BBC Worldwide, the commercial arm of the BBC, has revealed that it’s launching a mentoring scheme for digital startups called BBC Labs. The official launch event is on June 22 at Google’s Campus, a co-working space in east London.
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 – the ultimate goal is to help them strike a commercial partnership with BBC Worldwide.
It’s worth noting that BBC Worldwide won’t be taking any equity in the companies, but will focus on promoting innovation through mentorship and access to the BBC Worldwide’s resources.
How it will work
Labs participants will be given the chance to work in close contact with experts at BBC Worldwide, including those in technology and content, as well as marketing, sales, advertising and legal. Moreover, participants will also have access to office space in the BBC’s Media Centre in White City, which will include technical resources, monthly mentoring sessions and networking events.
Labs will be seeking up to five companies throughout 2012 to help develop globally. So…who exactly should be applying for this?
Well, Labs is looking for early-stage digital companies that operate where technology and media meet. This could cover Web applications, gaming, virtual worlds, mobile, advertising technologies, advanced video applications, connected TV, community and collaborative software and CRM. They must also be based in the UK, but with potential to be mobilized internationally.
“We are interested in companies at the point of commercialisation, whereby a partnership with BBC Worldwide can help catapult them to the next level of success,” says a BBC Worldwide spokesperson.
Whilst we’ve covered investment and mentoring programmes such as Seedcamp in the past, it’s important to note here that BBC Worldwide won’t be ploughing hard cash into the startups – what statups will receive is mentorship and access to resources, with the potential for a lucrative hook-up with the company at the end of it.
Labs officially launches with its inaugural workshop event at Google Campus on June 22nd at 12pm. The workshop will include a short talk from Dan Heaf, EVP and Managing Director of Digital for BBC Worldwide, on the current state of digital media innovation. Jenny Fielding, Head of BBC Worldwide’s Labs, will be on hand to provide an overview of the programme.
BBC Worldwide Limited is a commercial subsidiary of the BBC, a result of a restructuring of its BBC Enterprises predecessor in 1995. The company takes charge of monetizing BBC brands abroad, and serves to supplement the income received by the BBC through the license fee.