAFTA recognised festival is a celebration of independent short film from around the world, and an outlet for supporting and championing short filmmaking. The programme includes film screenings, industry masterclasses, hosted networking sessions and panel discussions. One of the UK’s most exciting site-specific events, ASFF showcases over 400 international films from emerging and established filmmakers in 18 venues across the city of York. In 2016, there were over 21,000 admissions. 

Why they have been nominated 

The Aesthetica Short Film Festival (ASFF) is only in its sixth year but is going from strength to strength and becoming a significant highlight of the UK festival circuit. The team has built the festival from nothing to a BAFTA-qualifying festival with an impressive industry programme, growing audiences and excellent local impact.

Antstream - Future Leader

Antstream is an exciting gaming as-a-service platform that brings video games to new audiences across mobile, PC, console and set-top boxes - think Spotify for video games. Antstream boasts an impressive team of industry veterans and was one of a handful of companies to successfully power up by its journey through the Microsoft Ventures program. Antstream is passionate about games and thanks to the service’s exciting new features, cutting-edge technology, and licensing deals, the team look forward to bringing you some of the most iconic names in gaming - working towards their vision of ‘Any game, any time’. 

Why they have been nominated 

To date there isn’t a computer game equivalent of Netflix and Spotify, Antstream fills this market need. Led by a strong team and board with experience in delivering game products to market, Antstream helps publishers who are looking for a platform to monetise game products from the last 40 years. It is a great platform which recognises the trend for retro gaming.


Artist and filmmaker Benjamin Wigley founded Artdocs in 2010. The company’s work spans platforms and audiences by exploring multilayered immersive journeys through experimental film, documentary, art and interpretation. Artdocs’ first independent film, P.S. Your Mystery Sender, played internationally (SXSW, HotDocs, Palm Springs). In 2012 Anna Griffin joined the company to produce their first feature length documentary, Paa Joe & The Lion (Sheffield Doc/Fest). The company works closely with Arts Council England and The National Trust and with these partners recently completed an epic project that exhibited at Somerset House, entitled One and All - a truly experiential production merging physical exhibition, online interactive journey and celluloid film. 

Why they have been nominated 

Artdocs is exploring film as an art form, creating extraordinary experimental pieces, including a project with Arts Council England and the National Trust. Paa Joe & the Lion, funded by Creative England, was cleverly marketed alongside an exhibition of Paa Joe’s work which secured coverage from the BBC, the Guardian, and the Independent.

Baltic Creative

Baltic Creative CIC provides bespoke property lettings, management and development for the creative and digital sector. They create unique spaces, a supportive environment and foster a collaborative community where businesses and entrepreneurs can start-up, grow & prosper. Established in 2009, Baltic Creative now owns and manages over 100,000sq/ft of flexible, affordable workspace, and houses some of Liverpool’s top creative and digital talent. Through the CIC model, Baltic Creative reinvests all its surpluses back into the property, the tenants and the sector and is playing a major role in the regeneration of Liverpool’s pioneering Baltic Triangle district. 

Why they have been nominated 

Liverpool based Baltic Creative CIC has helped to transform the up and coming Baltic Triangle district with unique and vibrant office spaces for innovative and creative entrepreneurs. Dedicated to investing in the area, Baltic Creative CIC reinvests into its property to ensure a sustainable and supportive environment for its innovative tenants.

Beatroot Music

Beatroot Music, founded by Miles Galliford, is a web-based platform created to help record labels, music publishers and anyone who manages a large catalogue of songs, compete in the digital world. Beatroot automatically generates metadata such as genre, era, BPM and sentiment for songs, and captures this data in a web service from which it can be shared with clients, streaming services and music stores. In the digital world metadata is critical in helping tracks be discovered amongst the 50 million tracks now available online. 

Why they have been nominated

Beatroot has built a web service which processes music catalogues to automatically create, source and aggregate a lot of missing metadata and present back to their clients on a platform with a beautiful and intuitive user interface. This is a key product for the music industry as it allows users to search, categorise, manage, distribute and share their catalogue in ways which were never previously possible.

Camille Gatin - Future Leader

Camille produced the award winning feature film The Girl With All The Gifts directed by Colm McCarthy and written by Mike Carey, starred Glenn Close, Gemma Arterton, Paddy Considine and introducing Sennia Nanua. Warner Bros released the film in the UK following opening night screenings at the Locarno film festival and Midnight Madness in Toronto. Camille’s first feature, Shadow Dancer, directed by Oscar winning director James Marsh, starred Andrea Riseborough, Clive Owen and Gillian Anderson. She also produced the second season of ‘Endeavour’ for ITV, the reboot of Inspector Morse, and Jonathan van Tulleken and Tim Key’s black comedy short Anthony. 

Why they have been nominated 

Camille showed great professionalism whilst producing The Girl With All The Gifts (funded by Creative England’s West Midland Production Fund) which she executed seamlessly and with great confidence – no small feat for a first feature film. As a result she went on to win Breakthrough Producer at BIFA 2016.

Candle and Bell

Established in 2013, Candle & Bell was founded by Maria Caruana Galizia to give a platform to North East filmmakers to create distinctive, compelling and cinematic works. The company has produced a number of award winning short films with some of the most exciting upcoming filmmaking talent. Candle & Bell is currently developing a slate of feature films, including Stine by Kat Wood. The company also produces music videos and video content for businesses nationwide. 

Why they have been nominated 

Candle and Bell’s founder, Maria Caruana Galizia, has worked hard to create an interesting production company in Newcastle which specialises in short films and corporates. She recently began developing a slate of feature projects with writers and directors such as Saeed Farouky, Kat Wood and Andy Berriman. We have worked with Candle and Bell on our iShorts programme.


Coatsink is a passionate development team working on games for VR platforms, PC, console and mobile. The company has seen rapid expansion from 14 to 42 employees over the past 2 years due to various successes. Coatsink is working on some original projects for VR platforms, and PC/console as well as continuing their work on titles Shu, Esper and (as development partner on) Boneloaf’s Gang Beasts. 

Why they have been nominated 

Coatsink was part of Creative England’s Greenshoots programme in 2016, and went on to exhibit at CELive: Northern Lights in the summer of 2016. It is now a recognised and highly regarded face in the developer community, growing VR industry, and applications market.


Cyclr is a technology startup based in Eastbourne specialising in automation. Its cloud-based integration platform empowers business users, without an enterprise budget or knowledge of programming, to connect the apps and services that run their business. By creating these integrations, an organisation can eliminate repetitive manual tasks and unlock new power in their data. Cyclr’s workflow builder makes it easy to create automations, streamlining business processes across channels, including marketing, customer relationships, billing, and many more. The business has benefited from Creative England’s equity fund, which formed the cornerstone of its seed funding round. It has since gone on to raise further venture capital. 

Why they have been nominated 

Cyclr is an innovative software product that connects cloud apps into a powerful single user friendly platform. The platform’s drag and drop functionality provides a simple to use interface for businesses to connect apps without the need for code. The start-up is based in Eastbourne and following our investment they have created four full-time positions, released a white label version of the platform, secured over 10 new clients and raised further investment.


EasyPreOrders is a SaaS PreOrder and events platform for groups and individuals predominantly in hospitality, and is the largest such platform in the UK. By making group PreOrdering and payments simple for both customers and restaurants EasyPreOrders saves 2 hours of admin per booking, speeds table turn, produces instant extensive reporting and valuable customer insights. Transacting 10’s of millions in food orders EasyPreOrders has a partnership with Europe’s largest reservation system Bookatable and works with some of the largest restaurant chains in the UK such as Jamie’s Italian, Café Rouge, TGI Friday’s and many more. 

Why they have been nominated 

EasyPreOrders has taken the hospitality industry into the Digital Age with its pre-ordering platform. It has secured thousands of restaurants around the country, making a name for itself as a necessary product for restaurants. Impressive marketing, developing and business skills have earnt EasyPreOrders a place in the CE50.

Escape Films (Michelle Eastwood)

Escape Films is owned by BAFTA nominated producer Michelle Eastwood and was established upon Michelle’s graduation from the NFTS’s producing MA in 2009. Escape aims to produce distinctive, commercially viable film and TV – quality and originality are placed above all else. Since its beginnings, Escape has produced BIFA winning feature In Our Name, as well as several award-winning short films and branded content. Escape has projects in development with the BFI, Aardman, Sky and iFeatures and recently wrapped on three high-profile shorts funded by Creative England. Escape Films is a recipient of the 2016-18 BFI Visions Awards. 

Why they have been nominated 

Escape Films was founded by Michelle Eastwood to support new, emerging, regional and diverse talent. Michelle is currently producing the three iWrite shorts filmed in Manchester, and is attached to produce Retreat, part of our iFeatures programme, working closely with fellow CE50 production company 104 Films.

Evidential - Future Leader

Evidential is fast becoming the leading authority in Electronic Presentation of Evidence (EPE). They are innovators in the communication of evidence using bespoke software solutions and tailored graphics that present cases professionally. Already proven to save millions of taxpayer money whilst also improving the Criminal Judicial System, Evidential has provided acclaimed solutions for many of the UK’s high-profile trials and is proud to have won international contracts with the United Nations, the International Criminal Courts and the European Commission. Evidential is an essential resource when communicating big data and complex evidence in court and is integral to the creation of the Digital Courtroom. 

Why they have been nominated 

Evidential’s product Exhibeo is an electronic evidence presentation platform for courtroom. The product is an excellent example of crosscollaboration between digital and law / forensic industries, whose value has been proved by a four year contract with the Crown Prosecution Service.

Facepunch Studios

Since 2006’s launch of Garry’s Mod, a game where players create everything from Rube Goldberg machines, movies, and even other games, Facepunch Studios has been one of the most popular game developers on the PC. The studio has grown from a single modder into a forty-person strong development house, and followed up the success of Garry’s Mod with survival game Rust. More than 18 million players enjoy Facepunch’s sandbox games together, crafting, creating, and cannibalising each other and constantly pushing both games into Steam’s top ten most played games. 

Why they have been nominated 

Facepunch Studios has built up a dedicated following for their sandbox and survival games, and has been a proponent of gender and race diversity in video games. This was highlighted when an update to multi-player survival game Rust preselected gender and race of a playercharacter, a controversial decision that the creators have stood by to improve game play.


Co-founders Jack Attridge and Pavle Mihajlovic built the studio around an obsession with quality. This has meant creating uncompromising, standout, digital experiences that engage not only core gamer demographics, but expand into the wider pop culture mainstream. To achieve this, Flavourworks has invested in building its own technology from the ground up, and steered its focus towards the artistic merits of narrative and design, all expressed through a striking aesthetic. The studio has attained huge buzz around its first unannounced title, and greatly intrigued many of the biggest players in entertainment. 

Why they have been nominated 

Flavourworks is at the forefront of technological innovation, creating a new interactive entertainment genre the new Digital Product Studio. Flavourwork’s first title will be announced in 2017 following an extensive development process.


Formisimo was founded in 2014 to put an end to frustrating online forms and checkouts. It’s an SaaS analytics platform that uses behavioural data to provide market-leading insights into peoples’ online shopping habits, and in particular how people interact with online forms and checkouts. Clients include Capital One, DFS, Travelex, Uber, Toyota, Samsung and Unicef. It recently launched its second product, Nudgr, which uses machine learning to predict ahead of time when website visitors are going to abandon a buying journey. Formisimo is based at MediaCityUK in Manchester, and has been through the Seedcamp accelerator, raised two rounds of funding and won numerous awards, including Tech North’s Northern Stars award in 2015. 

Why they have been nominated 

Manchester-based Formisimo’s customer analytics platform continues to go from strength to strength, raising substantial investment over 2016, and a new product, Nudgr, due to be released this year. This is a predictive platform that has been hugely effective in BETA phase, doubling customer conversions.

Francis Lee

Francis Lee is a filmmaker working from Yorkshire, United Kingdom. Following an extensive career as an actor, he wrote his first short, Bantam, in 2009. He went on to write and direct the shorts The Farmer’s Wife (2012), Bradford Halifax London (2013), and The Last Smallholder (2014), which collectively have played at many international film festivals and won numerous awards. Francis’ first feature film, God’s Own Country, was funded by BFI and Creative England and and has premiered at Sundance Film Festival and Berlin International Film Festival 2017. He is currently working on two further feature film projects. 

Why they have been nominated 

Francis Lee is a writer/director on The Last Smallholder, set in Yorkshire, which was selected and nominated for Best Short Documentary at DocFest. Lee developed his first feature film, God’s Own Country, through the prestigious iFeatures programme, and as a result his project was realised into a feature film financed by BFI and Creative England.

Hammerhead VR - Future Leader

Hammerhead is a leading virtual reality and immersive content studio. Founded in 2014, the multi-award-winning team is recognised as one of the UK’s pioneering pure-play VR studios, with a reputation for creating premium quality games, films and experiences. ABE VR, their first consumer title, was the first VR experience to be certified by the British Board of Film Classification, while the studio has produced acclaimed projects for companies including Jaguar, HSBC, Royal Navy, VW, IBM, and Lexus. In early 2017 Hammerhead launch its latest consumer title, the survival horror game, Syren, for PlayStation VR, SteamVR and Oculus. 

Why they have been nominated 

Hammerhead is an exciting studio working in the emerging virtual reality space. Having created VR experiences for a number of international brands, Hammerhead VR is now looking to develop ‘VR experiences’ when home VR platforms are released, including horror-survival game Syren.


HOME, Manchester’s centre for international contemporary art, theatre, film and books, opened in May 2015 and received over 100,000,000 visits in its first year. HOME’s two theatre spaces are a platform for playful, daring, new commissions in dance and drama. Its five screens light up with independent, challenging, provocative film and the galleries are home to the very best new work by emerging and established contemporary artists. HOME is more than stage and screen. It’s a centre for co-production, artistic creation and new experiences, dedicated to learning for people of all ages. It’s the HOME of new work and playful ideas; of festivals and commissions; of artists and of audience engagement. 

Why they have been nominated 

HOME is a large regional arts venue, and has made itself a cultural hub in Manchester, with the added benefit of being an independent cinema. It is a key destination for technology, digital and film events, and is an excellent platform for artists to showcase their work to a wider audience.

Honlodge Productions

Founded in 2006, Honlodge Productions is the Oscar and BAFTA-nominated team of producer Baldwin Li and writer/director Mark Gill. Their breakthrough came with the multi-award-winning short film The Voorman Problem which was nominated for an Academy Award in 2014 and a BAFTA in 2013. Their first feature film Steven, inspired by the early life of Morrissey, is currently in post-production with international sales being handled by Hanway Films. Mark and Baldwin also produce branded content and short films for major worldwide brands and corporations that include a number of FTSE 100 companies. 

Why they have been nominated 

Honlodge Productions has created a biopic on Morrissey which they shot in Salford, which was partially funded by Creative England’s production fund, and assisted by our crewing service. It also created The Voorman Problem, starring Martin Freeman and Tom Hollander, which won numerous awards alongside nominations from BAFTA and Academy Awards.

Hope Dickson Leach

Hope completed her MFA in filmmaking at Columbia University where she made three award-winning short films that played at festivals worldwide. Screen International made her a Star of Tomorrow and Filmmaker Magazine named her one of the ’25 New Faces of Independent Film’. She has made further acclaimed short works for Channel 4, Film London, the UK Film Council and the National Theatre of Scotland. Her debut feature The Levelling, produced by Wellington Films as part the iFeatures scheme, had its world premiere at the Toronto International Film Festival in September 2016. At the London Film Festival she was awarded the inaugural IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award in Association with the BFI. She is currently developing several features and is a co-founder of Raising Films - a campaign to make the film industry more parent-friendly. 

Why they have been nominated 

Hope Dickson Leach directed her first feature film, The Levelling, on Creative England’s prestigious iFeatures programme. The Levelling is an incredibly strong first feature, for which Dickson Leach was awarded the inaugural IWC Filmmaker Bursary Award in Association with the BFI 2016. Alongside this Dickson Leach supports fellow female directors with Raising Films, an organisation she co-founded which enables filmmakers with families to keep working and feel supported during demanding times in their personal lives.

Lunar Landar Films (Jude Goldrei)

Producer Jude Goldrei founded Lunar Lander Films to produce diverse, smart genre films with international appeal. Based in Sheffield, and working with distinctive, audience-driven filmmakers, the company will develop new, diverse voices along with more established names. The current slate includes comedy, sci-fi, thriller and horror films with sharp, exciting talent including Nick Payne (The Sense of an Ending), Alex Winckler (Emmy-nominated My Mad Fat Diary), Joy Wilkinson (Screen International Star of Tomorrow), Carolina Giammetta, Lucy Moore, Laura Smith and Aurora Fearnley. Projects are in development with the BFI, Creative England, iFeatures and Film London’s Microwave, and the company is a recipient of a BFI Vision Award. 

Why they have been nominated 

Jude is an emerging producer who is passionate about working with female filmmakers and talent outside of London. Basing a lot of her work in Sheffield, Jude has been supported by Creative England on various programmes including Film Enterprise and iFeatures, along with being awarded the BFI Vision Award.


Kaido Group Ltd is a pioneering digital health company in Birmingham. Its Artificially Intelligent Insights Platform, created with partners at Microsoft, takes advantage of the huge opportunity data and technology is providing to revolutionise healthcare. It is working with Big Data Aggregators, Clinical Research Groups and Pharmaceuticals to allow clinicians to better understand the behaviour of its patients and to empower patients to selfmanage their health from home. The aim: to create predictive, preventative and more personalised models of care, leading to increased efficiencies and massive savings for healthcare systems. 

Why they have been nominated 

Kaido works with customer’s existing apps and tracking devices to become a personal trainer, and is in the process of building the first artificially intelligent health coach. The team has a huge breadth of knowledge, and has also secured a commercial deal with fitness manufacturer Hitec for deployment of wearable technologies.


Kuorum is LinkedIn for politics. Its online service helps politicians, organisations and social leaders to turn followers into voters, donors and volunteers. Citizens can directly communicate with their representatives and advocate for the causes they care about. Politicians - local to national level - in eight countries and organisations like Unicef or Save the Children already use the tool. Awarded Best Tech for Politics 2016 by the Washington Academy of Political Arts and Sciences, Kuorum has set its sights on changing the political landscape at a global level. 

Why they have been nominated

Kuorum is an impressive SaaS platform for political campaigning and lobbying, which lowers the costs of donor and volunteer acquisitions for politicians, political parties and organisations. Already used internationally, Kuorum helps the public engage with causes they care about.

Lucid Games - Future Leader

Established in February 2011 by senior developers from Bizarre Creations, Lucid Games has set itself out to be a small team with big ideas and the skills to deliver them. Its performance over the past few years has proved it is just that. It has delivered great games, has a dedicated and talented staff and a great atmosphere, based in a very cool studio in the heart of Liverpool’s Creative Quarter.  

Why they have been nominated  

Lucid Games has worked on a variety of games for various platforms, including well known series such as Grand Theft Auto. It is a studio others aspire to be like, with a strong reputation in the games industry for innovation and quality.


Mbition is changing the way runners train for mass participation events with its Adaptive Coaching Engine (ACE). It creates a custom training plan for participants, then its unique IP, ACE, adapts to their progress like a 1-2-1 coach. Route to market is through partnerships with some of the biggest global race organisers including the fourth largest marathon in the US - The Honolulu Marathon, Color In Motion’s 114 events and the high profile UK Vitality series. Mbition has launched in the running market, but plans to move into other mass participation sports including cycling and triathlon in 2017. 

Why they have been nominated 

Mbition is an adaptive coaching platform for participants of mass sporting events, integrating rather than competing against current training technology wearables and tracking apps. Mbition has built up fantastic partnerships since launching, as well as contracts signed with Sports Pursuit to access its two million members.

Milky Tea

Milky Tea is a production studio specializing in game development and 3D animation. Established in 2005, the studio has worked with some of the globes biggest brands and became renowned in the UK for its work on the Lloyds TSB advertising campaign that brought those quirky characters with the long noses. The studio has gone on to be nominated and win globally recognized awards such as BAFTA, EMMY, and Banff awards. In 2014, with the support of Creative England, the studio released its first video game titled Coffin Dodgers on PlayStation 4, Xbox One and Steam. Coffin Dodgers has gone on to be nominated for three TIGA awards and allowed the studio to create valuable global partnerships. 

Why they have been nominated 

Milky Tea is an innovative production studio which works in both game development, including critically acclaimed quirky racing game Coffin Dodgers, and 3D animations. Milky Tea’s work as an agency sees it creating detailed 3D animations for impressive clients, including BBC, Sony and Bose.

Open Bionics

Open Bionics is changing the healthcare industry by using 3D scanning and 3D printing to dramatically cut the cost of fitting hand amputees with robotic prosthetics. The company blends robotics, inclusive design, fashion, and wearable technology to create lightweight, affordable prosthetics that are inspiring to wear, and can be created in just 42 hours at a low cost. 

Why they have been nominated 

Open Bionics is an award winning start-up that is developing advanced prosthetics that are affordable, lightweight and beautifully designed. 3D printed prosthetic hands can be created in just 42 hours, at a low cost – a great asset for the medical industry. Open Bionics demonstrates a great amalgamation of creativity, design, robotics and science.

Paw Print Games - Future Leader

Paw Print Games is an independent studio located in Chester, in the North West of England. The studio develops unique games for a variety of platforms including PC, Console, mobile and VR. Their first original IP, KAMI RETRO, a puzzle based platformer released in March 2011, received the App Store Game of the Week award and featured in many sections of the App Store including Greatest Platformers, Benchmark Games and the Hall of Fame. Alongside creating new IP, Paw Print Games works on established IP with partners including Nickelodeon, Adult Swim and Saban Brands. 

Why they have been nominated 

Paw Print Games is a game studio working across a variety of platforms.In 2016 Paw Print partnered with publisher nDreams to develop a game in the emerging VR space. On top of this, Paw Print has worked with a variety of multinational companies to develop game projects, including Nickelodeon and Adult Swim.


Personalyze is an exciting early stage, data-driven technology company that enables brands to truly understand their customers behaviours, interests and passions on social and mobile platforms. The data we capture and analyse allows brands to hyper-personalise their customer’s experience, which leads to increasing relevancy, customer satisfaction and revenue. Despite being early stage, they have achieved significant traction and plaudits from the world’s biggest brands and agencies for their truly unique and award winning technology. 

Why they have been nominated 

Personalyze launched their platform, which analyses customer behaviour for brands, following years of solid development. It reached the finals of Twitter’s international business competition, and has impressive clients including Your.MD and BBC R&D.

Playground Games

Playground Games was established in 2010, bringing together some of the most experienced and talented developers from the UK industry, with a vision to create genre-defining titles for a global audience. Since then Playground has grown to more than 100 staff and created the critically-acclaimed Forza Horizon series which, over three releases, has won more than 100 awards and been nominated for five BAFTAs. Released in 2016, Forza Horizon 3 became a best-seller across the globe, with a 91 Metacritic score that makes it the highest-rated racing game of this generation. After seven successful years, Playground is looking to the future and has begun building a second AAA team at its headquarters in Leamington Spa. 

Why they have been nominated 

Independent game development studio Playground Games has gone from strength to strength since its creation in 2010, with critically acclaimed open world racing video game Forza Horizon on its third release and selling across the world. Playground Games continues to expand its team, opening a second office in Leamington Spa.


Dubbed ‘Fitbit for writers’, Prolifiko is a digital productivity coach which helps writers kickstart and continue their projects. An early stage start-up founded by Bec Evans and Chris Smith, Prolifiko uses a unique system of persuasive technology to keep people motivated and moving forward with their goals. Prolifiko has helped thousands of people to write and has high profile advocates like Wyl Menmuir, who wrote his ManBooker Prize 2016 longlised novel, The Many, using the system. Available free as a free online B2C product, Prolifiko will be offered as a white-labeled, B2B coaching system for creative, professional and academic markets in 2017. 

Why they have been nominated 

Prolifiko (formerly Write Track) took part in our Bournemouth Digital Accelerator in 2014 to develop its business proposition. Since then it has completed user testing, and developed an MVP, proving the worth of its goal setting community for writers product when Wyl Menuir used the programme to write his novel The Many, which was nominated for the Man Booker prize long list.

Prospect Games

Prospect is a Manchester based development team that provides a range of media services, including architectural visualization, VR experiences and game development. Prospect recently launched Unbox, a comedic 3D platformer about sentient cardboard boxes, on Steam to an overwhelmingly positive response. 2017 will see Unbox launch on further platforms and the team expand to take on new and exciting projects. 

Why they have been nominated 

Prospect Games is an up and coming games studio, currently developing the 3D platformer game Unbox, a game about sentient cardboard boxes. From tropical islands to frozen peaks, filled with collectibles and cardboard characters, Unbox is visually stunning as it takes you around the world.


ProxiSmart Ltd was founded in 2014 by Chris Reed to research and develop an idea using an innovative new technology to help reinvigorate our High Streets. The result was ParkingPerx, an app that rewards town and city centre spending in bricks and mortar stores with FREE Parking for Consumers. Using Smart Beacons the app offers fast, convenient, ‘one touch’ parking and removes the threat of parking tickets with a handy, remote ‘top up’ facility. The company is now developing a sister app, TravelPerx, which rewards city centre spending with reduced / eliminated public transport fares, thereby incentivizing greener travel choices. 

Why they have been nominated

ProxiSmart develops Smart Beacon technology to bring footfall back to the high street. ParkingPerx, its flagship product, is combatting the challenges faced by the high street, such as free-to-park out of town shopping centres and online shopping, by incentivising consumers with free parking.


PureClarity is an innovative, award-winning suite of powerful ecommerce personalisation products. It uses advanced artificial intelligence to increase ecommerce sites’ online sales, increase the value of transactions and re-engage lost customers. The solution was built by leading ecommerce agency PureNet over three years after undertaking an extensive period of market and competitor research. At the heart of PureClarity is PureNet’s Chief Executive, Dr Paul M Gibson who holds a .PhD in Artificial Intelligence. After working in the ecommerce industry for over a decade, Dr Gibson identified the need in the market for a highly intelligent personalisation solution for online retailers. 

Why they have been nominated 

PureNet received two loans from Creative England to develop PureClarity, an AI application which learns customer behaviour. PureClarity went on to win ‘Best SaaS Solution of the Year’ at the IT European Software Excellence Awards, with strong sales and turnover over the last few years. It is now taking on its first US clients and continues to expand the team. It recently won ‘Technology Business of the Year’ and ‘Innovative Business of the Year’ at the York Press Awards. is an online radio broadcasting platform. It provides an easy way for anyone to start an internet radio station, providing a tool that allows broadcasters, brands, DJs, record labels and publishers to turn their content into a 24/7 live radio station. launched in July 2015 and experienced a great year of growth in 2016. It currently has over 2500 radio stations on its platform, broadcasting to more than 250 million listeners around the world. It has worked on some exciting projects such as helping the The Strokes launch their new record, collaborating with Vice Magazine on a Silent Disco app and powering the Radio Everyone project for Unicef. 

Why they have been nominated is a platform which recognises the benefits of brands being able to easily create content in house, allowing anyone to start an internet radio station. The platform meets the growing demand for easily accessibly content, and feeds off the popularity of podcasts, creating a new channel for brands to communicate with consumers.


Snaptivity is an innovative sports marketing solution for driving fan engagement at live sporting and music events. It’s a combination of cuttingedge technologies and robotic IoT-powered infrastructure, all built in-house. Snaptivity captures ecstatic, high-fiving fans and delivers these photos to them in real-time. With Snaptivity brands and clubs can reach people at scale in a targeted and emotional way, building up brand equity and transforming sporting emotions into marketing & commercial results. Snaptivity operates at Edgbaston Cricket Ground, Manchester City FC and is coming to stadiums and clubs around the UK, Europe and Russia. 

Why they have been nominated 

Snaptivity is a young start-up company ran by three entrepreneurs. Within six months of receiving investment from Creative England it had a commercial partnership with UBER and signed a long-term contract with Edgbaston Cricket Ground. This is an exciting proposition which recognises the growing trend of sharing reactions online.

Strange Thoughts - Future Leader

Strange Thoughts is an innovations company that tells brand stories using emerging technology. Founded in Bristol in 2013, with the intention of disrupting the traditional agency model, the company uses a creative process called Radical Collaboration to rapidly prototype ideas, products and campaigns for global brands. Working with a vast pool of multidisciplinary experts from around the world the company delivers strange and unusual responses to client challenges. Working with a client list of bold brands and marketeers such as Reebok, Pokerstars, Heineken and CeX, Strange Thoughts delivers joyful technology to engage and excite consumers. Recent campaigns include harvesting clouds to brew beer, mind-controlled robotics, translating pet-collars and a drone destruction derby. The company is led by serial entrepreneur Seth Jackson and has been fuelled by investment from Creative England. 

Why they have been nominated 

Strange Thought’s product Landmrk is a Geo-locational content delivery platform which is going from strength to strength. In 2016 they were selected as one of the Unilever Foundry 50 companies and attended Cannes Lions with 49 other of the most exciting tech start-ups from around the world. Strange Thoughts promises to go from strength to strength, working with and are winning pitches with Universal, PlayStation, Magnum and Jaguar Land Rover.


SwapBots uses augmented reality to create a spectacular, interactive video game world around a collectible toy. Swapping pieces of the SwapBots influences gameplay, making a direct connection between physical play and the digital world. The player simply points their phone or tablet at the SwapBot toy to see it come to life; the beauty of augmented reality is that it can turn anything into an animated, interactive surface. Launching via a Kickstarter campaign in March 2017, SwapBots is also part of San Francisco-based hardware accelerator HAX Boost and has won support from the UK Games Fund and Tech North. 

Why they have been nominated 

SwapBots have embraced innovation to create a modern twist on collectable toys. Aimed at children, with pocket-money friendly prices and no in-app ads or in-app purchases, SwapBots uses augmented reality to bring the toys to life using a phone or tablet.


Synap is an intelligent online learning platform that helps students to learn more in less time. Created by two medical students looking for a more interesting way to study for their own course, Synap encourages students to create, practice and share quizzes with their peers, and creates a tailored learning plan for each user. Last year the team launched the Synap Store, allowing world-renowned educational publishers such as Oxford University Press to publish and sell their content to a new generation of tech-savvy students. Synap is now used by tens of thousands of students from across the world. 

Why they have been nominated 

Leeds based Synap created an innovative online education platform which encourages interactive and collaborative learning by letting students create, practice and share multiple choice quizzes. This is a fantastic platform which engages users and adds a fun layer to education.

The Chinese Room

The Chinese Room is a Brighton based game studio. Dear Esther was released in 2012 to popular and critical acclaim, winning numerous international awards and selling nearly a million copies to date. In 2013 it released Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs. Unashamedly literary, Machine for Pigs quickly became a cult hit, nominated for and winning awards and gathering a dedicated fan base. 2015’s Everybody’s Gone to the Rapture was a critical smash on release, making the GOTY list of every major games outlet and earning a string of major awards, including 10 BAFTA nominations and 3 BAFTA wins. In 2016, it ported Rapture to PC and released the Landmark Edition of Dear Esther on PS4 and Xbox One, as well as starting work on a self-funded adventure, The 13th Interior. 

Why they have been nominated 

The Chinese Room is a games developer which continues to go from strength to strength. Based in Brighton, The Chinese Room has released critically acclaimed games including BAFTA winning Everybody’s Gone to Rapture. Dan Pinchbeck, The Chinese Room’s Creative Director, is a creative advisor on Creative England and Barclay’s Eagle Lab – Flight.


Twile is a timeline of everything that’s ever happened in your family. Family historians can import their research from places like Ancestry and then invite the rest of the family to explore their history and contribute their own more recent memories. Customers can import their social media content, upload photos and overlay world history events, to build a single endless timeline of their family. Partnered with two of the biggest brands in the $2bn genealogy sector and growing 15% month-on-month, Twile’s aim is to make family history more engaging and relevant to the wider family, especially younger generations. 

Why they have been nominated 

Twile is a Doncaster based company whose platform allows people to store and curate timelines of their family history. Within the last 12 months Twile has secured a strategic partnership with leading genealogy Find My Past and has been gaining recognition in the US, winning two innovation awards at Rootstech 2016.


Twine is a marketplace that connects companies to a community of 185,000 creatives in design, music and film. A company in need of audio-visual content to keep in touch with customers can find its solution with Twine. Twine’s creatives help grow its clients business and fulfil its creative needs. The platform allows creative freelancers to take control and choose which projects they want to work on. Building a portfolio with Twine allows users to find interesting creatives to collaborate with from all over the world. 

Why they have been nominated 

Twine is a platform which encourages creative collaboration. Over 1 million credits have been posted onto the community since Creative England invested, which are as a result of live project briefs. One of the briefs included an incredibly touching campaign which saw a World War Two veteran use VR technology to return to a town in Northern France that he helped liberate.

Unrival - Future Leader

Unrival is a unique insight business exploring how human behaviour and digital data can accelerate B2B marketing results. Based in Bristol, they have grown over the last 3 years to a team of 18, working with clients across the globe in London, Singapore, San Francisco, Chicago, Munich, New York, Amsterdam and South Korea. Their unique approach to data enables clients to target the right audiences, with the right message, at the right time. They use creative visualisation to allow clients to immediately implement the discovered insights. 

Why they have been nominated 

Unrival is an impressive strategic marketing agency, whose business is booming, with a huge team expansion (12 new jobs created in 2016 alone) and fantastic revenue growth and profit margins. Unrival inspires creativity in the form of blog posts on gender equality, experimental marketing and seeking to educate on creativity as a whole.

ustwo games

ustwo games is a mobile games studio that loves to make interactive entertainment that challenges the medium, with a strong focus on user experience and elegance in presentation. From BAFTA award-winning hit Monument Valley, to innovative virtual reality experience Land’s End, their dedication to craft and platform specific design shows in every product they create. 

Why they have been nominated 

ustwo games creates mobile games that delight and engage users. Monument Valley, the illusory adventure game with impossible architecture, won critical acclaim and a host of awards, including the Apple Design Award. VR game Land’s End continues the theme of combining interactive storytelling with new technology to create a compelling, immersive experience.

Vision Technologies

Vision Technologies, a London-based start-up, has been developing a device combining AR and VR to assist people with severe sight impairments. The software company leverages off-the-shelf technologies to turn it into a high-tech low-vision aid. Its device, SightPlus, is a pair of goggles that enhances people’s remaining sight. Hands-free and easy to use, it acts like a sophisticated wearable magnifier that helps partially sighted people to see clearer up close and at the distance. People can test the device in the UK and even purchase it through an early adopter offer. 

Why they have been nominated 

Vision Technologies has created revolutionary software which harnesses new technology to give clearer sight to partially sighted individuals. SightPlus uses high definition camera technology with live video streaming to enable users to regain focus and control over aspects of their life.

VooFoo Studios

VooFoo Studios Ltd is an independent UK based video games development studio, founded in 2007 by a small team of experienced industry professionals. Utilising its own proprietary cutting edge technology, VooFoo’s first game, critically acclaimed Hustle Kings, was released for PlayStation 3 in 2009, reaching the top of the PSN charts and earning VooFoo two nominations at the Develop Awards. Building on this early success VooFoo have gone on to develop Hustle Kings on PlayStation Vita, Backgammon Blitz and the acclaimed ‘Pure’ series of games – Pure Chess, Pure Pool and Pure Hold’em – all of which have further established their reputation for developing visually stunning, commercially successful games. VooFoo’s first self-published game, Mantis Burn Racing®, is available now on PlayStation®4, Xbox One and Steam® (for Windows PC). 

Why they have been nominated 

Birmingham based VooFoo Studios has been creating critically acclaimed games since it was established in 2007. Its most recent game, self-published Mantis Burn Racing, is a visually stunning racing game which was released across platforms. VooFoo Studios continues to produce fun, best-in-class games.

Wigwam Films

Wigwam Films is a dynamic UK production company committed to creating outstanding content for a global market, and finding great stories with the universal power to move and entertain. Recently recognised as Screen International ‘Future Leaders,’ they pride themselves on championing the finest home grown and international talent, providing a platform to support and nurture those that are both emerging and existing. They recently produced Babak Anvari’s debut feature, Under the Shadow, a horror set in the highly political and oppressive world of post-Revolution Iran. The film premiered at Sundance and has since won three BIFA Awards, including Best Debut Director & Best Screenplay, and has two BAFTA nominations for Outstanding Debut & Outstanding British Film. 

Why they have been nominated 

Wigwam Films is an impressive production company which has an impressive slate, including Under the Shadow which premieres at Sundance Film Festival. Under the Shadow and iBoy are financed by Netflix, and their third Offbeat, developed by Creative England, has an