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.

Sound It Out - Programme Announced for Enterprising Music (16th Nov)


This Friday, Enterprising Music will bring together experienced entrepreneurs, recent startups and individuals eager to join the music business.

Social and digital technologies have been at the heart of a dramatic shift in the music industry and while the old order has been challenged, high-speed connectivity, frictionless sharing, the rise of peer-to-peer and social networks have turned crisis into innovation.

The full programme has just been announced, get ready for a busy & insightful day!

See the event page for further information on speakers.

9.00 - 9.30: Coffee & Registration

9.30: Chair's Intro, Lisa Holloway

9.40 - 10.00: Keynote - From Dot to Digital

How can you become a successful entrepreneur? From founding in 1996 to 7digital with James Kane in 2004, Ben Drury’s has got the creditional and the experience to answer the question.
Speaker: Ben Drury (7Digital)

Watch the session here.

10.00 - 11.00: Technology vs. Music

Where is technology taking us? 4G will bring high-speed broadband to mobile devices, frictionless sharing is already here, but it all good news for the next generation of music entrepreneurs and where are the next big opportunities? Panel discussion and Q&A.
Speakers: Simon Wheeler (Beggars), Marie-Alicia Chang (Musicmetric), Gregory Kris (Decibel), Martin Rigby (Psonar Ltd), Ellie Lawson (Musician). Chair: Jon Mansfield (MusicConnex)

Watch the session here.

11.00 - 11.30: Coffee Break 

11.30 - 12.30: The Only Way is DIY 

Waiting for the next business guru proclamation and 'perfect' new music business model may seem like a good plan but are you really just procrastinating? This session will explore the experiences of those who have used their wits, wiles and social media tools to build a successful music business or career. Panel discussion and Q&A.
Speakers: Laura Kidd (She Makes War), Rich Huxley (Hope & Social), Steve Lawson (Solobasssteve). Chair: Paul Bay (citizenbay) 

Watch the session here.

12.30 - 13.00: Ask The Experts

Got a burning question? Need an expert opinion on your new business venture or career path? This fast-paced, question and answer session, will enable the audience to ask for advice and feedback from a range of music industry professionals.
Experts: Paul Bay (citizenbay), Dhana Mahendran (citizenguild), Steve Lawson (Solobasssteve). Facilitator: Lisa Holloway (Creative Industries Consultant)

Watch the session here.

13.00 - 14.00: LUNCH - Refreshment Sessions

Performing: She Makes War and Ellie Lawson

14.00 - 14.50: Brands are Fans Too

As brands have an increasingly prominent presence in music activity, this session will look at how partnerships succeed and fail. And how many partnerships now deliver outstanding value for the brand, the band and the fan. Panel discussion and Q&A.
Speakers: Matt Bennett (Clash Magazine), Jo Burford (Talenthouse), Paul Bay (citizenbay). Chair: Sybil Bell (I Like The Sound of That)

Watch the session here.

14.50 - 15.40: Pass It On

Short presentations from seasoned entrepreneurs, whose successes and failures, have provided them with wisdom well worth sharing, followed by question, answer session and audience lead discussion.
Speakers: Adam Perry (BandApp), Clive Gardiner (Headstretch), Tris Taylor (Audiobin). Chair: Lisa Holloway (Creative Industries Consultant)

Watch the session here.

15.40 - 16.00: Coffee Break

16.00 - 16.15: Keynote - Shake Your Money Maker, Part One

What is a good investment and how can you convince someone to invest in your product or service? Stefan Glaenzer, who was recently named the best angel investor in Europe by readers and editors of TechCrunch Europe, and was the first investor and executive chairman of, will provide some of the answers.
Speaker: Stefan Glänzer (Passion Capital)

Watch the session here.

16.15 - 16.55: Shake Your Money Maker, Part Two

Where to find business finance; from grants and R&D funds, to venture capitalists and crowd funding, how can an entrepreneur fund a music venture? This session will explore what and who you need to know on the highway to success. Panel discussion and Q&A.
Speakers: Stefan Glänzer (Passion Capital), Paul Brindley (IC Tomorrow & Music Ally), Marlon Lindo (Beat Flick), Laura Whitticase (PRS Foundation), Penny King (Arts Council England). Chair: Lisa Holloway (Creative Industries Consultant)

Watch the session here.

16.55 - 17.00: Summary and Thanks, Lisa Holloway

Photo (cc) Hamster Factory

The Global K-Startup Competition Winners Get a Taste of London Startup Life

Last week Chinwag were lucky enough to be joined by Korea's top tech talent, the winners of the Google's Global K-Startup competition. The five lucky startups were treated to a week's tour of London's digital industry, including market briefings, pitch training, agency meetings, incubator tours and roundtables with industry experts. 

On Monday the group took a tour of the ever-expanding Tech City, organised by TCIO and Friday saw the group spend the day with some of the startups based at Campus London at TechHub, Seedcamp and Springboard. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday were left in the capable hands of Chinwag's team.

So take a look at what they got up to...

Tuesday 6th November 

Tuesday kicked off with a visit to White Bear Yard, a group of entrepreneurs and operators who apply their experiences towards helping founders and early-stage teams build great digital media/technology companies. 

The group were met by Greg Young, Business Associate at Passion Capital who kindly gave the group a tour of the space as well as introducing General Assembly London (GA) who have recently opened their London campus on the top floor of White Bear Yard. GA gave the group an idea of some of the courses they run as well us showing the group the lovely roof top terrace they have. 

We were then very lucky to hear from Stefan Glaenzer, Founding Partner at Passion Capital who introduced the group to Passion Capital and talked about the work he does with some of the startups who are based at White Bear Yard.

The group then heard from some of the startups including James Gill, CEO at GoSquared, real-time analytics for your website. Alistair Hill, Managing Director at On Device Research, a research company using mobile devices and lastly Adnan Ebrahim, Founder and Editor-in-Chief at Carthrottle, a startup making car discovery fun again.

The day's second visit saw the delegation drop-in to the new and very lovely Mozilla office. We were joined by John Bevan, Learning Partnerships Lead at Mozilla Foundation and Zac Campbell, Software QA at Mozilla Corporation.

John and Zac chatted about the Mozilla foundation, the UK tech and startup scene as well as some of the tech projects Mozilla are working on. The group were also showed the new “Moz Space” that the company offer for startups working on and with Mozilla projects.  

After a yummy Korean lunch we headed over to Campus London where the afternoon activities were taking place. We kicked off with a masterclass on how to prepare for an investment. The session was led by Andrew Bloom, Corporate Lawyer and Partner at Steptoe & Johnson

Next up was our very own Sam Michel who talked the group through the digital startup scene in the UK. We were then put into the very capable hands of Jemima Gibbons, Social Media Strategist who held a two hour in-depth pitching workshop, where the companies had the chance to perfect their 3-minute pitch and to get them ready for the evening's activity, the South Korea's Global K-Startups Pitch Event which was also held at Campus London

Wednesday 7th November 

Wednesday morning saw the group head over to Wayra, a unprecedented initiative that aims to achieve a significant impact on the economy. Ashley Stockwell, Academy Director at Wayra UK talked to the group about the very awesome Wayra programme and what they are doing with startups all around the world, after which he introduced three of the startups that are part of the UK Wayra programme. 

The group heard from PixelPin, a startup that provides the first level of authentication using pictures rather than passwords that provide an easy non technical way of securing mobile and web services. Epicurely, a platform for organizing and discovering dinner parties in your area. The company connects people who love food with each other and with products they love and finally Cloud 66, an innovative product that combines the convenience of Platform-as-a-Service with the control and flexibility of Infrastructure-as-a-Service. 

Next up was a visit to Pearson, the world's leading education company. Diana Stepner, Head of Future Technologies at Pearson introduced the company to the group and explained what cool things they were up to in the educational space. Diana then introduced some of her team from the Plug and Play programme who demoed some of the coolest and latest release in the Pearson API programme

The group then took a trip over to Paddington to visit the brand new Nokia HQ. Once inside we heard from Riaz Ahmed, Developer Outreach Manager at Nokia and Mobile Consultant, John Copper. Riaz and John talked about the new Lumia ‪Windows‬ ‪Phone‬ and went into detail about the developer programmes that Nokia offer.

The day came to an end with a briefing on Berlin. The group did not have time to visit Berlin to check out the startup scene there, so we thought we'd bring Berlin to them. First up we had Achim Hartig, Director Investor Consultant at Germany Trade and Invest . Achim gave the group an intro into doing business in Germany, what other companies are doing in the space. who are the big players and the what's going on in the market.

We then had some startup insight with the group hearing from Thomas Bachem, one of the founders of the Association of German Startups who gave a real insight into being a startup in Germany, the challenges you may face and the best ways around it, who to connect to in the German startup scene and some the best incubators to visit and work from in Berlin.

Thursday 8th November

Thursday morning saw one of the most intimate activites of the week, the VIP Breakfast Roundtable. The idea behind the roundtables is for each startup to get a one on one 15-minute session with an industry expert who can give them advice and insight into their startup ideas. So after a full English fry up we kicked things off. 

The five start-ups were very lucky to be joined by Mark McDermott, Owner of Codegent, Chipper Boulas, Investor and Business Builder at Boulas Ventures, Ruth Barnett, Head of Communications at SwiftKey, Helen Keegan, Mobile Media Specialist, Chrysanthos Chrysanthou, Business Development at Amazon and Mentor at Springboard, James Garner, Head of Web Technology at IPC Media, Frank Kelcz, Head of Media Technology Investments at SEB Venture Capital and Ella Weston, Director of Stream at WPP. 

After a two hour intense session full of alot of mind power the group headed off for a bit of brain food and grabbed some lunch. 

The final visit for the week was to the very cool Unruly Media Video Labs. The labs help brands and agencies to increase the ROI of their social video ad campaigns based on customised and exclusive insight. The group got a exculive tour of the labs by Jon Williams, Associate Director at Unruly Media and Daniel Best, Planning Director. 

Jon and Daniel helped the group understand why people share or don’t share videos as well as working out how to predict the social success of campaigns before they launch. 

Chinwag's week of planned activity was brought to a end by the final event, Seoul2Seoul - An Evening of Korean BBQ and Networking for UK and Korean Startups. The evening took place at the lovely Korean restaurant, Kimchee where the group and the invited guests spent the night munching on some delicious traditional Korean dishes such as Kimchee, Goho Mandu dumplings, grilled pork belly and seafood and tofu jjigae.

Be prepared for some delicious traditional Korean dishes such as Kimchee, Goho Mandu dumplings, grilled pork belly and seafood and tofu jjigae all washed down with the best Korean beer. And don't worry, if you don't know what anything is, luckily the Korean companies are pros and can help guide us through the menu.

As you can see the Korean startups were kept very busy while over in the UK, and experienced what life is like for a startup setting up on UK soil. The group have now headed off for a week in Silicon Valley to check out the scene there.

So now all that is left to say if a huge thank you to all the companies, agencies, startups, social media consultants and industry experts that were involved in the week - thank you for helping us show off how awesome London can be.

And to all our new Korean friends, who head off to spend a week in Silicon Valley, good luck in the US and we hope to see you back in London soon.


Looking to Set Up in NYC? Take the H.E.L.M

lower manhattan

The history of New York City is interwoven with the growth and development of Lower Manhattan. Here, merchants landed from abroad bringing with them wares to spur a new economy. Here, traders gathered beneath a cherry tree to swap goods – actions that would lead to the establishment of a stock market.

More recently, $30 billion in infrastructure investment has attracted a new type of merchant – one that harnesses intellectual capital and creative ingenuity – and has brought thousands of new residents and businesses to Lower Manhattan.

To encourage growth, Take the HELM is looking to award four $250,000 cash grants to the following types of companies:

  • Creative: If you're a creative company, Take the HELM wants to reward you for joining an established and growing community of media giants, design professionals, and cultural institutions.
  • Tech: If you're a technology company, Take the HELM wants to welcome you to a neighborhood that has nearly doubled its tech presence in the last five years.
  • New New Yorkers: If you're a company from outside New York City, Take the HELM will help you establish roots in Lower Manhattan and extend the neighborhood's appeal to the world's best and brightest.
  • Startups: If you're a startup less than three years old, Take the HELM will help you establish an office and connect with the neighborhood's burgeoning startup community.

The Take the HELM Competition will select up to 20 finalists that best meet the goals of the competition and seek to open an office in Lower Manhattan. Finalists will each receive a $10,000 cash grant, an opportunity to interview with the distinguished Take the HELM Selection Committee, and will participate in two days of exclusive business development programs in Lower Manhattan.

Up to four Take the HELM winners will receive an additional $250,000. At least one $250,000 prize will be reserved for startup applicants.


The Take the HELM Competition is designed for companies that:

  1. Plan to open a new office or expand an existing office in Lower Manhattan south of Chambers Street;
  2. Enter into a new lease, sublease, or license agreement for that office space within 12 months of the competition Opening Date (13th Sept '12).

// See official competition rules here

Competition Deadline

Applications are due by 12:00 Noon EDT on 30th November. Early applications are encouraged. Applications may be saved and edited before this deadline.

// Find out more on the Take the HELM site

Photo (cc) Victoria Belanger

Korea's Top Tech Talent: Meet the Companies


In just over a week, we'll be joined by some of Korea's top tech talent, the winners of the Google Global K-Startup competition, in London from 5 - 9th November.

We know you'll be just as keen to chat with them as we are - so there's two opportunies where you can meet them: South Korea's Global K-Startups Pitch London (6th Nov) and Seoul2Seoul - An Evening of Networking for UK and Korean Startups (8th Nov).

You can sign up for both below, but first, let's meet the companies...

Brain Garden 

Kim Younghan, Developer, CEO - younghanatprosigner [dot] com

BrainGardenLearning vocabularly is tedious and it's hard to stay motivated when working along. With Brain Garden, learning English is fun and social, you can:

  • Learn new vocabulary and grow your "word garden"
  • Challenge and help yourf riends
  • Win daily contests
  • Learn anytime, anywhere
  • Track your performance

Website // @BrainGardenGame // Facebook // Youtube (Demo)


Cho Hyun-Gu, CEO / Founder - hgatclassting [dot] com

classtingClassTing is an educational social media tool combining, serving not as an alternative but as a supplement to exisiting social network servies.

Our Class Smart Community makes it easy to share writing, movies, materials etc with classmates throught the ClassTing Class. Every day class notices are delivered immediately and accurately through the smartphone app and SMS messages. There's also a private counseling room with the smartphone app.

Students are able to request mentoring from a recommended list and can build a personal timeline of their school day memories.


FigtreeLabs / Whatugot

Jung Eui-Hyeong (John Jung) - mossgreen83atgmail [dot] com

figtreeWhatugot is an abbreviated form of "What have you got?" It's also a service enabling users to collect, promote, consume and find new interests. It's a fun service, not focusing on what users want to have, but collecting, managing and sharing the users own belongings, songs, movies, books, tourism spots and people.


Yong Jae Kim, CEO / Co-Founder - yjkimatknowre [dot] com
David Joo, COO / Co-Founder - david [dot] jooatknowre [dot] com

knowreKnowRe is an education technology company that develops adaptive learning applications for the web, tablets and mobile devices. KnowRe enhances the learning process by provding:

  • Students, parents and teachers with the most accurate assessment of an individual's strengths and weaknesses
  • The most personalised and effective adaptive curriculum
  • Gamification and social features that encourage the pursuit of learning via an engaging and motivating user experience

KnowRe believes that technology can serve to better the educational experience of every deserving student, regardless of geographic or socioeconomic boundaries.


Malang Studio / Alarm Mon

Young-ho Kim, CEO - papabearatmalangstudio [dot] com

malangMalang Studio rewards you for waking up, making everyday start in a special way.

When you hear an alarm, you associate it with a loud and annoying sound that wakes you up and forces you to get up. Our app make this otherwise unpleasant and mundane experience everyone has each morning a bit more pleasant and fun.

Website // Facebook

South Korea's Global K-Startups Pitch London

Tue 6th Nov, 6:30-8:30pm at Google Campus

It's pitch time. The winners of the Global-K Startup competition will be pitching their wares to a panel of judges from London's tech scene. Compare, contrast and learn about the startup scene in South Korea. Followed by drinks, nibbles and networking.

Seoul2Seoul - An Evening of Networking for UK and Korean Startups

Thu 8th Nov, 7-9pm at Kimchee, High Holborn, WC1V 6EA

What's the startup scene like in South Korea? What's it like to have 100Mbps broadband and high speed mobile access? What's the digital market like? Can you get funding in Korea? What are the opportunities and challenges?

Seoul2Seoul (OK, so we like a pun in a name!) is a chance to meet, network and chow down on some Korean BBQ whilst giving a chance for London and Seoul startups to share knowledge, swap stories and understand the ins and outs of the tech scene in each city.

N.B. Space is strictly limited and by invite only. Apply to come below and we'll let you know as soon as your space is confirmed.

Photo (cc) Ekke

It's Back! Digital Mission returns to New York for Social Media Week NYC, Feb 2013


Digital Mission will be returning with its fourth expedition to New York next Spring, from 18th - 22nd February 2013 to take full advantage of the 150+ events taking place during Social Media Week New York.

Following on from 2010's successful Digital Mission to NYC trip, this Mission to New York will co-incide with Social Media Week New York. We'll be putting together a Mission Programme (see more below) but we'd also like to make Digital Mission as open and collaborative as possible, so we'll also be holding a Meetup on Thursday 22nd November where you'll be able to suggest anything you'd like to see included in the trip.

// Find out more about Digital Mission to New York '13

Digital Mission to NYC London Mixer (Thurs 22nd Nov)

The Digital Missions work best when they're built around the companies taking part and with this in mind, we'd love to hear your plans for NYC, how a mission could help you, who you'd like to meet and anything else that'd make tackling the US easier.

To kick things off, we're hosting a Digital Mission NYC Mixer in London on Thursday 22nd Nov where we'll hear from Digital Mission alumni on how they tackled the US, what worked, what didn't, what's important and what's not!

Followed by a run-down of what's in the pipline plus an informal discussion, where we'd love to get your input.

Speakers include Scott Button, CEO and Co-Founder of the hugely successful Unruly and more to be announced soon. Oh, and there'll be a few drinks, too.

// RSVP Now

What Does the Digital Mission Include?

The Digital Mission to NYC will include:

  • Digital Mission Programme
    • Masterclass on How to Do Business in the US
    • Round Table Event
    • Incubator Space Tours
    • Networking Event to be held as part of SMWNYC
  • Social Media Week NYC Premium Pass
    • Access to SMWNYC Hub events, for free, without booking
    • Access to SMWNYC official Opening & Closing parties

Further details on the Digital Mission programme will be announced soon.

How Much Does It Cost?

This Mission will be operating a tiered cost system, so pricing will depend on your company type / size as below:

Start-ups, SMEs & Academics
To qualify as a start-up or SME, your company must have less than 250 employees and less than €50m turnover. Academic staff must be able to prove their credentials.

  • £499 for the first 10 companies confirmed
  • £799 for those confirmed after that

Agencies & Larger Companies
Agencies and Larger Companies are those that have more than 250 employees and/or have more than €50m turnover.

  • £899 for the first 10 companies confirmed
  • £1,499 for those confirmed after that

Observer slots are strictly limited and give the chance for companies and organisations that support digital firms in their objectives e.g. lawyers, accountants to take part in the mission. Observers spend the full week with the mission companies, participate in the events, but are not invited to pitch or present.

  • £1,999 + VAT per delegate

All of the above costs include one delegate per company (unless stated otherwise) and exclude VAT, travel & accommodation costs. There will be a small charge for extra delegates at £100 per person. Travel & accommodation packages available starting from approx £940 p/p.

Apply Now

Photo (cc) Trey Ratcliff