The UK’s first-ever incubator for travel technology startups has been opened by the Duke of York on the South Bank.
Traveltech Lab offers workspace for 30 people within the riverside offices of London & Partners, the Mayor’s promotional company for London in partnership with The Trampery, a Shoreditch-based social enterprise.
At the opening, Gatwick Airport was confirmed as the first corporate partner of the new incubator.
More than 100 companies applied for space, including businesses from Germany, China and the US.
L&P CEO Gordon Innes said: “As well as being one of the world’s foremost tourism destinations, London is also a leading global hotspot for tech innovation.
“This new incubator will bring tech and tourism together, enabling startups that will transform the way we live, work and travel. It is the ideal springboard, enabling new travel tech firms to grow quickly with the help of London & Partners’ business expertise and broad network of industry specialists.”
Sam Bruce, CEO of Much Better Adventures – a company that makes it easy to book bespoke adventure holidays direct with local hosts – said: “We’re entering the growth funding stage of our business and the targeted nature of the Traveltech Lab is already helping us grow much quicker.
“The Lab allows us all to amalgamate our industry experience and networks under one roof. We’ve joined some seriously impressive startups here and I’m sure there will be some billion-pound businesses come out of it.”
The Trampery, creators of innovation spaces, will provide a range of support to the startups and organise a programme of events, bringing leading industry figures to offer experience and inspiration.
Charles Armstrong, founder of The Trampery, said: “London’s extraordinary track record stretches from Air Miles in the 1980s, right up to app developers like Citymapper today. Until now the sector has lacked a focal point where the brightest innovators and industry leaders can come together. Traveltech Lab provides that focal point.”