England & Wales Personal and organisational development, Technology

Viewpoint: London Ventures


Image supplied by: London Ventures

Chess Dennis introduces London Ventures, a London-wide innovation programme.

London Ventures is a partnership between London Councils, the umbrella body for London local government, and EY, a leading professional services firm, overseen and sponsored by the Capital Ambition Board. Our programme aims to support local authorities with innovative solutions that address their key challenges in the context of changing and growing customer demands alongside reduced financial budgets. We have created a unique model to drive new solutions across the local government sector.

Our vision is to actively pioneer innovation to drive sustainable change by providing:

“Opportunities for local authorities to access innovation and transformation that will improve their effectiveness and efficiency while ultimately delivering improved outcomes for London’s citizens, communities and businesses.”

A London Ventures ‘Dragons Den’ event June 2017

Through the programme, we are generating investment into the public sector, as well as leading a fundamental shift in how services are delivered to ensure public funds are used effectively. We achieve this by facilitating collaboration across sectors, including all 33 London local authorities, innovative companies, forward-thinking charities and social investors. To date, the programme has realised £6m of financial benefits for local authorities in London.

How do we drive innovation across Local Government?

Issue-led (targeted) ventures

Our targeted ventures approach is focussed on facilitating cross-sector collaboration and innovation to tackle some of the biggest strategic challenges identified by local authorities. There is a growing challenge with temporary accommodation, homelessness and housing in the UK, which is exacerbated in London where there is a shortage of affordable housing. This is the first strategic area we will be focussed on.

Working in partnership with initiatives already happening in the sector we are focussed on delivering sustainable new solutions to the sector. We have co-created a varied portfolio of solutions to support local authorities that will ultimately improve outcomes for those affected by homelessness.

To ensure we have a thorough understanding of the challenges, we have worked with a wide range of organisations and individuals across all sectors who have relevant experience in this area, including those who have experienced homelessness. Our work is focussed on directly addressing the specific problems raised by these groups in order to find a variety of innovative yet practical solutions that are complementary to existing initiatives in this space.

We are developing seven solutions that are being assessed for deliverability and potential implementation, working in partnership with local authorities who are keen to pioneer new services or ways of working. You can find out more here.

Solution-led (general) ventures

Our general ventures approach identifies and promotes market ready solutions that can disrupt and transform public service delivery across a range of service areas. We are currently working with a portfolio of 15 partners who receive support in understanding and navigating the local government landscape.

We have a proven track record and have supported implementation in over 20 local authorities across London, as well as identifying around £90 million of potential financial benefits for local authorities in London.

We are constantly scanning the market to expand our portfolio with suitable new ventures that tackle strategic priorities of London local authorities and deliver benefits for local people. We have regular check points to assess the portfolio and determine whether the general ventures require refreshing to respond to changing demand in the local government sector.

Find out more about our current Venture Partners

How can you get involved?

London Ventures is a unique opportunity to be part of the public service success story.

We are looking for:

  • Partners who could provide us with solutions to the challenges faced by local authorities
  • Local authorities who are interested in leading the development of new ideas or scaling existing ideas, as well as keen to share local best practice
  • Investors who want to support the incubation and development of new opportunities.

If you are interested in the work we are doing and want to stay in touch with our progress, you can: