20 of UK’s finest web start-up companies visit Silicon Valley

30 Mar 2009

NEWS RELEASE

20 of UK's finest web start-up companies visit Silicon Valley

  • Web 2.0 start-ups to network with Google,  Microsoft and Oracle at Web Mission 09
  • Technology Strategy Board, one of the event sponsors, sends representative.
  • Focus on ‘Enterprise 2.0' (the application of Web 2.0 tools)

The organisation that has been established to drive the development and exploitation of technology and innovation in the UK, The Technology Strategy Board is sponsoring an event that offers talented UK entrepreneurs the chance to visit Silicon Valley to explore commercial opportunities in the United States. In all, 20 leading British web entrepreneurs will learn first-hand about the practicalities of doing business in the US and will be meeting with potential investors and local partners. 

Dr Zoë Lock Lead Technologist in ICT at the Technology Strategy Board said she is attending the event to try and learn more about the needs of UK technology start-ups and their potential for growth into large and highly successful businesses. Zoe said:

"By their nature, start-ups tend to be less visible than large companies and Web Mission 09 provides a useful opportunity to learn more about them. The Technology Strategy Board also hopes to learn more about the way that innovation is encouraged and supported in Silicon Valley."

"The highlights of the event, for me will be discussion surrounding the different perspectives on Information and Communication Technology innovation with entrepreneurs and investors.  I will also be interested in finding out what people think will happen in the future of ICT."

UK firm Polecat and ‘serial' entrepreneur Oli Barrett organised the event, inviting web 2.0 start-up companies from across the UK the chance to compete for the opportunity to make the trip. The winning 20 will get the chance to visit the headquarters of Google, Oracle and Microsoft.

Despite the backdrop of the financial crisis, Oli remains upbeat:

"We had over 100 companies applying to join us this year and the team was extremely impressed by the quality.  The people taking part are often in the business of saving enterprises money and increasing their productivity.  In many cases they are disrupting traditional business models and so dozens of meetings have already been lined up." 

The aim of the event which runs from March 28th to April 3rd 2009 is to support the companies to facilitate meetings with local investors, meet and mingle with Silicon Valley ‘movers and shakers', discuss their business with leading journalists and explore how to succeed in the US market.

The government's international business development organisation, UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is also sponsoring the event and is holding a farewell reception for the companies at the British Consulate in San Francisco on Thursday 2nd April. Ends

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Last updated on Wednesday 01 April 2009 at 14:20

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