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Trade mission to Silicon Valley is “a huge success”

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Nineteen promising startups are in San Francisco to connect with investors, technology titans and potential partners as part of a “Future Health Mission” backed by the Technology Strategy Board, UKTI and Microsoft.

“We brought the best and the brightest companies that we think are on the bottom of the growth hockey stick to the San Francisco Bay Area,” says Zahid Latif of the Technology Strategy Board. “Where else would you bring them but to one of the most innovative areas on the planet?”

There’s no doubt that Dave Cameron, if he were to hear Latif, would choke on his coffee – he’s busy trying to get London’s Silicon Roundabout up and running, not encouraging startups to move to San Fran.

But the Technology Strategy Board’s aims nevertheless very good. Entrepreneurs are being given the chance to engage with some of the US – and the world’s – best tech companies, and learn how to address emerging market opportunities.

The Technology Strategy Board’s trip to Silicon Valley has been running for several years, and entrepreneurs on the trip always come back full of great ideas. This year won’t be any different.

“It’s just a fantastic opportunity for us to showcase our pioneering health technology in the US,” says Matthew Durdy, CEO of Aqix, a company that has developed a unique synthetic human interstitial fluid that has the potential to increase the transport life of donated organs.

“This trip is allowing us to exchange knowledge, expertise and contacts with our American counterparts. We’ve grown into a thriving UK business, but we’re now ready to demonstrate our potential for global commercial success.”

Previous Technology Strategy Board missions – which have focused on environmental and web-based technologies – have lead to over £100m of investment, and it’s hoped that this year’s “Future Health” mission will be as successful.

“It’s been fantastic,” adds Shamus Husheer, whose startup, Cambridge Temperature Concepts, is also part of the group. “Getting these introductions at a very high level to the right people is amazing.”

Husheer’s Cambridge Temperature Concepts has invented a producted that uses body temperature feedback to predict prime times for a woman to get pregnant. All women have to do is wear a small patch (roughly the size of a £1 coin) under one arm, and information from sensors analyses when she is most fertile. Results are routed wirelessly to a handset.

Other businesses on the trip include startups whose products range from thermal fertility monitors set to rival IVF, self-monitoring electronic band-aids and pioneering therapeutic stem cells to treat stroke.

Around 80 startups applied to take part in the trip to Silicon Valley, with 19 of the “best and brightest” being selected.

You can read more about the companies – and track their progress – here.

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