Web Mission 08: UK startups to visit Silicon Valley

Well, after months of planning and an application and judging process lasting several weeks, Web Mission 08, the project backed by UK Trade Invest, Heller Ehrmann, BT and HSBC to take 20 UK tech startups out to network in Silicon Valley, is ready for launch. Organised by UK entrepreneur Oli Barrett and Polecat, the project had an overwhelming response with over 100 companies applying.
Who judged all this? TechCrunch UK was asked to contribute thoughts on the applicants (TCUK is also the official media partner), as was well known tech entreprenuer, investor and former Dragon Doug Richard, along with UK Trade Invest, Oli Barrett and Polecat. We were all really impressed with the quality of the applications. In the words of Doug Richard “some of these companies are as good as anything coming out of the Valley”. And sponsors Heller Ehrmann are issuing a statement today saying: “The sheer volume of applicants provides convincing evidence of the depth and breadth of emerging growth technology companies in the UK. The shortlist of companies selected demonstrates that the UK is able to produce credible web businesses.”

What was the criteria? 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 aim is for the companies “to explore new opportunities for growth with key people in Silicon Valley.”

So, without further ado, 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 networking community

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 decisions

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 – Online movie creation tools for social networks