BAB Accelerate: Immersing into the US

For founders of start-ups and SME companies who are growing – or planning to grow – their transatlantic trade, our Accelerate Roundtables create a unique peer-led conversation around relevant case study remarks – At this roundtable we will hear from Tom Symonds, CEO of Virtual Reality Company Immerse and their rapid growth in the US.

The Immerse Platform has been built for enterprise from the ground up, working closely with customers to identify their real needs and applications across multiple sectors. It utilised an enterprise-grade cloud service for management, deployment and reporting of collaborative VR training applications.

Only 14% of the world’s major companies are not currently engaged with immersive technology at some level, and with current challenges faced as a result of the Covid-19 crisis accelerating the need to find alternative training solutions through digital platforms, this number is set to diminish even further in 2021. With the increase in demand, Immerse saw their software license revenues grow by more than 300% in the last 12 months.

Due to this growth, they have added new key hires in the U.S. as they expand their U.S. operations. Cathy Hackl, global strategic advisor and Johnathan Sutherlin, an XR/VR/AR business expert joined the U.S. team to accelerate the growth of their global strategic relationships and through its Immerse Platform, empower organizations to revolutionize their employee experiences with boosted engagement, an upskilled workforce, and increased performance and retention.

The Immerse customer base focuses on enterprise training, including industries with urgent response times, from pharma and life sciences to fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG), energy, and more, all who must reskill and upskill for peak performance, especially to meet the more than 1 billion jobs that could be transformed by technology (source, OECD). Businesses can put any VR content on the platform, make it securely available to anybody in their organisation and then deliver it to hundreds of standalone headsets, with data gathered centrally.

More recently, Immerse has partnered with Make Real Ltd to enable enterprise organisations to access a library of virtual reality training content that will be available through the Immerse Platform. This initiative is the first step for Immerse in their pursuit to build an ecosystem where the Immerse Platform will empower and enable organisations to embrace the future of training in the workplace. This partnership will create an all-in-one solution for enterprise organisations, highlighting the strength and capabilities of the UK VR industry to a global customer base, with customers already including Shell, DHL, Vodafone and Lloyds Banking Group.

This Roundtable Discussion is for founders and CEOs of SME companies who are accelerating or planning to accelerate transatlantic trade through acquisition.


Tom Symonds, CEO Immerse

Tom is the CEO and co-founder of, an award winning UK technology business focused on the use of immersive technologies in enterprise. Tom has gained a reputation for innovation and the creation of disruptive business models following 15 years at GE Capital and then Sky, leading them through the dotcom fall out. He established them as one of the major internet players in the UK.

Over the past 10 years his driving passion as an entrepreneur leading Immerse, has been to shake up the field of learning by incorporating new technologies. Initially gaming technologies but now virtual reality.  Like any entrepreneur he’s known what it’s like to be too early to market but now finds itself in a very strong position. Partly accelerated by the pandemic and restricted travel, Immerse’s platform allows enterprise to interact live at distance in vr headsets or other devices.

They are proud to name DHL, Mars, Nestle, Shell, BP, Pfizer, Facebook and SAP as clients. Solving problems for them around on-boarding, training, assessment and cultural change.  As his daughters have told him ‘ Dad you’re finally doing something that’s cool’.  He is extremely well travelled, but foreign travel now, when it resumes, is focused on expanding business in the US.


Nicholas Barton, Founder & CEO, The Barton Partnership

Nicholas Barton is the Founder & CEO of The Barton Partnership, a niche global executive recruitment firm with an enviable reputation within the Strategy & M&A, Data & Analytics and Transformation & Change arena. From a standing start he has built a team of over 80 professionals consisting of former tier-one Strategy Consultants working alongside recruiters that have operated in this market for nearly 20 years with offices in London, New York, Paris and Singapore.

The Barton Partnership’s clients include FTSE listed and Fortune 500 companies across all sectors/industries; SME’s, Strategic, Innovation & Management Consulting firms (large and boutique), Global Financial services, Private Equity and Venture Capital organisations. Their network represents talent from Analyst to Partner/MD level across all disciplines and sectors associated with Strategy, Transformation and M&A. The Independent Consulting business offers rapid response and deployment of strategy professionals across all sectors with project duration ranging from one week to twelve months.

In addition to The Barton Partnership Nicholas is also he Founder & CEO which is a portal that will connect consultants with clients for short-burst consulting support for hours at time rather than weeks.

Nicholas was elected to the board of BritishAmerican Business and sits on the BAB Membership Committee. He is also a member of the YPO which is the global leadership community of more than more than 29,000 chief executives in 130 countries who are driven by the belief that the world needs better leaders.



Monday 22nd March


4:00 pm – 5:00 pm GMT / 12:00 pm – 1:00 pm EST