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.

Come Along for Some Christmas Cheers - Thursday 15th December

It's that time of the year again, mince pies are coming out of your ears, that log fire smell is in the air, silly xmas decorations are up in the office, all in all there is alot of Christmas cheer about the place and to make it even better, we have another 'xmas drinks' to add to your list. 

Chinwag have teamed up with Kathryn McMann Consultancy and Put It Out and have organised a very informal xmas get together next Thursday,15th December in central London for some drinks, networking and chatter. We also have a magician for all your entertainment needs.

Kathryn McMann Holistic and Social Media Marketing Consultancy   Put It Out  Chinwag

So, whats it all about:

The Crowd: digital, tech, creative, marketing, mobile, communications, PR, entrepreneurial, video, photographers, performance industries.... but we're not picky.
The Date:  Thursday15th December from 5pm onwards
The Location: Porter House, Covent Garden. 
The Hashtag for the event is #digicheer please use it. 

The Crowd: digital, tech, creative, marketing, mobile, communications, PR, entrepreneurial, video, photographers, performance industries.... but we're not picky.

The Date: Thursday 15th December from 5pm onwards (get there early!)

The Location: Porter House, Covent Garden.

The Hashtag: #digicheer

We already have a great lost of attendees, but there is always space for more. So please do come along and join in the Christmas Cheer.

See you next week. 

// Register for Christmas Cheers 

Photo (cc) Anemone Letterpress


HSBC Business Growth Grant: You Could be Awarded £50,000


The HSBC Business Growth Grant competition is offering funding to help grow up to four deserving businesses. 

They'll be offering up to two £50,000 Growing Business Grants to businesses using innovative ideas to grow within the UK. Two more £50,000 Overseas Trade Grants will go to businesses that have the aspiration and motivation to develop new opportunities overseas. 

HSBC BGGAll you need to do is download and complete their application form, where you'll be asked to explain your business ideas and make a compelling case to their panel of judges, demonstrating how a grant could turn your forward thinking into business action.

The closing date for entries is 31st December 2011 and the winner will be announced by 31st March 2012.

What are HSBC looking for?!

Overseas Trade Grants

Entrepreneurs who can demonstrate that their innovative ideas and aspirations are driving their businesses to develop overseas opportunities.

Growing Business Grants

  • Confident and motivated business owners who can demonstrate that they can grow their businesses to the next level in the UK. So, if you're developing new products and services, expanding into new areas or regions, or scaling up they want to hear from you.

To find out more, download the application form and read the terms and conditions, head over to the HSBC Business Growth Grant page.

Photo (cc) Sergio Castro

Entrepreneurs Festival Comes to Tech City, London - 14-19th Nov 2011

East London Tech City by Daniel Lövquist

Update: Application form now available, see below.

Tech City is certainly making headlines at the moment, with groups of the area's entrepreneurs visiting Buckingham Palace (our invite must've got lost in the post) and a reciprocal visit by HRH Duke of York to open shiny new co-working space The Trampery.

The area will play host to The Entrepreneur's Festival (14-19 Nov 2011) a week-long series of events to help local and overseas entrepreneurs boost their businesses. The event is being organised by Tech City Investment Organisation, part of UK Trade & Investment's initiative to promote the area's digital companies and inward investment.

The week includes a Startup Bootcamp, Investor Day, a session as part of Silicon Valley Comes to the UK, plus sessions and exhibit space at the Technology World show taking place at ExCEL.

Information is still under wraps at the moment but the organiser's tell us that they have a fantastic programme planned and with over 200 companies already registered, it's a good idea to grab a space early.

To register your company, check out the contact details on The Entrepreneur's Festival event listing.


TechCity have let us know that an online application form is now available. You'll need to sign-in using a Facebook or Linkedin ID. They have confirmed that this is only used as an identifier and won't post anything to your timeline. It's also still possible to apply via email: infoattechcityuk [dot] com.

Photo (cc) Daniel Lövquist.


UKTI Announce Trade Mission to South by South West Interactive (SXSW) 2012 - Applications Open!

It's that time of the year again...when all the geeks around the globe start to get twitchy, flights start getting booked up and Austin, Texas starts to brace itself for the thousands of digital folk that will be embarking on the massive annual gathering that is South By South West Interactive 2012 (SXSW). 

Last year SXSW attracted over 49,000 attendees, represented 76 countries, had over 566 trade show exhibitor stands and had over 6,990 media attendees.

With Film, Interactive and Music events going on all under one roof, and the global business opportunities available along with the lasting relationships that are built at SXSW it’s no wonder the conference is one of the biggest and successful trade shows around for international growth.

The UKTI Trade Mission to SXSW offers a unique opportunity for UK digital firms to meet the broadest possible audience from the US digital industry, and from across the globe.

The UKTI Trade Mission Will Include:

Pre-Mission Briefing -  A chance for Mission companies to meet each other and UKTI representatives before the Mission takes place. The perfect opportunity to practice pitches, hear hints & tips and find out practical information about being in the USA and at SXSW.

Welcome Dinner - Start your trip with a Mission welcome dinner, chat to other Mission companies, get over your jet lag and get excited about the week ahead!

UKTI Masterclass - Learn about the US market, it's drivers, how to get noticed and how to win business.

Great British Breakfast - Accelerate your business growth by meeting and interacting with over 200 US and UK digital media companies, bloggers, media and investors at the Great British Breakfast.

Breakfast Roundtable - a chance to meet and chat to some of the top US businesses and individuals.

Publicity - Promote your company and products to the attendees of SXSWi at the ‘Internet cafe style’ UKTI stand. Company listing in the SXSWi Directory and UKTI Mission Brochure.

Meetings - Develop relationships with other mission companies and benefit from the knowledge and expertise of professional UKTI business advisors.

How to Apply 

There are a limited number of places that will be allocated through a competitive application process. In order to qualify, companies need to be UK-based SMEs, active in the digital sector.

To apply for this trip, just fill out the simple application form:

// Apply for UKTI Mission to SXSW Interactive 2012

Deadline: Friday, 25th November 2011

If you have any queries, do drop francescaatchinwag [dot] com an email or call her  on +44 (0)20 7183 2923.

Photo (cc) Chinwag  

PDF Preview of Online Application Form294.97 KB

Digital Mission: Singapore & Hong Kong Meetup: Discussions & Next Steps

Singapore by Manvendra Bhangui

For the least three years, over 150 companies have taken part in Digital Missions to the tech centres of the US. The week before last, we met with a group of companies interested in heading East, to South East Asia and China.

Gathering at the offices of our hosts, Pinsent Masons, we talked through the outline plans that have been brewing at Chinwag Towers and had an in-depth discussion about the priorities for a potential Digital Mission™ to Singapore and Hong Kong including the primary objectives, timings and possible companies to meet on the trip.

Here's a quick summary of the discussion and an outline of the plans for what happens next and how to get involved:

Discussion Summary

Mission Objectives - There was general agreement that this mission should focus on getting a comprehensive understanding of the local market, the types of clients, audience and business available and the competitive landscape. On the practical side, objectives include the practical implications of setting up including office space, recruitment and legal issues. 

Destinations - Singapore and Hong Kong provide potential bases for doing business in South East Asia and mainland China, respectively. Delegates wanted to understand the advantages and opportunities for each location. The mission should include briefings on neighbouring countries (Singapore) and mainland China (Hong Kong).

Meetings - For financial and logistical support, meeting government agencies who could provide support and connections was a priority. Understanding the local business market, delegates wanted to meet multi-national and regional brands, publishing, broadcasting, media companies as well as tech companies. Staffing was mentioned several times, so recruitment and head-hunters were also mentioned to give insight on jobs market, particularly key hires e.g. senior managers.

Types of Mission Companies - Like most Digital Missions, a range of companies have expressed interest, for this location the majority have come from the agency sector (web design/build, marketing), serious games, SaaS and online services with a smaller number of startup firms.

Timings - Sooner rather than later, with over half the companies at the meeting wanting to the Digital Mission™ to take place before Christmas, probably at the end of Nov/early Dec, depending on logistics and potential clashes with events such as LeWeb.

Next Steps

Costs & Funding - The million dollar question, well, not quite, but without sponsorship or government support the cost for companies to take part in the Digital Mission is likely to be so high as to discourage all but the largest firms from taking part. The aim is to support the whole range of SMEs. We're approaching UKTI, regional funders, government departments and corporates for support, but as always, any pointers are samatchinwag [dot] com (gratefully received).

Programme - The preparation is already underway and once dates and funding are confirmed will swing into full action. Alongside country and market briefings, corporate visits and business culture briefings are planned. Networking with key contacts and potential partners will be included in the agenda along.

Getting Involved

If you're interested in participating in the Digital Mission there's a number of ways of getting involved:

  • Digital Mission delegate - apply to join the trip when applications open
  • Digital Mission Observer - for larger companies, advisors and academics to join the trip, missionatchinwag [dot] com (contact us for more information)

Keep in touch via:

If you have any queries, please contact us via email missionatchinwag [dot] com or call +44 (0)20 7183 2923.

Photo (cc) Manvendra Bhangui.