By Daniel Hunter

16 of the UK’s rising technology start-ups have this week kicked off the long anticipated Web Mission 2013.

Over an eventful seven days (9th-16th February), split between Bangalore and New Delhi, the participants will learn firsthand how to accelerate their business internationally as they meet with influential business figures keen to help them turn their Indian dreams into realities.

Supported by the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), and organised by The Long Run Venture and the Co-Sponsorship Agency, this Mission will showcase the growth opportunities available to these selected UK start-ups - companies that can offer India transformational products and services, but need to find out more about how their technology can support India’s populace.

“The fast growth-rate of technology industries in India is exceeding that of other markets and it is essential that UK companies work with the Indian business community to establish ties within this thriving industry," David Bott, Director of Innovation Programmes at the UK’s innovation agency the Technology Strategy Board, commented.

"These participants have the opportunity to establish connections, secure investment and be inspired, to help launch their business into an evolving technology market.”

The Mission agenda, already underway in Bangalore, includes visits to the well-established Electronic City, where participants will meet with successful Indian exports including Infosys and Wipro as well as emerging start-ups from the local community.

A hub of technological creativity, the Bangalore visit will allow participants to absorb innovation in action, by witnessing real-life case studies of India’s digital society, renewable power and affordable healthcare, making a difference to low income groups and the emerging middle classes.

“WebMission 2008 was where it all began. To meet so many like-minded entrepreneurs and be taken on a roller coaster journey of the tech scene outside of London, was eye-opening, inspiring, and fostered the relationships with entrepreneurs from the community, who I now regard as good friends, 5 years later,“ Peter Ward, Chief Executive of Wayn, said.

From here the mission will depart to New Delhi and have a practical and financial focus as participants have the opportunity to consolidate key business partnerships. Learning about the country’s macro and micro opportunities available, from open data and e-governance through to enterprise, guest advisors including Ericson, Logica and the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry will provide companies with strategic insight into how best to integrate their innovation into this market.

Having played a significant role in helping to secure over £180 million in funding to help some of the UK’s tech start-up success stories including Crisp Thinking and Brave New Talent, previous Mission participants have also commented on the strong business community that has evolved from attending the trip.

“By establishing some key connections when on my Mission, I was able to take my business to the next level. Most important of all, however, was having the opportunity to learn from other like-minded, ambitious innovators, who are all experiencing similar tipping points," Mission Alumni Bruce Hellman, uMotif said.

"Being selected for last year’s Future Health Mission was an incredible opportunity as I was not only able to learn how essential it is for entrepreneurs to start thinking about international expansion early, but I established some great collaborations within the UK tech start-up scene that continue to serve me well.”

uMotif has been selected to attend the 2013 Web Mission to India with a new focus to bring its technology to this new market.

Due to conclude on 16th February, the 2013 Web Mission aims to be an inspirational yet eye-opening journey of cultural immersion and development. By equipping the participants with bespoke tools and advice to successfully do business in India, this mission will mark the start of others, exploring new emerging markets and the potential for other successful UK start-ups.

'Open to Export' is a UK Trade & Investment (UKTI) initiative in partnership with hibu plc (formerly Yell Group).

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