The Mayor of London’s promotional body, London & Partners, today announced it is opening an incubator in the capital for “traveltech” start-ups in a bid to make London a world leader in the field.
The Traveltech Lab, set to open between July and September in the London & Partners office near Tower Bridge, will have 35 desks for start-ups to work from. Ahead of the opening, part of the London & Partners office is to be remodelled by co-working space provider, The Trampery, to make the facilities more accommodating for start-ups.
London & Partners said start-ups in the incubator will be connected with industry executives, investors and mentors, in a bid to to help them emulate the success of firms like Skyscanner and AirBnB.
Gordon Innes, chief executive of London & Partners, said: “With the development of Tech City, London has emerged as the digital hub for Europe and with that comes access to a pool of potential investors, talent and vital networks. London & Partners is uniquely placed to offer a one-off service to nascent traveltech businesses.
“We not only have the incubator space they need, we have over 1,000 partners in the travel, leisure and hospitality industry, a wealth of high level connections and a deep knowledge of the sector."
One emerging traveltech business based in London is WhatNow!?, which has a mobile app that allows visitors to explore a city or destination without having to pay high data charges.
Talking about a possible move to the Traveltech Lab, chief executive Tony Sandler, said: "As a business focused on building links and connections within the travel industry, this shared workspace would offer us an unrivalled wealth of connections, experience and knowledge that will help to grow and build our business.”
Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, added: ‘‘More and more technology companies are sprouting up and thriving in London. As the world’s greatest city to visit and as Europe’s foremost digital hub, we can offer this innovative incubator an ideal home to nurture creative talent and for tech whizz kids to flourish.”
The deadline for applications is 6pm on Monday 31 March.