Fraport USA is expanding LaunchPad, its incubation program that helps local startups and small-business owners participate in the retail program at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI).
The first businesses from the LaunchPad program opened at BWI in 2017, selling a range of items including accessories, hair and beauty products, herbal teas and women’s fashions. Two of these businesses are now entering their second year at the airport. Fraport is expanding its LaunchPad program in part because of the success of these businesses.
“We are pleased with the initial results and positive response to the program,” says Brett Kelly, vice president of Fraport Maryland. “We also congratulate our first-year operators for running their small businesses and bringing an exciting array of local products and services to the airport. This successful pilot opens the door for more local startups and small businesses at the airport.”
This year, Fraport will invite two or more additional entrepreneurs or small-business owners to participate in the LaunchPad program. Retailers whose applications are selected will receive 12-month leases for a kiosk in a high-traffic area in one of the airport’s busiest concourses. Selected businesses will also receive additional resources, training and support from Fraport.
“LaunchPad gives local startups an opportunity to do business in one of the region’s most dynamic retail environments, exposing their brand to millions of visitors in BWI Marshall Airport,” says Ricky Smith, executive director of BWI. “Our customers can support these local operators and experience the best of Baltimore and Washington.”
Applications for the program are being accepted through Friday, May 11. Interested retailers can apply through LaunchPad’s website.