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 New York 08 finalists revealed

Now the judging is over, we're hugely pleased to announce which UK companies will be going on the Digital Mission to New York and the Web 2.0 Expo next month from 14th-19th September...

B View -
Harvest Digital -
Head London -
Headshift -
Huddle -
idiomag -
KMP Interactive Marketing and Technology -
Market Sentinel -
Mippin -
Littleloud -
QuickTV -
Slicethepie -
Smarkets -
Sweemo -
Tactile CRM -
Tempero -
UGame -
UnLtdWorld -
Unruly Media -
Veedow -
WorldTV -

More details on the companies, and their delegates, can be found on the NYC 08 Companies page.

Thanks to all the enterprising companies who applied at such short notice. The talent on display was very impressive and we were literally awed by the calibre of business and innovation in the mix! The broad swathe of companies is also testimony to the bouyancy, creativity and profound depth of the UK digital scene.

Thanks also to our stellar and very committed advisory panel for lending their expertise to the selection process.

Don't forget, you can still apply for the next Digital Mission to SXSW Interactive in Austin, Texas 13th-17th March 2009. It'll be an even bigger affair - with 40 UK companies making the journey to the world's biggest interactive festival and conference.

To get details on that and be notified of when entry opens for the SXSW mission, sign-up to our Digital Mission email list on this page.

Finally, many thanks to our sponsor Winston & Strawn for making this exciting trade mission for some of the best upcoming UK digital businesses a reality. Thanks also to our partners TechCrunch UK and Seedcamp.

Digital Mission companies coming soon...

2234809424_a240d74a0d_m.jpgLike any good web project, it always takes a fraction longer than you think it's going to.

The judging process is now over and the team are beavering away contacting the successful companies. With a bit of luck, a following wind and some fast and furious email activity the official list of successful Digital Mission companies will be released tomorrow.

The slight delay is to allow confirmation that companies can attend and to make sure that all their details are correct. Always important when facing immigration officials and the like. Successful applicants will receive an email with further information today.

For those that didn't make it this time, don't forget that the mission to SXSW interactive, next March will have nearly twice as much space on it. To make sure you get the inside skinny on that trip, make sure you sign-up for the Digital Mission email newsletter.

As always, if you have any questions, drop us a line at or call 020 7183 2923.

[Pic courtesy of elusive]

Digital Mission Judgement Day

Piles of applications ready for the advisory board's verdictOK, so it's probably time I caged my inner drama queen, but that shouldn't detract from a very important day in the build-up to the Digital Mission to NYC. Judgement day, of sorts.

Our esteemed board of advisors meets this afternoon to work their way through the impressive stack of applications for the mission. Impressive in many ways. The number of entries, 55 in total, in just ten days with very little notice proves that the digital sector isn't only thriving but it's dynamic.

There's also a broad range of companies from start-ups to well established agencies, mobile companies, creative agencies, web application developers, digital agencies, e-learning tools and more. There's a good geographic spread with a number of entries from the North-East, North-West, South-West and the Midlands as well as London and the South-East.

Barring major incident - fisticuffs over business models or a lock-down at the judging venue - the results should be announced tomorrow (Tue 29th July) and our team will be contacting the successful applicants individually to tie up all the loose ends.

Thanks to Barry and Danvers at Winston & Strawn, who we're also welcoming as sponsors of the Digital Mission (thank you guys) for hosting the judging session at their London offices.

And finally, thank you to all the companies and individuals who applied. Hopefully the form wasn't too onerous, but it was a very humbling to have so many people respond so quickly and so positively. Big respect.

Digital Mission to New York FAQ

New York City There's only a short while left to get applications in for the Digital Mission to NYC (deadline today, Wed 23rd July) and there's been heaps of questions about the mission itself. The team have been working flat out over the last few days to respond to email and phone queries.

The main queries have been gathered together and summarised here, which hopefully will be useful for companies thinking about applying for the New York mission, but also those wanting to better understand the hows, whys and wherefores of the application process and the mission itself.

The Application Process - how's it work?

The entry criteria are deliberately broad so the process is as inclusive as possible. Each application will be looked at by the advisory panel, who will assess how well the application meets these criteria. Essentially, applications are answering the question, "Is this company ready to do business in the US, do they have a credible plan or business that will attract clients or investors in the US market?"

The target for Digital Mission to NYC is to take 25 companies along. The final number may be slightly lower or slightly higher, depending on the applications and the feedback from the advisory panel.

The Deadlines - bit short?

Yes, don't we know it and apologies for the rush. Whilst it's not ideal, it does make for some clear focus. Unfortunately, the mavens of the travel industry have decreed that all the details for the Digital Mission companies have to be confirmed a minimum of 6 weeks before departure, hence the haste. We anticipate a slightly more relaxed process for the Digital Mission to SXSWi, Mar 2009.

Fortunately, we've been generously helped by lots of friends in the media, loads of bloggers and many prominent networking groups have helped spread the word. Hopefully, the news has reached pretty much everyone who might be interested in coming along. If you know people, do spread the word though.

The Contribution - £2,500, bit pricey?

To paraphrase the famous song, "New York, New York, so good they charged double". Lots of people have asked about the contribution towards the costs. Here's the skinny. The contribution covers the air fares, transfers, hotel accommodation, an Expo Hall Plus pass to Web 2.0 Expo and a small contribution towards the research costs involved with setting up meetings in New York, networking events, social events and lots more.

By far and away the biggest chunk of the costs overs the flights and hotel. The £2,500 is a guide based on our initial budgeting and also the rising cost of travel - oil prices, ouch! - but we're doing everything we can to cut costs or find extra funds to reduce this. The Web 2.0 Expo coincides with Interop and a UN Conference which means the hoteliers in Manhattan are rubbing their hands with glee at the prices they can charge.

The contribution to costs will be confirmed when successful companies are contact early next week (w/c 28th July).

What do I get - what's happening?

Good question. And number two on the list of the most popular. Here's a bullet point list for handy reference:

  • discounted travel, accommodation and planning services
  • masterclass for doing business in the US
  • itinerary designed around your company's requirements
  • networking events - specific Digital Mission, official Web 2.0 Expo events, and more
  • press and blog coverage of the Digital Mission
  • strength in numbers - more attention and more focus on your company as part of the group
  • pass to Web 2.0 Expo Hall, keynotes and more...

Many of the specific details are still being tied down. The aim is to make this trip as productive as possible for the companies on the Digital Mission. Some of the aspects will be tailored specifically to the companies attending, for example the meetings with clients/partners/investors. Likewise with specific networking events and the reception, where the invite list will be tailored around mission company's requirements.

Still got questions?

There's probably lots of other questions that haven't cropped up, so do feel free to call (020 7183 2923) or email and we'll be happy to help.

Pic: courtesy of Stuck in Customs

Digital Mission announces stellar advisory board

Wise counsel from external experts is certainly a factor in creating a successful business. Their mission is to help whittle down the applications (don't forget the deadline is Wed 23rd July to get yours in), and help shape the Digital Mission so that the successful companies get the absolute maximum benefit from the trip.

Digital Mission is extremely fortunate to benefit from the considerable wisdom of our expert advisory board...

Nic Brisbourne - Partner, DFJ Esprit

Nic has been in venture capital since 2000. In that time he has worked in London, Europe and Silicon Valley. His main areas of focus have been software and media. Prior to DFJ Esprit he was with Reuters Venture Capital. Nic's investment experience includes (sold to AOL for $125m) and UltraDNS (acquired by Neustar - NYSE NSR). He currently manages DFJ Esprit's investments in Zeus, WAYN and Tribold. Prior to joining Reuters Nic worked for Operis, a software and services start-up, and Cap Gemini. Nic also authors a blog commenting on the European technology and venture capital markets.

Mike Butcher - Editor, Techcrunch UK & Ireland / Mbites

TechCrunch UK & Ireland is edited by Mike Butcher. A former editor of New Media Age magazine, and The Industry Standard Europe. He has written for UK national newspapers including the The Financial Times, The Guardian, The Times and magazines including The New Statesman. He has launched or relanched several media web sites and in 2004 he was voted ‘One of the 100 Innovators of the UK Internet Decade’ by GfK NOP, the fourth-largest custom research business in the world. He has appeared on BBC News, Sky News, Channel 4 and Bloomberg, commenting on technology and new media. His personal blog is mbites, while he Twitters here. In July 2008 Mike was put at No. 47 out of the Top 100 people in London’s creative industry the UK by The Independent newspaper and The Hospital Club.

Enda Carey - Head of Games & Digital Content, Northwest Vision and Media

Having graduated from University College Cork, Ireland, with a B.Commerce Honours degree, Enda brings with him a wealth of experience in both the traditional games and the mobile sector. He has worked in the past for Game Limited in various roles from managing stores through to trade marketing manager for the group, Sony Computer Entertainment as brand manager, as marketing director for iFone Ltd where he helped establish them as a leading publisher of mobile games and most recently as MD of publishing at Telcogames.

Herb Kim - CEO, Codeworks

As the CEO of Codeworks, a centre for digital innovation based in North East England, Herbert brings 14 years of experience in technology and media related businesses. Prior to his current role, Herbert was at mm02, where he was originally Head of Business Development for BT Cellnet and then Head of Marketing for 02’s incubator division. Other senior roles include UK Managing Director for, Head of Partner Relations at Bertelsmann’s E-commerce shop, General Manager of Blackwell’s Online Bookshop and Marketing Manager at IBM. Herbert has an MBA in Strategic Management from Wharton School and graduated in History, with honors at Princeton University. Herbert was born in Brooklyn, NY and has resided in the UK for eight years.

Doug Richard - Chairman, Library House, Ex-Dragon & Founder, Cambridge Business Angels

Having appeared in the first and second series of Dragons' Den, Doug is the founder and Chairman of Library House, Founder and Vice-Chairman of the Cambridge Angels, Chairman and CEO of Trutap, and Chairman of the Conservative Party Small Business Task Force. Doug is a successful entrepreneur with 20 years' experience in the development and leadership of technology and software ventures, both in the US and in the UK. Between 1996 and 2000 he was President and CEO of Micrografx, a US publicly quoted software company which he sold to Corel Corp. in 2000. Prior to that he also founded and subsequently sold two other companies: Visual Software and ITAL Computers. In 2006 Doug was an Honorary Recipient of The Queen's Award for Enterprise Promotion.

Reshma Sohoni - CEO, Seedcamp

Reshma joins Seedcamp from the Venture team at 3i. Prior to 3i, Reshma spent over 3 years at Vodafone in their Commercial Strategy team, working across the Europe and Japan footprints in marketing strategy and pricing functions. Reshma started her career in the US in investment banking (Broadview) and venture capital (Softbank).