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.

Event: Unbundling the Bank - How Fintech startups are changing the financial services landscape

ATM Machine Graffiti Art in San Francisco by Tony Fischer  -

In the same way as many industries before it - think music, travel, publishing - financial services is in the midst of dramatic change. Fintech startups are nibbling away at every part of the traditional banks' value chain, and with London's firms attracting $500m investment last year there's clearly a few investors banking (pun intended) on it.

Unbundling the Bank - book here - Thursday (6-8pm, 9th Apr) brings together some of the country's top entrepreneurs and commentators to examine whether financial innovation is likely to be driven by the banks, start-ups, or through partnership between them.

Organised jointly with Cass Entrepreneur's Network, the session features presentations from Cass Business School's Professor of Strategy, Gianvito Lanzolla and world-reknowned expert on the future of banking and money, Dave Birch of Consult Hyperion.

Ben Rooney Dave Birch Professor Gianvito Lanzolla Mutaz Qubbaj Jonathan Kramer

They'll be joined for a panel discussion by Jonathan Kramer, Sales Director of the world’s first peer-to-peer lending company, Zopa and Mutaz Qubbaj, CEO & Co-founder of Squirrel, and one of Wired/Talent International’s 15 technologists to watch in 2015.

The debate will be moderated by Ben Rooney, co-Editor in Chief at Informilo, Technology journalist, and former Technology Editors at the Wall Street Journal Europe, will host the debate.

The session will be followed by networking drinks at Cass Business School in London. Tickets start from only £5 (students), £15 (startups)

// Unbundling the Bank - more information
// Unbundling the Bank - book tickets

Photo (cc) Tony Fischer on Flickr.


Boris Launches US Tech Mission - FinTech & EnterpriseTech Visit to Boston & NYC 9-14 Feb

Boris Launches US Tech Mission - 9-14 Feb 2015

Taking place 9-14 Feb the mission includes a week-long programme of briefings, company visits, networking receptions and pitch sessions coinciding with the Mayor's visit to Boston and New York in February.

Organised by the Mayor's Export Programme, UK Trade & Investment and TechCityUK with support from Chinwag, this is a unique opportunity for the UK's top FinTech and EnterpriseTech firms. The catch? The deadline for applications is: 14 January.

There's good reason to get your application in quickly.

In addition to attending at least one reception with the Mayor in New York, there'll be company visits, roundtables, networking receptions focused specifically on FinTech and EnterpriseTech firms in both Boston and New York.

Why come?

  • Accommodation costs will be covered by the Mayor’s Export Programme
  • Pre-arranged Market Visit programme in Boston and New York City
  • VIP networking receptions, in-market briefing, group visits and B2B meetings
  • Pitching training and advice at the pre-mission briefing 26 January 2015
  • Company profile features in mission brochure circulated to US companies

The cost of the mission is only £250+VAT and delegates will need to cover their international air fare and subsistence expenses.

It's not a peak time, so fares are around £450, although dress warm, it's a little chilly on the US East coast this time of year.

A flyer is available with further details and companies can apply using this form.

Photo (cc) Sterling Communications on Flickr.

Boris Johnson Backs Great Enterprise Tech Expedition to US as London Tech Firms Hit $1bn Invesment [press release]

Great Tech Expedition Group

London's Mayor, Boris Johnson added his support to this week's Great Tech Expedition to the US, organised by the Mayor's office, UK Trade & Investment with support from Chinwag's trade mission experts, who programme the Digital Mission series.

He said, “We are a city packed with entrepreneurs who are experts in their field and my commitment to them is to provide whatever assistance I can to set them on the path towards international success. The opportunities that this whirlwind tour presents will convert into dollars for the companies and regeneration, jobs and growth back home in London."The mission comprises 17 of the UK's leading EnterpriseTech startups visiting Chicago, Boston and New York this week and includes meetings with JP Morgan Chase, a VC pitching session, briefings on local markets, visits to MIT Media Lab, incubator 1871, Fidelity's FCAT facility with receptions in each city.

To follow the trip follow #gte14 on Twitter and @digitalmission. To keep up-to-date on future Digital Mission trips, sign up for the free Digital Mission newsletter.

London tech superstars join forces with the Mayor of London and UKTI to tackle the US market

New figures reveal London’s technology firms have attracted more than one billion dollars of investment in 2014

A group of ambitious London tech firms have arrived on American soil this morning (6 October) on a week-long mission to showcase their digital and technology expertise and win new investment in the capital. Their visit begins on the day it was revealed that technology firms in the capital have attracted more than one billion dollars of investment already in 2014. 

Seventeen the of the capital’s fastest growing technology start-ups have joined ‘The Great Enterprise Tech Expedition’ for a mission that will see them explore commercial opportunities and build relationships with key U.S. enterprises in New York, Boston and Chicago. While in the United States they will network across financial & business services, life sciences, retail, media and education brands. Firms were chosen to take part in the trip based on their dynamism, traction in local and international markets, readiness to do business in the US, and ability to gain interest in the highly competitive US tech and investor landscape.

The Great Enterprise Tech Expedition is one of the trade missions organised as part of the Mayor’s Export Programme, delivered in partnership with UK Trade & Investment, with the aim of providing the capital’s businesses with practical information and help to trade overseas. The Export Programme is funded by the London Enterprise Panel, which supports the creation of jobs and growth in the capital.

Today London & Partners, the Mayor’s Promotional Campaign for London, released new quarterly figures that show technology firms in the capital have attracted more than $1 billion of investment in 2014. The $1.021 billion raised by tech firms during the first three quarters of this year is almost 30 per cent more than the previous full year record of $719 million raised during 2013. It is also more than 10 times the amount raised in the full year 2010, highlighting the success of initiatives such as Tech City and London Technology Week. 

The Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, said: “London’s innovative approach to the tech sector is the envy of start-ups the world over. We are a city packed with entrepreneurs who are experts in their field and my commitment to them is to provide whatever assistance I can to set them on the path towards international success. The opportunities that this whirlwind tour presents will convert into dollars for the companies and regeneration, jobs and growth back home in London.

“The figures released by London & Partners today show, without any question, that this is an incredible period for technology firms in our city. Tech is blossoming and our reputation for innovation and discovery, allied with outstanding talent, is attracting record breaking levels of investment from around the globe.”  

Quote from Keith Moses, Tech City Adviser- UK Trade and Investment’s (UKTI)

We are very excited to bring together such an inspiring collection of early stage and rapidly growing enterprise technology companies. This group represents the very best in emergent fin tech, ed tech and enterprise technology. Our expectation for the trip is that this group will help to raise awareness of the pace of innovation taking place in London. The size and breadth of the US market is both an opportunity and a challenge which is why the support and help from the Mayor of London and UKTI is so critical these start-ups.

Quote from Michael Wilmott of Knodium, one of the mission companies,

Knodium are thrilled to have been invited to join such a high calibre of companies in the Great Tech Expedition. It’s a fantastic opportunity for us to take the first steps in exploring the US market. The support provided and opportunity to connect with US companies is something very hard to achieve individually. 

Businesses attending the trade mission will hear the experiences of several companies and individuals who are already operating successfully in the United States. Highlights include a question and answer session with UK ex-pats, tax and accountancy advice, presentations on the local economy and networking events. 



1. The Great Tech Expedition is supported by The Mayor’s Export Programme, which seeks to increase the number of London SMEs trading internationally by providing practical assistance for London based companies new to exporting overseas or seeking to grow their business in emerging markets.

2. The Great Tech Expedition to the United States in October 2014 will support 17 London & Tech City based companies seeking to capitalise on interest in emerging technologies. The businesses taking part will learn about the American market and meet with prospective customers and partners in New York, Boston and Chicago.

3. For more details on the companies taking part, visit The full list of participating UK tech start-ups is:

  • AltViz
  • Century
  • Decibel Insight
  • Digital Shadows
  • FinGenius
  • GOAL Group
  • Gojimo
  • Knodium
  • Kusiri
  • Natterbox
  • Paperfold
  • ReadyCache
  • RefME
  • Rezonence
  • Screendragon
  • Show My Homework
  • Wazoku

4. A new quarterly barometer measuring venture capital investment into London’s technology companies – published by London & Partners, the Mayor’s promotional company for London, shows that technology firms in the capital have attracted more than $1 billion investment so far in 2014.

5. There are currently more than 34,000 digital technology firms in London. That number is expected to rise to 45,000 in the next decade creating 46,000 new jobs and creating more than £12 billion of economic activity, according to recent research by Oxford Economics. 

MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Press information is available by emailing economicdeskatlondon [dot] gov [dot] uk or calling 020 7983 4070.

GENERAL PUBLIC/NON-MEDIA ENQUIRIES: Call the Public Liaison Unit at the Greater London Authority on 020 7983 4100

DUTY PRESS OFFICER: For out-of-hours media enquiries, please call 020 7983 400

Photo (cc) Chinwag on Flickr.

Digital Mission Teams Up With Mayor of London for Enterprise Tech Mission to Chicago, Boston, NYC

The Great Tech Expedition - Chicago, Boston, NYC - 5-10 Oct 2014

We’re excited to announce the next Digital Mission trip, the Great Enterprise Tech Expedition, a collaboration with UK Trade & Investment, the Mayor of London and TechCityUK, supporting 20 of the UK’s fastest growing cloud software firms on a whistlestop 3-city US mission covering Chicago, Boston and NYC from 5-10th Oct 2014.

B2B startups are often seen as less glamourous than their consumer-facing counterparts, but it’s clear from the huge interest in this trip - 15 of the places have already been snapped up - that FinTech, EdTech and HealthTech (insert your own B2B buzzword here)  are thriving.

Enterprise Tech Mission

The trip will explore commercial opportunities for EnterpriseTech firms and build relationships with key US enterprises across financial & business services, life sciences, retail, media, education and FMCG/CPG brands across these key three cities in the US.

The US cloud computing industry has grown from an estimated $46bn in 2008 to $150bn in 2014 with nearly 50% of worldwide cloud computing revenue coming from the USA. Gartner forecasts worldwide SaaS revenues at $21.3bn, $22bn for PaaS and enterprise software revenues of $347bn in 2015.

Last Chance to Apply

The deadline for applications is 1st September and with places allocated to qualifying companies on a first-come, first-served basis and with huge demand 15 have already been snapped up.

The application process is very straightforward with subsidies for London-based SMEs reducing the cost to £500+VAT including accommodation in the US.

For more information:

// Great Tech Expedition
// Apply now

Building Apps for Japan - #Webinar with Haru Takahashi, Ex-Eidos Japan

Japanese Smartphone Market

The biggest spenders on mobile content? According to recent reports, Japan leads the world in paying for mobile content. Spend in Japan and Korea has grown 40% since 2012.

Monument Valley from London-based ustwo has been a huge hit, reaching number 10 in Japan's April 2014 download charts. There's clearly an appetite for British content amongst Japanese mobile consumers.

UPDATE: The recording of the webinar is now live [free registration required].

Mobile Content Webinar

Find out more about the Japanese mobile content market from Haru Takahashi, former Marketing & Sales Director of Eidos Japan in a free webinar on 24 July hosted by UKTI Japan.

Registration is free - you will need to register on the website before being able to register for the webiner, sorry.

The Speaker

Haru TakahashiHaru Takahashi, Vice President of Interarrows and the former Marketing & Sales Director of Eidos Japan, will give you infomation about the recent changes and trends of the Japanese mobile content market and provide you with insight into what content is being sought.

After working at Tokyu Agency, Haru Takahashi joined Dow Chemical as a Brand Manager. Following this, he worked as Marketing Director at Jupiter Programming and Livedoor (free ISP). Prior to joining Interarrows he was the Marketing & Sales Director at Eidos, the largest videogame company in the UK. At Interarrows, he is responsible for the management of gaming and other digital entertainment content worldwide.

// Register for Mobile Content webinar