Web missionaries hit the Valley

The Web Mission is organised by entrepreneur Oli Barrett; Mike Butcher, editor of TechCrunch UK; and consultancy firm Polecat. It’s supported by UKTI, Microsoft and Make Your Mark. The point? To create connections between Silicon Valley, the crucible of technology innovation, and UK startups.

In his first blog back to Blighty, Mark Prisk fills us in on what’s going on Stateside…

Sunday 20 April:“Things are underway in sunny San Francisco. At both the welcome cocktails and today’s brunch, the mood among our Silicon Valley hosts is surprisingly upbeat.

"Despite all we hear about the prospects of a US recession and the fact that California’s housing market is in serious sub-prime trouble, the people of the Valley are very positive.

"Why? When pressed, they point to continued growth and the fact that technology is delivering real savings. This time round, its not a dotcom bubble, but a banking one that’s causing all the heartache. The strong quarterly figures from Google are a sign that the tech industry is in good shape.

"Indeed, in tough times, it may prove to be the old media who feels the pinch, not the new.

"But maybe it’s something else. This sector thrives on innovation – the ‘next big thing’ – and, as one wise old bird put it to me, when times are tough and corporate America shakes out its staff, that’s usually the start of the next wave of new ventures. Under the Californian sun, it sounded like a good theory to me!

"Tomorrow sees our visit to Oracle and an evening with Michael Birch, CEO of Bebo. I’ll keep you posted…”

Keep your eye on Real Business over the next few days to read more about Mark Prisk’s Web Mission.

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