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.

BBCW Labs Launch Digital Media Mentorship Event March 5th


Last year BBC Worldwide launched, BBC Labs a mentoring scheme, for digital media startups. Following the success of the current program which comes to a close next month a second program has been announced for 2013.

To kick-start this fantastic opportunity,there is an induction session to be held on March 5th from 6-8pm at Wayra's London Academy. Giving applicants the chance to meet hear from the Labs team.

If you want to participate, you can reserve a place at the induction session on March 5, or you can just go ahead and submit an application. The deadline for submissions is midnight (GMT) on April 4, 2013.

Attendees will hear from Claude London, Digital Director, BBC Worldwide. Claude will lead a panel discussion with three of the program’s current start-ups, Yakatak’s, Simon Davies, MiniMono’s Melissa Clark-Reynolds and Flooved’s Hamish Brocklebank.

Wayra’s Director, Ashley Stockwell, will be discussing the value of programs such as business accelerators, incubators, and weekend start-up sessions and the opportunities BBC Worldwide Labs has provided the start-ups in the current program.

// For more information and to register for the induction click here.

// To submit an application click here.

Photo (cc) zarrion 101.


UKTI Announces Guardian Activate India Trip 21-23 Mar - Register for Info

Indian Traffic

The Guardian’s Activate conference heads to Delhi on 21st March for an invite-only event bringing together leading influencers from technology, entrepreneurship and social innovation.

UKTI have a limited number of passes to Guardian Activate plus a local programme of activities and grants towards travel. There's more info coming soon, but in the meantime...

UKTITime is very limited, to register your application, fill pop a few details into the form here

We are gathering more information and will update the blog post as the information comes in.

// Fill in the application form here.

Photo (cc) Alex Graves

UKTI Announces China Mission Backed by Huawei: Applications Open


UKTI are working with Huawei to offer small and medium enterprises SMEs the opportunity to join them on a Mission to China running on the 18-22 March 2013.

A British Government will be your guide round Huawei’s facilities to discuss their procurement processes and supply chain opportunities in Shenzhen, Guangzhou, Beijing & Shanghai.

There are discounts and grants available to participants. Deadline for applications 15 February 2013.

Huawei a leader in ICT Global Solutions Provider industry, also one of the most important UK-China partners in the digital market.

Who Should Apply

  • Machine-to-Machine (M2M) Technology
  • Internet of Things and its Applications
  • Digital Media and Content
  • Software as a Service (SaaS)
  • Cloud Computing

Why Attend

  • Discover real business prospects
  • Gain understanding of Huawei’s procurement processes and supply chain
  • Demonstrate your company’s capabilities and expertise to Huawei through one-to-one meetings with relevant departments and local partners
  • participate in the second China UK Enabling Innovation Leadership Forum, networking with leading Chinese businesses and Government agencies
  • Increase your visibility and brand recognition. helping to build lasting relationships
  • Receive expert support and advice from UKTI staff based in China
  • Take advantage of substantial financial and logistical support available from UKTI

For more information about the mission and how to apply click here

Don’t forget you have until the 15th to be a part of the mission.

Photo (cc) Danis Matisons

UKTI Enabling Innovation ICT Mission to China892 KB

Digital Mission Success Story - ValoBox Goes From SXSW to NYC

With just over one month till our next Digital Mission to Social Media Week in New York, it seems like a great time to look back on how one of our Mission alumnae took advantage of the countless opportunities to network and connect with like-minded individuals on a Digital Mission trip and what success it was brought them less then just two years later.  

Anna and her colleague Oli, come along on the Digital Mission to SXSW 2011 to help promote their new start-up a book publishing hub which enables writers to access professional design, printing and distribution services and use the power of the web to promote their books. 

Now less than two years since their Digital Mission experience Anna and Oli have not only started a new company, ValoBox that in itself has experienced a huge increase in their business in the USA and the UK but they have been shortlisted in one of the publishing world’s biggest events, the Tools of Change Conference, New York, in the Startup Competition.

We couldn't be more proud of ValoBox and the success they have had since they come on the mission in 2011, to help them get through to the final they need votes so please do click here to show your support.

Anna has kindly shared her story about their success below. Let this give you the inspiration you need to apply to come along to our next Digital Mission trip to NYC for Social Media Week New Yorkthe deadline for applications is 6pm on Friday 18th January.

So over to Anna...

ValoBox Goes From SXSW to NYC

This week my company ValoBox made it on to the shortlist of the Startup competition at one of the publishing world’s biggest events, the Tools of Change Conference, New York. I’m trying to keep a lid on my excitement at the prospect of getting to the final, but it’s great to see our business getting increasing exposure in the US. It’s been almost two years since we first entered the US market on a digital mission with Chinwag to SXSW.

At that point we had a basic alpha version of ValoBox, our pay-as-you-go eBook reading platform. We’d gathered some interest in the UK but we knew that the biggest challenge facing us was to do deals with big publishers and quite a few of our target publishers were from the US.

SXSW was, as you’ll know if you’ve been, completely insane. So having an organisation like Chinwag there to help us hit the ground running  (often towards mightily tasty, founder-focused bbqs) made it much more manageable. I’d highly recommend the digital mission program: sessions where you could meet investors, other start-ups and hear from experienced UK businesses added some much needed structure to the week. And the rest of the time it was all about the networking.

SXSW was an excellent opportunity to chat over a beer with loads of people I kind of knew from places like twitter but hadn’t actually met. Some of those people we spoke to at SXSW have proved invaluable. Not only did they become, or connect us with, our current clients, but they’ve also been supporting us through advice and introductions ever since.

ValoBox offers a service whereby readers can access book content directly through their browser, and only pay for the chapters they need, rather than the whole thing up front. This is a new model, so it requires publishers to agree to selling and promoting their content in different ways. Having made friends with people who would put us forward to showcase our technology at conferences & events across Europe, India, and the US has been great for building up our reputation as a business, and helping to get the interest of big publishers.

After SXSW we built up relationships with publishers in San Francisco and spent a few months there in 2012. Now in 2013 we’re hoping that being in this Publishing Start-Up Showcase will help us kick things off on the East coast. There will be over 1000 people from top publishing companies attending. There’s another UK-based startup on the shortlist called Bookmachine who we’ll be rooting for too.

Something we found quite interesting is that international interest also seems to have led to a boost in our UK-based business. We now have a growing catalogue of thousands of books from a group of brilliant publishers from both sides of the pond.

To get through to the finals is a mixture of votes from judges and the public so if you like what we're doing over at ValoBox, please head over to the voting page and add a rating for us. It's in alphabetical order so you'll find us towards the end of the page.

We’d really appreciate it!

Photo (cc) Rachel Ford James

Want Your Social Media Week Fix Early? Get Involved With The Digital Mission & SMW NYC


As you may know, Social Media Week London will be returning to your streets in September 2013, however if you can’t quite wait that long then why not be a part of Social Media Week NYC in February where Chinwag will be joined by some great companies for a Digital Mission trip to New York.

SMW NYC looks set to be a great week with its global theme of Open & Connected: Principles for a Collaborative World being explored by speakers including Ben Kaufman, founder & CEO of Quirky, Cindy Gallop and the team, and Alexis Ohanian, co-founder of Reddit.

There are so many ways to get involved including interactive installations, classes and a main stage with programming centered on the Architects, Inventors and Collaborators changing our world, as well as the following hubs that will be hosting events during the week:

Advertising & Marketing Hub: JWT, a leading global advertising agency, will host conversations on the impact of creativity, collaboration and community in the world of marketing and brand communications.

Lifestyle & Culture Hub: No one does media quite like Hearst Corporation, the perfect place to talk arts, fashion, entertainment and cultural trends. Their mission is to inform, entertain, and inspire, which they have done for 125 years!

Business and Entrepreneurship Hub: A multinational mass media corporation with a premier site for business and financial market news.

Society and Social Impact Hub: 92Y is the city’s premiere nonprofit cultural and community center, and they’ve been all about social good since 1874! We couldn’t think of a better home for conversations on the role of social, digital and mobile media and their interplay with social change than 92Y’s downtown venue, 92YTribeca.

If you’d like to get involved with SMW NYC then why not take a look at the full agenda online now, registration opens on the 15th January 2013.

And if you are keen to get involved with the Digital Mission, then check out what's going on during the week, which companies have already been announced and then apply to come along. But don’t hang about as there are only two weeks left, the deadline for applications is Friday 25th January. Also, if you are a London based firm wanting to come along, UKTI London have up to 20 grants of £500 available as a contribution towards the trip.

// Check out the Social Media Week NYC Full Agenda

// Apply for the Digital Mission

Photo (cc) Social Media Week