The trade mission is part of the Mayor’s International Business Programme, which was started to drive global growth for 800 London SMEs over the next three years, a scheme that Khan’s predecessor Johnson revealed in February.
At the time, the initiative was said to target tech, life sciences and urban markets, while participants would receive mentoring on how to reach new international markets and grow existing overseas operations.
With Khan now in power, the programme is still running and the US has been highlighted by the mayor’s promotional company London & Partners as Britain’s most valuable trading partner. Indeed, HMRC found it accounted for £4.4bn of total value of all exports in April 2016.
Elsewhere, the CBI found the UK is the largest investor in the US, with over $449bn invested in the country in 2014. By comparison, London leads as the global city with foreign direct investment from the US. It’s a trend Khan hopes will continue with the seven-day trade mission and the backing if his 23-strong startup squad, as he explains that London is still open following the Brexit vote.
“London’s is one of the most vibrant and diverse places in the world to start and grow a technology business,” he said. “These high growth companies have the potential to become the next global tech giants and I am delighted that they will join me in showing the world that London is open to talent, business and collaborations.”
The 23 companies on the mission are:
(1) Cloudbanter – Advertising
(2) Dressipi – FashionTech
(3) EnterpriseJungle – Data
(4) Eyetease – Transport
(5) FixFlo – Property
(6) Head Channel – Business Services
(7) Jambo – Leisure-Tourism
(8) Lost My Name – Retail
(9) Luxtripper – Leisure-Tourism
(10) Obelisk Support – Service
(11) Onfido Background Checks – Enterprise
(12) Pavegen – Energy
(13) PCA Predict – Financial-Services
(14) Rocketseed – Advertising
(15) SEaB Energy – Energy
(16) Screendragon – Advertising
(17) Shopitize – Retail
(18) Sky-Futures – Data
(19) Takumi International – Marketing
(20) Trading Hub – Cyber
(21) Translate Plus – Enterprise
(22) Verticly – Advertising
(23) Yoyo Wallet – Retail
Read more about London business:
- London is open for business and welcomes all, says Sadiq Khan
- British business community reacts well to London mayor nod for Sadiq Khan
- How the new mayor can turn London into the world’s entrepreneurship meccaDuring the mission, the 23 startups in the US will have the chance to pitch to investors, meet prospective clients and partners, and network with US counterparts.
Fintech entrepreneur Rajesh Agrawal, who was named deputy mayor for business and London & Partners chairman by Khan in June, will take the lead on the mission. It will see travel made to both Chicago and New York, with a view to seal more investment, expansion and export opportunities in the US.
Meanwhile, London has been a strong support for the US too. London & Partners claimed to have helped 572 US firms open in the city between 2005 and 2015, resulting in 16,000 jobs.
Janet Coyle, principal adviser on the Mayor’s International Business Programme, said: “With shared strengths in technology and innovation, cities such as Chicago and New York offer a range of investment and expansion opportunities for the travelling companies.”
Unruly co-founder and CEO Sarah Wood, a mentor on the Mayor’s International Business Programme, added the aforementioned US cities possess “all the right conditions for a high-growth technology business”.
According to London & Partners, venture capital investments in UK tech companies amounted to $1.3bn in H1 2016. Elsewhere, London tech firms have received over $500m since the Brexit vote was revealed.
Luxury restaurant booking and payments app Velocity has already had significant global growth since its London launch in 2014, but will now push into 29 cities worldwide with a $22.5m Series B round from investors including the founder of Starwood Hotels.
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