WebMission 2011 Brings the UK’s Top “Web Technology” Companies to Silicon Valley

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This week, a select group of the UK’s most successful and promising web technology companies are visiting Silicon Valley and San Francisco as part of WebMission 2011. The companies selected for WebMission 2011 produce, and are developing, a wide range of web technologies, from Crisp Thinking, which uses behavioral analysis to stop cyber bullying, to BraveNewTalent, the next generation of online recruiting that harnesses the power of social media to build communities of potential employees and employers.

WebMission 2011

The technologies developed by mission companies change and benefit the way we network and interact with each other.

This week, a select group of the UK’s most successful and promising web technology companies are visiting Silicon Valley and San Francisco as part of WebMission 2011. The 18 companies are staying in the US between March 5th – 11th to participate in a range of activities, including developing business relationships and investment collaborations, as well as building partnerships and meeting with stakeholders. Companies who have attended the previous two WebMissions have raised over $60 million in private finance to date.

The companies selected for WebMission 2011 produce, and are developing, a wide range of web technologies, from Crisp Thinking, which uses behavioral analysis to stop cyber bullying, to BraveNewTalent, the next generation of online recruiting that harnesses the power of social media to build communities of potential employees and employers. Others include: ParcelGenie.com, a service that allows users to send real gifts to friends on social networks without needing to know the shipping address; BookingBug’s online system that allows users to book services for everything from a yoga class while on vacation to a neighborhood restaurant at home; and PeerIndex’s tool that measures your online “social capital.”

WebMission 2011 gives the entrepreneurs of these growing companies, already highly successful in the UK, the opportunity to engage with top US technology businesses, as well as meet with stakeholders, investors and potential business partners.

The mission companies represent the very best of the UK’s internet economy, which, if it were a separate sector, would be the UK’s fifth largest.

“Digital services are an area of development arguably capable of transforming the digital world, just as manufacturing transformed the physical world,” said David Bott, Director of Innovation Programmes at the Technology Strategy Board.

“The technologies developed by mission companies change and benefit the way we network and interact with each other. They take advantage of ubiquitous web and mobile technology to advance the industry,” Bott continued.

The mission is made possible by a range of public sector and private sponsors including the Technology Strategy Board, a UK government agency that promotes and supports research into technology with the belief that innovation gives companies a competitive edge and a springboard into the global marketplace. Additional sponsors include UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), which aims to add value to the UK economy by helping business succeed internationally, and international law firm Orrick’s Emerging Companies Group. The mission is also supported and delivered by partners Polecat, the Co-Sponsorship Agency, and The Long Run Venture.

“By bringing these companies to the Bay Area and Silicon Valley, the Technology Strategy Board and mission sponsors give them an opportunity to learn from colleagues while also offering US companies the opportunity to partner with the growing UK technology arena,” David Bott added.

“This mission gives the companies a unique chance to be exposed to how businesses and their peers here in the US achieve success, and that has potential to add a whole new dimension to their own business,” said UK Trade & Investment’s Vice Consul of Software, Helen Moore, who is based in San Francisco.

“This is about taking the UK’s brightest up-and-coming companies and introducing them in international markets—and at UKTI, it’s our mission to guide companies and facilitate access for them to key contacts, and so bring these innovative technologies to a global scale,” Moore continued.

The pace at which current technology trends evolve stimulates the need for business innovation, and the visiting UK companies will see just how US businesses are addressing these market opportunities. The mission is designed to ensure that the businesses taking part benefit from the collective impact of a well-run trade mission.

Oli Barrett from the Co-Sponsorship Agency, which is supporting the mission, said:

“Silicon Valley is one of the most inspiring, innovative places in the world. Where better to learn, and where better to share our vision about where we see the biggest opportunities of the next few years. Previous missions have shown us that this formula works, and we are looking forward to a busy week.”

The full list of participating companies can be found in the editors’ notes below and at the WebMission’s website: http://www.webmission.co.uk. From this site, you can also track the progress of the companies during their visit by following the social media pages.

Editor’s notes
The 18 companies selected for the 2011 mission produce, and are developing, a wide range of web technologies. These range from mobile applications, cloud computing, to new ways of interacting with social media. You can find their full profiles, logos and other WebMission collateral on the website’s Press Section: http://www.webmission.co.uk. To request the access passcode, please email deanna(dot)siste(at)graylingcp(dot)com.

The "Web Economy" refers to the individuals, enterprises, investors, clusters, sectors and value webs contributing to innovation in mobile, social, semantic and real-time web technologies; Cloud2; social gaming; and 3-D/RealVR environments.

The companies selected for the 2011 mission are:

  • BookingBug: bookingbug.com
  • Brainient: brainient.com
  • BraveNewTalent: bravenewtalent.com/
  • CloudApps: cloudapps.com
  • Conversocial: hello.conversocial.com/hello/
  • Crisp Thinking: crispthinking.com
  • housebites.com: housebites.com/
  • MADE.COM: made.com
  • Mobcast Services Limited: mobcast.co.uk/index.html
  • Qwerly: qwerly.com
  • oneDrum: onedrum.com
  • ParcelGenie.com: parcelgenie.com
  • PrismaStar: prismastar.com
  • Pusher: pusherapp.com
  • Rightster: rightster.com
  • Screenreach Interactive: screenreach.com
  • Skyscanner Ltd: skyscanner.net
  • PeerIndex: pi.mu

The Selection
‘Web Economy’ businesses were invited to compete for the opportunity to take part in the 2011 mission, with these 18 businesses ultimately selected for the mission by a panel of judges made up of representatives from sponsor organizations.

More information is available at http://www.webmission.co.uk and you can follow the progress of the 18 companies during their visit by following the social media pages on this site. We plan to include: an RSS feed, profiles of mission attendees, twitter fountain, video blogs from businesses, and a daily web log.

Additional information
The Technology Strategy Board is a business-led government body which works to create economic growth by ensuring that the UK is a global leader in innovation. Sponsored by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), the Technology Strategy Board brings together business, research and the public sector, supporting and accelerating the development of innovative products and services to meet market needs, tackle major societal challenges and help build the future economy. For more information please visit http://www.innovateuk.org.

UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) is the British government organisation that helps overseas companies bring high quality investment to the UK and also helps UK-based companies succeed in an increasingly global economy. UKTI provides a range of expert services, individually tailored to maximise a company’s international success. These services are offered through a network of international specialists in British Embassies and other diplomatic offices around the world, as well as key experts in government departments across the UK. For more information please visit http://www.uktradeinvest.gov.uk.

Orrick, Herrington & Sutcliffe LLP is an international law firm with more than 1,100 lawyers in 23 offices located in the major commercial centers of Asia, Europe and North America. Our technology practice is highly recognized and currently features more than 800 emerging company clients worldwide and some of the world’s largest and most successful technology companies. Orrick is dedicated to counselling emerging technology and life sciences companies, as well as the venture capital and investment banking firms that serve them. For more information, visit us at http://www.orrick.com/emerging.

Polecat helps organisations make business decisions by helping them navigate through the ever-growing amount of data online. Polecat’s MeaningMine product is one of the only business intelligence engines capable of weeding through the mountains of online activity to find the golden nuggets of information that are meaningful to answer burning, time sensitive questions. The power of the MeaningMine engine can be accessed in two ways: the executive dashboard that enables customers to monitor high level trends, quickly digest what’s being talked about and get a sense if anything has occurred which requires immediate attention; and the analyst portal that enables Polecat’s world class analyst team, and customer analysts, to produce insightful daily, weekly and monthly reports. Polecat can track how an organisation’s messaging is being received, what consumers and other stakeholders think of an organisation versus its competitors and peers, and how the conversation about a publically-listed company compares with its stock price movement. Polecat gathers market intelligence and builds dynamic lists of highly-relevant partner- or client-prospects and investment opportunities. Polecat’s MeaningMine product enables the WebMission partners to identify hundreds of potential company applicants for each Mission; 18 of the best of these companies are attending this year’s event. Call it industry analysis, extreme searching or market insight - however you define it, we can do it – visit us at http://www.meaningmine.com.

Oli Barrett is a founder of the Co-Sponsorship Agency, helping companies and causes around the world to create social action projects. He started Make Your Mark with a Tenner, the scheme which has challenged over 50,000 school pupils to see what they achieve in a just a month, starting with £10. Described by Wired Magazine as "the most connected man in Britain", he brought Speednetworking to the UK and has hosted events in 12 countries. In partnership with Polecat, he leads regular trade missions to San Francisco, helping British companies to pitch for funding and explore business opportunities. Oli's earlier entrepreneurial career included a student headhunting business, an international language practice website (sold in 2008) and a sock subscription website, which now ships to more than 15 countries. He spent two years on the Prime Minister's Council on Social Action, has written for various publications and blogs on his own site at http://www.olibarrett.com.

The Long Run Venture equips businesses to drive faster commercial returns from sustainability – now and for the long run. Working with entrepreneurs, corporations and enabling technologies, it drives high-growth, low-carbon opportunities through a combination of campaigns, venture partnerships and consultancy. Since its launch in October 2010, early successes include bringing the world's biggest clean-technology competition to the UK, developing a sustainable business strategy for City & Guilds, and its partnership with the Carbon War Room. http://www.thelongrunventure.com

Polecat and the mission sponsors including the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade & Investment are not acting for or on behalf of (as agent or principal) any of the companies whose promotional material is published in this release.

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