By Luke Lambert (Senior Communications Officer), Published

A number of budding City, University of London businesses are planning to expand after they received a funding injection to support growth in education, entrepreneurship and employability.

Nine enterprises received grants totalling £60,000 in the 2021-22 Santander Micro Grants awards, which are awarded to help City’s Launch Lab enterprises grow.

This round of awards has been allocated for projects including expansion plans into other countries, increasing the staff base and growing across different sectors.

Recipients of the awards and the project summary are listed below.

  • Culture Hint – development in technology which maps and optimises visitor traffic in the cultural sector
  • Polysurance – building an app to support the computer vision technology which monitors risk for the insurance industry
  • Jenga Investment Partners – an investment company seeking approval from the Financial Conduct Authority
  • Class-ify – a platform which provides business services for personal fitness trainers and wants to expand into Australia
  • Greenlit – the crowd funding source for creative sector wants to add merchandising to its website
  • Inovat – the platform which simplifies the process of claiming back VAT on overseas purchases is expanding into France
  • Leiho – the ethical retail brand which is supporting homelessness wants to hire an experienced marketer to boost its channels and consequently build the product.
  • Girls in Charge – the platform to support upskilling in women leaders through gamified content wants to digitalise its current face-to-face offer
  • Streater Research – the organisation which provides independent investment research for institutional investors wants to apply for PRI approval to target the ESG market.

Joey Li, Co-founder of Leiho, said: “The microgrant has been a huge help towards our bootstrapping business. We were finally able to hire a retail strategist to work on the different approaches for wholesale, physical presence, marketing as well as overall branding. As we grow and amplify our efforts in promoting more purposeful gifting, we are, in parallel, making twice as much impact towards helping those in need.”

Tristan Rushworth, Co-founder of Class-ify, said: “Until recently our efforts have been focused on the UK, but with support from the Launch Lab and Santander, we are expanding to Australia and New Zealand.

“The grant has helped us hire a small team so we can help coaches with the same problems on the other side of the world, get more clients and use technology to supercharge their businesses.”

Ralph La Fontaine, Head of Entrepreneurship at City, University of London, said: “Nowadays, all students should be thinking about entrepreneurship and business start-up as a potential career option and to boost their CV. At City there is a range of support services for start-up businesses including mentoring, grants, prizes, seminars, free workspace and more. I would encourage anyone with a business idea or an interest in starting a business to get in touch and see what help is available.”