Digital Mission to SXSWi 09 - Activities

Digital MissionDigital Mission is organised by Chinwag for UK Trade & Investment, enabling digital companies to expand into overseas markets and attract investment outside the UK.

This is a rough guide to Digital Mission activities during SXSWi. For a full SXSWi schedule please see:

Full SXSWi schedule:

Full SXSWi parties and networking event:

Upcoming also has a comprehensive list of parties and networking events to keep an eye out for.

Thursday 12th March, 2009

Digital Mission companies arrive in Austin, Texas.

20:00 CST onwards - Optional informal drinks to kick off the Digital Mission

Venue: (to be confirmed) The Iron Cactus, 606 Trinity St. Austin, Tx 78701 Tel: 512.472.9240 (Map)

Friday 13th March, 2009

SXSW interactive conference opens in the afternoon.

SXSWi schedule - Friday

09:00 - 14:00 Master class - Doing Business in the US

Palm Door Address: 401 Sabine St. Austin, TX 78701

The Master class will be made up of four sessions to include:

  • Legal aspects of setting up shop in the US
  • Advice on how to get started, Nuts and Bolts of the US Market
  • Handy hints and experiences from British companies who are already established across the pond and
  • Tips on how to get the best out of SXSW interactive

Itinerary for the morning:

9:00 - 9:30

Breakfast upon arrival and networking

9:30 - Welcome

A short welcome to the Digital Mission from Chinwag's CEO, Sam Michel to thank sponsors and outline the morning's proceedings.

9:35 - Understanding the Red Tape

A session comprising of representatives from the international law firm Winston & Strawn amongst others, to discuss the practicalities of launching a successful business state-side.

Topics covered will include:

  • Legal ramifications
  • Corporate structure and tax implications
  • Patents and intellectual property
  • Structuring investment
  • Employment and labour issues in the US
  • Recruiting in the US
  • there will be the opportunity to ask any specific questions too


Kimberly Eckhart Kimberly Eckhart - Senior Attorney, Winston & Strawn, San Francisco
Kimberly Eckhart is a senior attorney in the firm's San Francisco office who focuses her practice on domestic and international trademark counseling, prosecution, and infringement matters. Ms. Eckhart has represented a variety of emerging and established companies in the Internet/e-commerce, financial services, healthcare, computer technology and services, food and beverage, nonprofit, environmental, apparel, and entertainment areas. Her litigation experience includes representations of clients in federal and state court and domestic and international mediation and arbitration proceedings involving intellectual property, domain names, unfair competition, securities, breach of contract, lease disputes, IDEA, and political risk insurance issues

Michel Schumacher Michel Schumacher - Corporate Associate, Winston & Strawn, San Francisco
Michel Schumacher joined the firm in 2007 as a corporate associate. Ms. Schumacher's practice focuses on general corporate law, securities law, mergers and acquisitions, and venture capital financing transactions. She has extensive experience representing both venture funds and companies in venture capital financing transactions. Ms. Schumacher also assists public companies in their compliance with SEC periodic disclosure, corporate governance, and Sarbanes-Oxley requirements.

The session will be chaired by Barry Vitou, Partner, Winston & Strawn, London office and Bootlaw co-host.

10:35 - Break for refreshments

10:50 - Nuts and Bolts of the Local Market - US digital market overview

Introduction by a representative from UKTI post followed by a look at the US digital market.


  • Amir Mirabi of the Office of the Governor of Texas
  • Eric Engineer of Sevin Rosen Funds
  • Bart Bohn of the Austin Technology Incubator (tbc)
  • Representative from local start-up (tbc)

11:50 - 12:45 Real-Life Tales of US Expansion

Views from British and American start-ups. Questions to be raised/answered will include:

  • What were the challenges?
  • What worked and what didn't?
  • How does a British firm stand out in the highly competitive US market?
  • How long did it take to get established?
  • What networking events/ conferences did you attend to raise profile?
  • How long did the process of setting up take?
  • SXSWi overview
  • Any other topics and concerns


Piers Lingle - General Manager for the Consumer Applications Business, CoreObjects Piers Lingle - General Manager for Consumer Applications, CoreObjects
Piers Lingle is the general manager for the Consumer Applications business at CoreObjects. Prior to joining CoreObjects, Piers was a founder and key member of several successful software startups that were clients of the company. Piers co-founded and was the VP of Product Development at, a Los Angeles, California-based company that provides Internet-based mailing and shipping services (NASD: STMP). At CoreObjects Piers is responsible for developing and expanding the consumer applications business through strategic planning, marketing development, and customer acquisition.

Andy McLoughlin - Co-Founder/Product Director, Andy McLoughlin - Co-Founder/Product Director,
Andy McLoughlin is co-founder and product director at, the unified collaboration, project management and document sharing service. A frustrated economist and web designer, he spends his days scrutinising font sizes, worrying about usability and discussing pricing & packages. Andy has been working with the web and collaboration for almost a decade and is heavily involved in the London start-up community.

12:45 - 13:00 Getting the best out of SXSW interactive

Andy Budd - Founder dConstruct, UX London and CEO, Clearleft
User Experience Designer and CEO of Clearleft, Andy is the author of CSS Mastery, curates the dConstruct and UX London events and is responsible Silverbackapp, a low cost usability testing application for the Mac. Andy is a regular at international conferences and this is his fourth time speaking at SXSW.

  • SXSW representative (TBC)

13:00 - 14:00 Informal networking over lunch

14:00 - 18:00 Free time to recover from jet lag

Saturday 14th March, 2009

SXSWi schedule - Saturday

10:00 - 11:00 - Digital Mission panel session

Transatlantic Troubleshooting: Getting into Europe's New Media Market

The European market with over 500 million citizens is an enormous single market, with the UK providing a natural first-step for US companies looking to expand East-wards. After all, we share (pretty much) the same language.

Challenging economic times mean the search for lucrative new markets is more important than ever. Quiz the panel and discover what it’s like to do business in the UK and Europe, how to find partners, and stay gaffe-free. Get the skinny on the fast-moving tech, mobile and games scene.


Venue: Austin Convention Centre, 500 E Cesar Chavez, Austin, Texas 78701 - Room C

12:00 - 18:00 - SXSW interactive trade show opens

The Digital Mission stand is available for meetings, wifi pilfering, tweeting, catching up on email and much more. It's a big old beast and will be our base at the convention centre.

If you'd like to bring promotional material along to give away, please do! Just bear in mind that it is up to the individual company to transport their goods out to Austin and that there isn't a lot of storage space.

We'll have a front desk for leaflets, flyers etc and also a couple of literature stands.

If you are launching a product, service, app, etc at SXSWi please emilyatchinwag [dot] com (let us know). You can demo as much as you like using your laptop, the tables etc but if you'd like to demo on the plasma screens please let us know - we'll accomodate as much as possible but please bear in mind that the stand is representing all companies on the Digital Mission.

Sunday 15th March, 2009

SXSWi schedule - Sunday

12:00 - 14:00 - Texas Tuttle Club

Tuttle Club comes to Texas

The renowned weekly get-together is coming to Texas for one day only. Every Friday morning, a loose group of people come together to talk and work around social media at London’s ICA. There are allied and similar groups in Brighton, Birmingham, Cardiff, Newcastle and Manchester and with so many of the Tuttle group in Austin, a gathering with like-minded souls from the UK and the US is planned with tea, coffee, pastries and fresh fruit to help the discussion along.

Tuttle Club Site:

YouTube from Tuttle Club:

Location: Digital Mission stand

12:00 - 16:30 - Expo day

The Digital Mission stand is available for meetings, wifi pilfering, tweeting, catching up on email and much more. We'll update stand activities as they are confirmed but it's a big old beast and will be our base at the convention centre.

16:00 - 18:00 - SXSWi Block Party

SXSWi Block Party "Based on the ever-popular pub crawl, the SXSW Block Party is hosted by a number of trade show exhibitors. Registrants will be able to enjoy complimentary food and drinks while mingling with different exhibitors. For example, one booth may offer a wine bar while another is serving queso and margaritas."

One of our lovely sponsors, Sun Startup Essentials are kindly sponsoring some drinks and nibbles on the Digital Mission stand.

Monday 16th March, 2009

SXSWi schedule - Monday

8:00 - 10:00 - Private tour of the capitol building

The Office of the Governor has invited the Digital Mission companies on a private tour around the capitol building, with the chance to meet with the Deputy Secretary of State and several other state officials.

This is a great opportunity to see another side of Austin and there will be a photo opportunity as well.  Space is limited to 40 people because of the tour and security, so we need to get a count of who is attending.  If you are interested, please email Leah [dot] Mayoatfco [dot] gov [dot] uk (Leah Mayo) at UKTI Houston by close of business Monday, 9th March.

10:00 - 16:00 - SXSW Accelerator

Organiser Chris Valentine says: "SXSW Accelerator showcases innovation. Participating companies benefit from the opportunity to present their new audio / video products, the latest ideas in social networking applications, or innovative web based technology services to a panel of industry experts, early adaptors, and representatives from the Venture Capitalist community."

A number of Digital Mission companies have applied for this event so we have our fingers crossed for them.

Address: Hilton Downtown, 500 East 4th Street, Austin, Texas 78701

12:00 - 18:00 - Last day of the SXSWi Expo

Digital Mission stand is available for meetings, wifi pilfering, tweeting, catching up on email and much more. We'll update stand activities as they are confirmed but it's a big old beast and will be our base at the convention centre.

Other events:

20:00 - late - Great British Booze-up organised by Clearleft, Boagworld and Naklab

The Great British Booze-up is back for its third year, and this time it's personal.

Those lovely guys from Clearleft, Boagworld and Naklab have put some money behind the bar and will be treating our American cousins to a good old fashioned knees-up to a soundtrack of great British tunes, straight from the mixmaster himself, DJ Clagnut.
Choppa choons and lashings and lashings of tasty beer. What more could you ask for?

Address: Shakespeare's Pub, 314 E. 6th Street, Austin, Texas 78701

N.B Although this event isn't organised for the Digital Mission, it will be a great networking opportunity for mission attendee's.

Tuesday, 17th March 2009

SXSWi schedule - Tuesday

10:00 - 12:00 - Great British Breakfast

The Great British Breakfast is a networking event organised by Digital Mission for 300 international digital practitioners, press and investors.

Take this opportunity to join the most innovative digital entrepreneurs and companies, swap SXSWi stories and talk about all things interactive, over a good ol' fashioned fry-up - Brit style.

We'll kick things off at 10am until 12pm on Tuesday 17th March at Old Pecan Street Cafe, 310 East Sixth Street, Austin, Tx 78701.

20:00 - 00:00 - BritBash!

UK Trade & Investment invites you to celebrate the best of SXSW Interactive and Music at BritBash!

This event will feature The Proclaimers, Alice Russell, The Post War Years, and The Webb Sisters (Ticket information available at the stand at the SXSW interactive trade show).  

Venue: British Music Embassy, Latitude 30, 512 San Jacinto Blvd. Austin, TX 78701

Wednesday, 18th March 2009

Digital Mission to SXSWi 2009 over, SXSW Music begins.