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UK digital companies invited on US trade trip

LONDON - UK Trade & Investment has selected digital media company Chinwag to take UK digital SMEs on trade tours to New York and Texas, allowing them to make business contacts and market their services at two of the most influential web events in the world.

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Digital SMEs are invited to apply to join the trip, which includes visiting the Web 2.0 Expo in New York in 2008 and the SXSW Interactive Festival in Austin, Texas in 2009.

The New York City trip from September 14-19 is for 25 UK companies, while the Texas trip takes 40 UK companies from March 13-17 2009.

Both trips revolve around a busy conference-related itinerary mixed with high-profile networking events and individual meetings with US companies and potential investors.

Entries are welcome from companies ranging from marketing agencies through to e-commerce operators, mobile service providers and start-ups.

The closing date for NYC entries is July 23.

A judging panel of industry experts and commentators, including Mike Butcher, the editor of TechCrunch UK, and Herb Kim, chief executive of Codeworks, will select the winning companies.

Chinwag and UKTI will oversee the travel arrangements and itinerary, including one-to-one meetings and PR, while attending companies receive discounted travel costs.

Sam Michel, chief executive of Chinwag, said: "The Digital Missions to NYC and Austin represent a major opportunity for UK participants to make connections and build fruitful business relationships against the vibrant backdrop of hugely successful events.

"Working with the UKTI and the broader web community on this initiative is a natural progression of our aim: to be a connecting rod for ideas and talent across new media."

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