London accelerator programme extended to support tourism and business event startups through global pandemic

Published on : Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Startups in London’s tourism and business event sectors are now being encouraged to apply to the London & Partners’ Business Growth Programme.

Launching in late June, the accelerator programme’s Summer Cohort will support companies in tourism and business events, creative, urban, life sciences, financial, business services and technology industries, as well as in the Impact (purpose-driven) sector as originally planned.

The decision to extend the Business Growth Programme is a direct response to the coronavirus crisis by London & Partners, as they look for more ways to support the tourism and events industries at this time.

As countries around the world respond to the pandemic, companies in the tourism and business event sectors have faced huge disruption as governments encourage people to avoid travel at this time.

Tracy Halliwell, Director of Tourism, Conventions and Major Events at London & Partners, said: “As London’s tourism and business event industries feel the immediate effects of coronavirus, we are doing everything we can to support businesses at this challenging time. I am pleased that the Business Growth Programme is now welcoming applications from these important sectors, providing guidance and opportunities to support these businesses on their path to recovery.”

Tourism and business event companies accepted onto the programme will benefit from a wide range of (virtual) resources and opportunities across the Business Growth Programme network – from focused sessions on cash flow, workforce planning and accessing support during the crisis, through to mentoring, sector-specific thought leadership and access to a dedicated business growth manager.

Maurizina Da Silva, Head of the Business Growth Programme at London & Partners, added: “Our Summer Cohort is set to be our biggest and most diverse yet. Small businesses have been particularly impacted by the coronavirus crisis, so we hope that by opening up the programme to include more sectors, we can help as many brilliant London businesses as possible navigate this challenging environment.”

The Business Growth Programme has supported a number of tourism and travel technology businesses in the past. Amongst these are Grapevine, a machine learning platform that provides personalised content to travel businesses, and Btrfly, a mobile app that offers digital airport lounge experiences and business networking opportunities to air travellers.

Cenk Gurz, Founder of Btrfly, commented: “The Business Growth Programme was an amazing experience. It gave Btrfly fantastic visibility and opened many doors for us – both in London, and internationally. As a recent graduate of the programme, I would strongly encourage startups to apply and really make the most of this fantastic support package”.

To be eligible for the free, three-month accelerator programme, businesses must have a UK-registered company, be based in London, have between 3-250 employees, a turnover of less than £40 million and a minimum viable product.

Eligible tourism and business events startups are invited to apply for a place on the Summer Cohort from today, before the deadline on 1 June, 11.59pm.


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