Web Mission 08: UK startups to visit Silicon Valley

Next Story

DLP invades IMAX, replaces film

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

  • http://www.tactilecrm.com Jake Stride

    The Huddle link links to a domain for sale page. Is it huddle.net?

  • http://www.huddle.net/ Andy McLoughlin

    It is indeed huddle.net – I’ve already emailed Mike :S

  • Mike Butcher

    huddle.net – dang – I always get that wrong!

  • Scott

    Special congrats to Trustedplaces, Rummble and Zebtab, 3 great companies.

    Is WAYN a start-up though..they’ve been about for donkeys years?

  • http://www.manojranaweeram.com Manoj Ranaweera

    Thanks Mike for breaking news. “To do list” just went into overdrive.

  • http://www.skimbit.com Alicia Navarro

    I’m thrilled to be going along! Will be my first time in the Valley! And I’m thrilled at the company I’ll be keeping, we have so much to be proud of here in the UK!

    (Goodness I use a lot of exclamation points!)

  • http://www.twidox.com Nicholas

    From a company that was not chosen… good luck to all 20 of them. There are some really great once amongst the pick.

  • http://www.g2i.org Ian Shields

    Congratulations to all of the companies, in particular Trampoline, Huddle and ZebTab, all of whom have successfully completed the g2i investment readiness programme. Go for it.

  • http://www.g2i.org Ian Shields

    …and I forgot, if you’re looking for investment, you might light to go to http://www.g2i.org to see how we can help.

  • http://www.veedow.com Fabio

    Ok, this time I really screwed up. After I saw the *requirements* to qualify for the amazing Web Mission 08 program I decided not to apply. Things like “Have 2 years trading history, or failing that, compelling early-stage fast-track potential” + “Can provide references from key sponsors/industry players” + “Can Demonstrate some commitment to sustainable business practices (eg, positive environmental or social outputs)” seemed quite hard to sustain (and quite vague too).
    But some of the selected companies make me think I’m an idiot and should have applied too. Great chance lost… Another lesson learned.
    Good luck to the participants though.

  • http://fav.or.it/ nick halstead

    Congratulations to all the winners. A special well done to Edocr, Skimbit + Zebtab who I all know, and know how hard they all work and rightly deserve their places.

    sent from: fav.or.it [FID50047]

  • http://www.manojranaweeram.com Manoj Ranaweera

    Fabio – yeap you should have applied

    Nick – thanks mate

    Ian – geographical limitations

    Alicia – one of your colleagues contacted me few months ago wanting to demo at http://www.nwstartup20.co.uk – if this is still the case, let me know quickly – next date is 19th March – slots still available

  • http://www.manojranaweeram.com Manoj Ranaweera

    Hi All, set up a special interest group within edocr http://www.edocr.com/group/web… to bring greater publicity and collaboration to all those attending this mission. Hope you all will join. Guidelines http://www.edocr.com/node/2397

    Drop me an e-mail to manoj [at] ranaweera.name – this group is for attendees only and by invitation

  • http://www.flexiscale.com Tony Lucas

    We entered but weren’t successful, but I’m hoping to make it to SF anyway for the Web 2 Expo, so may well bump into those of you we already know, in the bar somewhere!

  • http://www.manojranaweeram.com Manoj Ranaweera

    Hey Tony, did not think you are a startup! Are you offering any hosting on Sun hardware? We spoke about this last year…

  • http://www.huddle.net Ali Mitchell

    Congratulations to all the companies that got invited. We’re delighted to be going along, should be a great experience. Can I also hijack this post to mention DrinkTank, our new meetup for UK tech entrepreneurs, investors and valued members of the network? Sign up here: http://entrepreneur.meetup.com/1678
    We’d love to see you all there…

  • http://www.flexiscale.com Tony Lucas


    We’re not a startup in terms of length of time we’ve been running, but in other ways we are. You didn’t need to be to enter anyway technically :)

    Hopefully bump into some of you over there anyway.

  • http://www.passpack.com Tara Kelly

    Huddle looks really great — I’ve been looking for a 37signals alternative for a while. Could this be my lucky day?

    Good luck guys!

  • http://www.rummble.com Andrew J Scott


    Thanks Scott!

    We’ll do our best to make everyone proud! ;-)


blog comments powered by Disqus