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World In London – Travel the World without leaving the Capital City
by Startacus Admin
Imagine being able to have the experiences from around the world that you have always wanted; drinking tea in a Japanese garden, enjoying an Italian Opera or even taking part in some Brazillian Street Dancing. For the lucky people in London, that’s become a reality! We caught up with Ed Hewitt from “World In London” – to find out a little bit more about this exciting new venture!
Hi, Ed! So, in your own words, tell us what World in London is, and what it’s all about? “It’s all about enabling Londoners to ‘travel’ the world in their own city. By this, we aim to make the multicultural city come to life and redefine the way people interact with it. We’re going to make multiculturalism fun! We’re creating an app which curates the best experiences from each major nationality in London. It’s going to be themed like a passport and will involve the collection of ‘country stamps’ as you ‘travel’ around the world in London trying new experiences. Think learning how to samba with Brazilians, walking and tasting tours of Indian London, Burmese supper clubs in hidden locations, getting covered in birch and pummelled in a Russian Banya…”
What inspired this idea? What motivated you? “I always loved travel & experiencing new cultures. I’ve visited over 50 countries and last year travelled by land from Thailand back to the UK via the Silk Road. Although that particular journey and the travel in general was fantastic, I began to question why I needed to go so far in search of adventure and new cultures. If only I looked a bit harder in my own city. Upon returning from my trip last year I decided to start exploring some of the different cultures I’d experienced on my travels in my own city. It proved to be incredibly rewarding, and the stuff I wrote about it was much better received than stuff I’d written on my travels. People seemed far more intrigued by the prospect of partying with Colombians in Elephant & Castle than they did by tales 1000s of miles away in Kyrgyzstan. I found a partner in crime (Ed Gillespie), another travel writer who funnily enough had independently had exactly the same idea, and World in London was borne”
Sounds exciting! What are your plans and goals for growing this? “We’ve been trying to define the business model over the past few months – working out whether World in London is best as a content platform, an events company, a tour company, or a curator of experiences utilising the power of mobile technology. We feel that the latter is the best fit as it enables us to access many more people, is more scalable and crucially keeps the experiences authentic by focussing on what different communities are already doing. We are aiming to prove the model in London first, then expand the ‘World In’ brand to other cities globally (eg World in New York, World in Melbourne)”.
Wow! Big goals, Got to respect that! How do you plan on funding the “World in - ” venture? “It’s a staged process. Right now we are doing a crowdfunding campaign. We are offering as rewards the type of experience which you will be able to purchase through the app. So for example for £30 you can get your hands on a guided tour of an Iranian mosque, a 3 course Iranian meal with shisha and an invite to our launch party. If you like the idea, and the type of rewards on offer please BACK IT! We can’t stress enough how important this is to prove the business model and enable us to make the next step. The idea of the crowdfunding campaign is really to prove that we can access consumers and that they want to purchase our experiences. Once that’s over we’ll be looking down the equity route and angels to fund the next stage of the business."
World In London Crowdfunding Video
This is the pitch for the World in London Crowdfunding Campaign, Check out their campaign and donate!
Are there any places you’re struggling to find in London? “London has over 270 different ‘nationalities’ and over 300 different languages groups. Over one third of its 8 million population is non British born. So finding stuff isn’t hard – the key is to find only what is really good and really authentic. We are looking to work with each community in London to ensure the authenticity. Let’s just say we won’t be recommending people go to Wahaca for their Mexican experience! Obviously we can’t find stuff which isn’t there, and not every ‘nationality’ has something which is worth recommending (for example there is a lot more Brazilian stuff than Tongan). But we are aiming to represent as many nationalities and cultures as possible – so long as it’s good!”
If you could be situated anywhere in the world; where would you go? “London obviously!!! Apart from that New York, Melbourne, Sydney, Toronto would obviously be great places to do this type of thing.”
If anyone from the Startacus community wanted to help out or collaborate. How would they go about that? “Right now, the best thing to do is to pledge and share the crowdfunding campaign if you like it. Beyond that we’re interested in creating strategic partnerships with people who can help us access a larger audience and those who might have products or services interested in ours.”
If you think you could be of help to Ed and his team, why not get in contact? Remember to contribute and share their crowdfunding campaign, but most of all; Best of Luck from everyone here at Startacus!
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