Back in June last year, we reported that BBC Worldwide was launching a mentoring scheme for digital media startups called BBC Labs. Well, now the BBC’s commercial arm has announced a second programme for 2013.
The six month programme is aimed at emerging digital media companies in the UK, with a view towards helping the selected startups gain traction and scale by working closely with them. Back in August last year, BBC Worldwide announced the six (rather than five, as it originally planned) startups that would participate in the inaugural Labs scheme.
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The next programme will kick-off with an induction session on March 5 at Wayra’s Academy in London, with attendees getting the chance to hear from Claude London, Digital Director, BBC Worldwide, who will lead a panel discussion with three of the programme’s current startups – Yakatak’s, Simon Davies; MiniMono’s Melissa Clark-Reynolds; and Flooved’s Hamish Brocklebank.
Last year’s final participants included WireWax, KO-SU, Flooved, Yakatak, MiniMonos and Foodity, the latter of which recently became the first Labs startup to ink a commercial deal with BBC Worldwide. This deal saw BBC Good Food and Tesco enter a partnership to bring the supermarket’s online shopping experience to GoodFood.com users.
“I am so proud of everything we’ve achieved with Labs over the past six months and thrilled to be announcing the launch of the second programme,” says Jenny Fielding, Head of BBC Worldwide Labs and Digital Ventures.
“It has been an honour and a pleasure to help raise the profiles of six bright and talented start-ups in the UK, all of whom have a promising future ahead,” she continues. “It has been a huge learning curve for us all and I’m very much looking forward to finding the class of 2013 and furthering our ambition of helping more emerging digital companies realise their ambitions.”
It’s worth noting that BBC Worldwide isn’t seeking to invest cash in the companies, or take equity for that matter. Instead, it hopes that it leads to commercial tie-ups – as with Foodity – while en route offering support from mentors and industry experts, giving access to intellectual property, content and technology and the use of office space in London.
If you want to participate, you can reserve a place at the induction session on March 5, or you can just go ahead and submit an application. The deadline for submissions is midnight (GMT) on April 4, 2013.