Creative minds and businesses collaborate to champion Culture and Tourism in Plymouth

  • The Plymouth Startup Weekend returns between April 23rd and April 25th
  • Entrepreneurs will team up to revolutionise UK tourism in a post-pandemic world 
  • The event is led by the University of Plymouth and part of the Techstars Startup Weekend movement with the ongoing support of the local business community

With an ever-growing network of organisations, entrepreneurs, emerging talent and a track record in delivering engaging, high-value events, the Plymouth Startup Weekend is back this spring with a big question for business brains and creative thinkers everywhere: How can our cities rejuvenate culture and tourism post pandemic? For Britain’s Ocean City, which was picked as one of the top ten places to travel in 2020 by Condé Nast Traveller magazine, this is an even bigger question. 

Organised by the University of Plymouth, as part of the iMayflower project, and part of the globally renowned Techstars Startup Weekend movement, this year’s digital event is focused on finding the bold and innovative ideas that will make Plymouth a prime cultural destination of 2022 – at the same time supporting the flourishing entrepreneurial community in the city and connecting businesses with entrepreneurs and talent. 

The Culture and Tourism industry in Plymouth accounts for nearly £70 million of economic output per year, with a vast 365 businesses in the city classed as arts, entertainment and recreation. In line with Plymouth Culture’s recently announced strategy, over three days teams of ambitious minds will be challenged to solve problems and forge creative ideas to protect the arts, live music events and iconic attractions for future years. 

Whilst coming up with world-beating solutions, inspired attendees will have the opportunity to work with expert mentors each specialising in an important facet of business. The involvement of the Plymouth business community is what truly helps bring these events to life. By placing their support, the weight of their expertise and their hearts and minds, right into the soul of our entrepreneurial ecosystem businesses are ensuring a vibrant and growing economy from the heart of the South West.


Following previous Startup Weekends mentors have gone on to hire attendees and previous 2019 winners, Big Sis, have already become a registered CIC and ran a hugely successful crowdfunding campaign thanks to the connections made at the event. This next online edition is being supported by video streaming company First Sight Media, who managed the logistics of the previous weekend, along with Prize sponsors Devon Chambers of Commerce and Real Ideas Organisation. 

Last year’s online event saw around forty attendees, with fifteen original ideas pitched and seven teams formed. The network surrounding the event consisted of eighteen various industry connections, with eight supporting business sponsors. In this new edition the Plymouth Startup Weekend team are looking to work with more innovative leaders and organisations across the South West, and beyond, in order to support the citywide cultural strategy at this crucial time for the industry – forging a lasting impact on our economy by supporting some of the region’s brightest and boldest entrepreneurs.

“To find out more about the event and how you can get involved head to:

Emily Barrett, Knowledge Exchange Officer at the University of Plymouth, and lead organiser of Plymouth Startup Weekend: “An important part in everything we do is collaborating with the local business community and these events are no different! It is wonderful to have the involvement of so many local organisations supporting the growth of the entrepreneurial ecosystem and inspiring emerging talent and aspiring entrepreneurs from the city and beyond.” 

“First Sight Media have provided the production, livestreaming and magic behind the scenes at our online Startup Weekend events. Not only have they supported the seamless running of the first virtual event but have been a fantastic edition to the energy and feel of the weekend, helping to shape the format through their experience and expertise. We are thoroughly looking forward to working with them again for future online editions.”

Hannah Harris, CEO, Plymouth Culture: “Plymouth is uniquely positioned to grow dramatically as a cultural and tourist destination over the course of the next decade thanks to several years of significant investment, development and hard work in the sector.

“As our 10-year Culture Plan demonstrates – culture can be the engine that drives Plymouth’s economy. We see the cultural and creative sector interwoven with business and enterprise, which is why there couldn’t be a better time to focus this year’s Plymouth Startup Weekend on Culture and Tourism as we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic.

We are very much looking forward to seeing the entrepreneurial talent on show that this fantastic event invariably produces and would like to wish everyone taking part the best of luck.”

Stuart Elford, Chief Executive of Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce: “The Plymouth Startup Weekend has become an important fixture in the business calendar when we get to witness some of the brightest minds and creative thinkers of our business future tackle some of the most pressing issues in Plymouth today.

“The Devon & Plymouth Chamber of Commerce is proud to support the Weekend and equally proud to support the positioning of our cultural sector as a driving force for the city economy. I’m genuinely excited to see how the participants apply entrepreneurial solutions to rejuvenating tourism and growing our cultural identity for the benefit of all.”

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.