IBTM World has launched its 2020 investment and mentoring programme for event industry entrepreneurs, the Event Business Accelerator (EBA). The programme was founded in 2019, and is open to people with an innovative idea, product or service related to the events industry. Successful applicants enter a mentorship programme, and then give a live pitch for funding to a panel of potential investors at IBTM World, which will take place in Barcelona from 1-3 December.

David Thompson, Event Director of IBTM World, says, “We are delighted to announce the launch of this year’s Event Business Accelerator. Now, more than ever, it is essential that we support and nurture innovation in the industry and this initiative aims to do this in a comprehensive and sustained way. It’s been fantastic to see last year’s finalists successfully grow their businesses over the past few months and we’re looking forward to supporting more new ideas and businesses through this year’s scheme.”

“Being part of the EBA was invaluable in getting the product ready to launch and having the opportunity to showcase it to so many people at IBTM World meant that sales really took off immediately – something that would have taken much longer if I hadn’t been part of the programme.”

Bernadette Palombo, Founder of Event Professionals Journal and a past EBA participant, adds, “Being part of the EBA was invaluable in getting the product ready to launch and having the opportunity to showcase it to so many people at IBTM World meant that sales really took off immediately – something that would have taken much longer if I hadn’t been part of the programme.”

This years mentors

The mentoring programme consists of workshops, webinars and one-to-one sessions with a team of industry experts. This year’s mentors are: Richard John, Chief Operating Officer of Realise, a specialist events services and training agency; Giorgia Sanfiori, Executive and Team Coach; Viona Terleth, a Business and Personal Development expert in the international MICE Industry; serial entrepreneur, Majbritt Sandberg and Ingrid Rip, a Certified Event Designer and Trainer. The panel who will be judging the live pitches includes Lori Pugh Marcum – Co-creator of the IBTM EBA and Head of Meeting Innovation for Meeting Professionals International; David Preston, CEO of Realise; Mark Riches, Advisor, NED and SME Investor; and Jason Allen Scott, a serial entrepreneur, author and keynote speaker.

How to apply

Applications for the EBA open on 1 July 2020 and will close on 31 August 2020. Entries are open to entrepreneurs with a business no more than three years old, and who have a big idea for an events business, product or service, OR who have up to three years’ experience in running their own business related to the events industry.

To apply, you will need to complete this application form. A panel of industry judges will select the finalists and announce them in mid-September. Complimentary travel and accommodation will be provided for all finalists. Any financial investment a finalist receives will be at the discretion of members of the judging panel.

For more information, please go to ibtmworld.com.