The British are coming!

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I’m sure there is little requirement for even more Brits wandering around Silicon Valley – but I’m afraid it’s going to be unavoidable during the week of 19-25 April, as 20 UK startups invade, courtesy of the British government. Web Mission 08 is a project to bring 20 UK tech startups out to network with companies and people in Silicon Valley. Organised by UK entrepreneur Oli Barrett and consultants Polecat, the project was contributed to by TechCrunch UK and tech entrepreneur and investor Doug Richard. Over 100 companies applied to join. The aim is for the companies “to explore new opportunities for growth with key people in Silicon Valley.” As well as the government’s UK Trade Invest department, other sponsors include law firm Heller Ehrmann, British Telecom and the HSBC bank. Some supportive voices have come from Bebo’s Michael Birch, among others.

What was the criteria for coming? The judges were looking for companies who could do meaningful business in the US: from setting up office, to finding funding, to extending their network, and developing sustainable ‘cross-pond’ relationships. They also assessed the companies based on their business viability and the strength of the management team. And they looked for a mix of companies that showed the breadth of what the UK has to offer in this space.

The group has a schedule while it’s over and will also be visiting the Web 2.0 Expo conference. We may even persuade Mr Arrington to say hello. And if you want to meet with the startups, then email info@polecatting.com. Come say hi – we’re saving you a trip to London.

The confirmed companies for Web Mission 08 are:

Groupspaces – Web-based tools for groups
Tioti – A social network around TV
Exabre (TheFilter) – Advanced music recommendation
Coull – Interactive video platform
Zogix – Employee services platform
Byteplay (dotHomes) – Real estate search engine
Trampoline Systems – Enterprise software harnessing social behaviour
Hubdub – News prediction social network
WAYN – Travel and lifestyle social network
TrustedPlaces – Venue recommendation network
Slicethepie – Enabling bands to raise money directly from their fans
Mydeo – Mainstream application for storing and sharing video
Skimbit – Research and share decision-making application
Huddle – Enterprise 2.0 collaboration
Rummble – Mobile social networking and recommendation
Zebtab – Desktop TV application
Silobreaker – Contextual and graphic search results
Kwiqq – Social website builder
edocr – Making business documents interactive
ShortFuze – 3D online movie creation tools

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