Call for Applications: Walking Tour Incubator Grant Program
The Alliance for Downtown New York, the nonprofit managing Lower Manhattan’s business improvement district, has opened applications for its new Walking Tour Incubator Grant Program. The program will award grants of up to $12,500 each — $7,500 now with a possible additional installment of $5,000 based on completion of goals — to five entrepreneurs who can develop compelling and original walking tour experiences that can be sustained in Lower Manhattan for at least one year. Each of the grantees will also be provided two one-on-one consulting experiences with leading entrepreneurs in the tourism and walking tour worlds as well as access to a cutting-edge online program for tour operators.
Submissions are due on April 10, and the five winners will be chosen on April 15. A preference will be given to those who look beyond the typical downtown highlights and do not solely focus on the role of the financial industry in Lower Manhattan’s evolution. Walking tours can incorporate areas south of Chambers Street, including Battery Park City, the Seaport and Governors Island, and may touch on a wide variety of subject matters.
“So much of New York City’s history has taken place in Lower Manhattan, with every block offering a rich tapestry of stories,” said Jessica Lappin, President of the Alliance for Downtown New York. “This incubator program will present tour operators with the chance to shine the spotlight on the fascinating stories that have previously been overlooked and to provide New Yorkers and visitors alike with fresh perspectives on the neighborhood.”
Eligible participants must meet the following criteria:
- Demonstrate an ability to run a business.
- Have some relevant familiarity with tourism, preferably with NYC at large or specifically Lower Manhattan.
- Be based close enough to NYC that they can effectively run and scale a localized tour seven days a week.
- Aim to not only launch a walking tour business, but also scale it beyond the one-person operation.
To apply, visit downtownny.com/incubator. Questions about the program can be addressed via email to Jessica Drucker at [email protected] before April 10.