TWENTY companies have enjoyed a busy and productive start to the first ever Belfast Tech Mission, which is visiting California this week, under the leadership of Lord Mayor Máirtín Ó Muilleoir.
The visit, funded by the city council, in partnership with Invest NI, is providing an opportunity for 20 local companies to showcase some of the new technologies and products being developed in Belfast to leading companies, investors and venture capitalists from the West Coast of America.
In addition to promoting Belfast as one of the leading digitally connected cities in Europe, and a prime location for international investment, the mission aims to increase the number of technology companies selling and doing business in the US; increase the knowledge of the delegate companies of what it takes to establish and secure venture capital funding in the US and improve business networks and partnerships between the city and the US.
The delegate companies spent the first day of the Mission at a special ‘boot camp’ in San Francisco, where they attended a number of workshops and interactive mentoring sessions led by two of the top experts in California – former Microsoft executive Alfredo Coppola and venture capitalist Chris Burry, founder of the multi-national Avande corporation.
The companies then travelled to Palo Alto to take part in a bespoke showcase event allowing them to pitch their products and services to top tech executives and venture capitalists, including 150 senior executives from SVEN, a high profile network representing some of the largest tech companies in the world.
Over the remainder of the week, the companies will take part in a number of trade shows in and around Silicon Valley, including the CTIA Mobile Con in San Francisco, DEMO Fall in Santa Clara and GigaOm Mobilize in San Francisco, as well as the Google Developers’ Forum and one-to-one meetings with potential investors and partners.