Digital Mission Blog

Digital Mission The Digital Mission series is run by Chinwag to support UK-based digital companies expand into new markets and attract overseas investment.

Which overseas markets?

695552659_425c1b9674_m.jpgA quick plea for help and a 20 second diversion on a Friday afternoon.

As you probably know - I know we've been going on about it a bit - Chinwag has been working with UKTI on a couple of Digital Missions. The next one is to South by South West in Austin, Texas next March, but we've already started thinking about the future.

And this is where we'd love your input. We're pondering which areas will be the focus of overseas expansion for the UK's digital sector? Previously the US has come out on top, but with all the economic turmoil, has this changed?

What do you think? Let us know:

You can also leave comments on the page if you've got any thoughts on this. All input welcomed.

[Pic courtesy of JohnLeGear]

South by South West proves entices Digital Mission applicants

Digital Mission - laptop decorationThere's a veritable flurry of printing, stapling, hole punching and other filing related activity at Chinwag Towers. The application deadline for the Digital Mission to South by South West interactive (SXSWi) has come and gone.

Over 100 companies applied for one of the 40 slots on the Digital Mission which is a great response before you factor in the wave of dire economic news that's been crashing against the industry for the last two months. The number of entries also shows the healthy attitude of the UK's digital sector in looking beyond the local market.

The regional diversity also shows how digital SMEs are thriving and innovating well beyond London and the South-East with entries from all parts of the UK.

Next up, the judging process where the advisory board will work its way through the mountain of paper, printed double-sided on recycled paper, naturally.

Fortunately, with all these applications it's great to welcome two extra pair of hands to the judgly duties: Benjamin Ellis, investor, tech entrepreneur who covered the Digital Mission to New York and Ben Hayman, software entrepreneur and founder of mediatech advisors, Venture4th.

The finalists will be contacted in the next few weeks with an official announcement in the New Year.

Funding for South-West companies to attend SXSWi and Digital Mission

swscreen.gifWant to go to SXSWi but don't have the cash? Want to join the Digital Mission to SXSWi with 40 of the UK's hottest digital SMEs but a bit strapped? Located in the South-West?

This could be your lucky day.

South West Screen whose role in digital life is to help companies from the region take advantage of opportunities in the global market place. The lovely folks from iShed are handling the organisation and applications. There's space for six companies and the criteria is pretty broad:

So, if you:

  • are a web/mobile company working in the South West
  • have a track record of delivering brilliant, innovative work
  • have a thirst to promote yourselves and the region

Please note that the deadline for applications is 3 December 2008. Entries will be reviewed by iShed and South West Screen and the results will be announced in the final week of December 2008.

(from South West Screen website)

And of course, if you're looking to come on the Digital Mission there's a bursary towards the travel and accommodation costs. Check out the South West Screen website for more information and an application form.

Four days left to apply for Digital Mission to SXSWi

Digital Mission

What's the first thing that springs to mind when someone mentions "Austin" to you?

OK, so after the newly-hirsuite Rugby star turned sequined prancer, we're hoping it's Austin, Texas, home of South by South West interactive (SXSWi) conference. The sister to the hugely influential music festival, this gathering of digerati attracted nearly 10,000 delegates this year and is set to be even larger in 2009.

The Digital Mission to SXSWi, a trade mission organised by Chinwag for UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is an opportunity for 40 of the UK's hottest digital companies to benefit from a specially organised series of events, expo stand and promotional opportunities.

The mission is open to all UK-based digital SMEs and applying is a relatively pain-free process, through an online form. There's more information about the benefits and criteria for entry on the Digital Mission website.

Applications close on Monday 24th November 2008, yes, that's this coming Monday, so if you're thinking about coming along don't leave it too late to apply. If there's any questions, feel free to missionatchinwag [dot] com (drop us a line).

UK's leading digital companies beat the crunch with Digital Mission export boost

PRESS RELEASE: London, UK, Monday 10th November 2008

2869995048_15c46000c2_m.jpg Digital SMEs will get a timely export boost courtesy of the Digital Mission to South by South West interactive taking place in March 2009 in Austin, Texas.

Following the success of the Digital Mission to New York in September 2008, this second venture – also organised by Chinwag for UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) will assist firms to develop new business channels, partnerships, investment and detailed knowledge of the local market.

Chinwag and the UKTI will coordinate high profile networking events and marketing campaigns, and offer the opportunity to exhibit at South by South West Interactive. A unique ‘Nuts and Bolts’ masterclass will help British companies understand how to establish and develop their business in the USA, taking guidance from a panel of American and British experts.

The forty slots on the Digital Mission are open to any SME working in the digital sector ranging from web application developers, widget specialists, game developers through to web agencies, ecommerce operators, mobile developers and analytics providers. Companies will be selected by an expert panel of advisors including Techcrunch UK Editor, Mike Butcher, ex-Dragon Doug Richard and Codeworks CEO, Herb Kim.

The closing date for entries is Monday, 24th November. Further information, entry criteria and the application form is available through the Digital Mission website:

Chinwag CEO Sam Michel said, "The first Digital Mission provided great opportunities for the companies attending with several follow-up meetings, investment opportunities and insight into working in the US. The mission companies worked collaboratively to get the most out of it for each other and really proved the dynamism of the UK’s digital sector. The Digital Mission to SXSW interactive is an opportunity to build on this with a fantastic programme of events at one of the world’s most influential digital gatherings"

Both Digital Mission events are generously supported by official sponsors Sun Startup Essentials ( and legal experts, Winston & Strawn (

For more information, or to enter your company, please visit:


About Chinwag
The Chinwag community is a focal point for digital media practitioners in the UK and beyond ( Founded in 1996, it has grown into a community media company that publishes websites, discussion forums and blogs supporting the people and companies who work in the digital industry. In February 2007 the Chinwag Live events series launched (, topical panel discussions that have also gone on tour to the Internet World and Ad:Tech conferences, and recently extended to Manchester. Chinwag also publishes Chinwag Jobs (, the leading recruitment website for digital marketing, media, technical and design positions.

About UKTI
UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) can help you rise to the exciting opportunities and challenges that globalisation offers. We work with UK-based businesses to ensure their success in international markets. We also encourage the best overseas companies to look to the UK as their global partner of choice. UKTI offers expertise and contacts through our national and global networks. It's our goal to enhance the competitiveness of companies in the UK, and to attract a continuing high level of quality foreign direct investment.

About SXSW Interactive
The SXSW Interactive (SXSWi) festival and expo offers five days of panels, keynote discussions, Trade Show, and exciting evening events. Founded in 1994, SXSWi is one of the longest established and most influential gatherings of digital developers, creatives, marketers and thought leaders, a who’s who of the US Internet scene which last year saw over 9,500 delegates attending. SXSWi is part of SXSW week which includes a film festival and the world-famous music festival.

For further information, please missionatchinwag [dot] com (contact us).