What does the city of Austin in Texas, have in common with East London? Give up? So do I, but read on.
The UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), the Tech City Investment Organisation (TCIO) and the British Consulate-General in Houston are leading a group of Austin-based digital media and gaming companies on a two-day showcase of London’s Tech City, which is a burgeoning hub of European tech activity.
We’ve written a fair bit about Tech City since Prime Minister David Cameron first outlined his vision of creating a cluster in East London to rival Silicon Valley.
The British Consulate-General and UKTI invited the Mayor of Austin, Lee Leffingwell, to lead the delegation, which will see representatives from nine Austin firms descend upon the UK capital for two days of mingling. The companies are: Appconomy, the Central Texas Angel Network (CTAN), Phunware, Portalarium, Replay Games, Ricochet Labs, Small World Labs, Spredfast, and Third Cousins Media.
The firms will participate in a two-day programme, introducing them to Tech City and their London-based digital media and gaming counterparts, and they will attend workshops on how to set up operations in London and meet other US-based companies that have successfully entered the UK market.
“Austin attracts talent and innovation, as a result we are on the cutting edge of digital trends that could spread worldwide,” says Mayor Leffingwell. “The visit will allow some of Austin’s entrepreneurs to experience London’s Tech City, Austin’s digital media and gaming counterpart, first-hand. We look forward to working with and further improving trade and economic relations with the UK.”
The visit is timed for just before the South By Southwest (SXSW) Interactive briefing for the forty UK companies heading out to the Texas conference in March, a venture supported by the UKTI.
A friendship agreement between the London Borough of Hackney and Austin will also be signed, in a move that will seek to cement co-operation and collaboration between them in the high-tech space.