UK Web-Entrepreneurs Fly to USA to Promote Internet

Eighteen of the UK's most successful technology startups are jetting off to the US today as part of a government-backed initiative to promote UK web entrepreneurialism and open up businesses to an international market.

The Web Mission project is backed by public and private sponsors including the UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and UK Trade & Investment.

The initiative, which has also been run by previous governments, starts with a competition aimed at picking the most innovative and fastest growing web companies in the UK.

These include ScreenReach Interactive, which announced on Friday that its Screach digital media platform is being used by marketing company Think Innovative and its client Newcastle United to enable fans at home games to interactively vote for their man of the match.

Other technologies being showcased including online booking services using social media, application optimisation technology, marketing optimisation tools, production and delivery of e-content and new forms of cloud-based file sharing.

Once in the US, the companies will effectively be on a trade mission, but with unrivalled access to top execs from companies like Twitter.

Over $60m has been raised in private finance by companies that attended two previous Web Missions, according to the TSB.

"Web Mission provides a fantastic opportunity for us to meet the people and organisations that can help us reach our goals," said Simon Prockter, chief executive of one of the successful companies,

"We have an ambitious product that we intend to launch in the US within the next 12 months, and San Francisco is the logical place to begin that journey."

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