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London accelerator programme extended to support tourism and business event startups during Covid-19

Tourism and business event startups in London are being encouraged to apply for the London & Partners’ Business Growth Programme.

The programme will launch in late June and its summer cohort aims to support companies in tourism and business events, creative, urban, life sciences, financial, business services and technology industries alongside the purpose-driven sector.

Tourism and business event companies who are accepted onto the programme will benefit from virtual resources and opportunities across the Business Growth Programme network.

This will include focused sessions on cash flow, workforce planning and accessing support during the crisis, alongside mentoring, sector-specific thought leadership and access to a dedicated business growth manager.

The programme has previously supported tourism and travel technology businesses such as 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.

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 £40m and a minimum viable product.

Eligible tourism and business events startups are invited to apply for a place on the Summer Cohort from today, 21 May, before the deadline on 1 June, 11.59pm.

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.”

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.”

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.”