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.

Digital Mission NYC events line-up revealed

Big Apple here we come! The Web 2.0 Expo in New York is less than four days away and the Digital Mission calendar is now looking good and poised to host some serious action...

Digital Mission to NYC 2008 Want the lowdown? We're taking 21 of the UK's brightest and most innovative digital start-ups on a trade mission (in association with UK Trade & Investment, a government agency) to New York to make contacts, drum-up investor support and grow their business base in the US.

The trip coincides with the renowned Web 2.0 Expo in New York and we've put together an exciting itinerary of events, meet-ups and sessions both within and around the Expo.

Want to meet the Brits? Anyone who wants to get a flavour of some of the best new talent emerging from the UK's dynamic and well-established digital industries can come along. You could be a potential investor or client, a blogger or journalist, a conference delegate...

In return, you'll get a chance to mingle with the lively Brit contingent and get some insight to the web and mobile-focused enterprises cutting a swathe through the UK Web 2.0 scene.

The events are all free apart from the Web2Open 'Separated @ Birth' and 'Birds Of Feather' sessions which you can get access to by booking for a Web 2.0 Expo-only pass ($100).

Have a look through them, book for any you fancy, and hopefully we'll see you there!


Investors Networking Breakfast, Tue 16th Sept

Digital Media and Marketing Meetup, Tue 16th Sept

Digital Mission @ Digital Wednesdays, Wed 17th Sept

Web2Open: Separated @ Birth - Web 2.0 Expo, Thu 18th Sept /

Birds of a Feather: Britain's Got Digital Talent - Web 2.0 Expo, Thu 18th Sept


If you want to get in touch with us, or hook-up during the Web 2.0 Expo, register for the events you want to go to above and we'll see you there, or drop us a line on

You can also follow us here on the Digital Mission blog, on Facebook and you can signal your status regarding the New York events on Upcoming.

Finally - you can track down the locations of the various happenings via this handy map.


Plus, you can keep up with all the photographic evidence here on dedicated Digital Mission blogger Benjamin Ellis's Flickrstream , and all "digitalmission" tagged photos on Flickr here.

Legal boot camps for start-ups

You’re a young fledgling company, you’re just starting to get your head above water and keep afloat in the ever so fickle world of digital start-ups. The last thing you need is to fall foul of the law and have legal wranglings eating away at company time and profit.

Bootlaw from Winston & Strawn We all know how expensive lawyers can be and it’s even worse when you’re just starting out. Having to sell your granny or a minor organ to meet legal fees is not good at all.

There’s a company out there who are looking to change things by actively supporting the start-up community. Barry Vitou and Danvers Baillieu, those lovely lawyer chaps from Winston & Strawn, are putting together a monthly legal workshop, Bootlaw, that aims to offer free advice on the legal pitfalls of business expansion.

We’ve been lucky enough to have worked with Winston & Strawn before; they’re one of the sponsors of our Digital Mission. They’ll be coming along to New York with us and lending their legal expertise and insight into proceedings.

You never know, by coming along to Bootlaw you could be side-stepping some hefty legal bills in the future. Everything is informal, relaxed, fun and they even have pizza and beer….mmm pizza.

To make sure everyone at Bootlaw gets the most out of the nights, numbers are limited so get yourself signed up.

Digital Mission to New York: the London mixer

Digital MissionBefore that long flight to New York we thought it would be a great idea to get all the companies coming along on the Digital Mission together in one place so that we could break the ice before meeting each other at Terminal 4.

And so it was off to the offices of Sun Microsystems Ltd, one of our sponsors for the trip, to get the introductions underway. Even with the copious amounts of wine and nibbles floating around, the night’s meet and great turned out to be a very civilised affair.

First up, each company talked a bit about themselves and what they hoped to get out of the trip to the US. For Stewart Townsend of Sun Microsystems Ltd, the mission is all about:

"contributing back to the UK start-up industry"

The Digital Mission, for Stephen McGowan of the UK Trade and Investment, is primarily a chance for “a strategic look at how we can help move British web 2.0 companies into the US market.”

On the other hand Winston & Strawn, also sponsoring for the Digital Mission, the trip is as much about promotion as it is strategic expansion:

"It’s about actively promoting the UK tech industry abroad"

Reasons for the trip varied between companies but for the majority of those involved, the chance to make influential contacts was top of the list. Other organisations, like Harvest Digital, are looking for US investors to help spear-head their expansion into the states, while Veedow, the social media shopping platform, are wanting to build on the success of their existing American customer base. For a full list of the Digital Mission companies check out the mission blog.

At the very top of the list are the opportunities for investment and strategic partnership available to all those heading on the Digital Mission to New York who will be perfectly positioned to take advantage of the buoyant east coast talent pool.

SXSW Panel Picker - Pick Me, Pick Me

SXSW 2009It's SXSW interactive panel picker time. Emails, tweets, instant messages and many other forms of digital hasselage are doing the rounds as those with panels available for picking pimp their wares.

The public get to rate and comment on the panels being put forward. The process gives the speakers and panel-meisters a chance to refine their offering and the Panel Picker votes make up 30% of decision-making progress.

This has to make SXSW's conference one of the most crowd-sourced around. This year, there's also the Digital Mission to SXSW, a follow up to the New York expedition which aims to help 40 UK companies expand into the US.

We're chuffed that members of the Chinwag gang have five panels up for consideration, and of course, it'd be a delight and a pleasure if you'd like to post a vote or two. As there's lots of people touting their panels, we thought it'd be handy to summarise the best panels from other Brits pitching their panels.

If there's any missing, do let us know and we'll get them added.

Don't forget to vote soon - the process is dead easy, registration takes two tics. The panel picker is scheduled to close today, Fri 29th Aug.

Chinwag Panels Proposed for SXSWi

SXSW Panel PickerFrankenstein's Brands
Panel Chair: Umair Haque, Bubblegeneration / Havas

SXSW Panel PickerThe Dark Side of Social Media
Panel Chair: Sam Michel, Chinwag

SXSW Panel PickerMy Ten Biggest Blunders: Adventures in Business
Presenter: Sam Michel, Chinwag

SXSW Panel PickerWeb 2.0 Too Much Or Not Enough?
Panel Chair: tbc, Alan Patrick, Broadstuff

SXSW Panel PickerVRM - the Consumer's Revenge
Presenter: Doc Searls, Berkman Center for Internet and Society

Brit Panels Proposed for SXSWi

There's certainly no lack of inspiration with plenty of panels to check out:

A Few Choice Panels Proposed for SXSWi

As there's so many panels proposed, listed below are some particularly juicy submissions, followed by general links to all panels proposed by Brits.

SXSW Panel PickerPuppets, Theatre and the Conflation of ’Successful’ with ‘Popular’
Presenter: Ben Metcalfe,

SXSW Panel PickerVirtual Goods and Achievements to Keep Users Happy
Presenter: Nikhil Bobb, Yahoo! Brickhouse

SXSW Panel PickerThe Elimination of TIme and the Challenges of Crafting a Mobile Service
Presenter: Priya Prakash, Flirtomatic

SXSW Panel PickerThe Future of the Internet and How To Stop It
Presenter: Jonathan Zittrain, Oxford University; Oxford Internet Institute

SXSW Panel PickerTuxedos, Whales, Dances: The REALLY Mobile Web
Presenter: Doug Campbell, The Tuxedo Travels

SXSW Panel PickerEverything in Moderation, Socializing in Excess
Presenter: Rebecca Newton, Mind Candy Inc.

SXSW Panel PickerOooh, That's Clever! (Unnatural Experiments in Web Design)
Presenter: Paul Annett, Clearleft

SXSW Panel PickerWhat Do I Do With Myself, Now that the Economy Has Collapsed?
Presenter: Lane Becker, Get Satisfaction, Inc.

SXSW Panel PickerWalking the Tech Runway in Stilettos
Presenter: Mel Kirk, Aardman Animations

SXSW Panel PickerSocial and Nonprofits ROI: Case Study Slam
Presenter: Beth Kanter, Beth's Blog

SXSW Panel PickerSilicon Valley's Irrelevance in the Next Generation of Mobile
Presenter: Doug Richard, CEO of Trutap

SXSW Panel PickerHow Not To Be Evil (Even By Accident)
Presenter: Danny O Brien, Electronic Frontier Foundation

SXSW Panel PickerAre There Limits to FreeConomics
Presenter: Alan Patrick, Broadsight

As they say, vote early, vote often!

Digital Mission to NYC in map form

The preparations for Digital Mission to New York continue apace. There'll be lots of handy information when the Digital Mission companies get to New York, but to help with planning, the lovely Aoife has been working her magic with Google Maps. The map below shows the main venues (so far).

View Larger Map

The full interactive version of the map is available through Google Maps.

The aim is to have all the events within easy walking or cabbing if you're, erm, let's say tired. There's still a little tweaking to do on the Google My Maps thingy, but clicking on the place holders will give you more info. Or check out the full map for details.

Update: Aoife has done some more map-related magic, and the new map symbols should make it much easier to work out what's happening where Wink