Web Mission 09: Raising Our Game

With a delegation of UK digital startups being given the opportunity to trot off to Silicon Valley in San Francisco for Web Mission 09, one could get quite excited at the prospects and the future that awaits our digital and technology industries (at least we could have done so until we started leaning about what words like sub-prime meant). I totally agree with this sort of initiative. For those that this will be their first business trip abroad, The contacts and learning that they pick up should not be underestimated.  Their business worldview will be expanded and many of them will be prompted to dream bigger dreams and raise their game. I speak from experience because in the days of Web 1.0 I got myself over to Cannes for a for a few trips to the yearly Milia event. Such events for me were no ‘jolly.’ As I watched the great and good around me, I both aspired and watched, to see how those who were at the top of our game worked (and it must be said – played too). After trips to Milia I started to think, plan and aspire to bigger and better things within my industry and it was not long before I started developing international connections and opportunities. I soon realized after one or two foreign trips that any fool could collect business cards from their business heros. I knew that I needed to drive opportunities and watch out that my vanity did not lull me into a false sense of achievement, just because the so called great and good from the established brands are all around me at whichever industry bash as was at at the time. 

These days I am more critical of my time and activity and whatever industry event I attend I try to get some concrete results wherever possible. Because of my time spent stretching my vision at foreign business events, I now have international aspirations. In about three to five years time I want to be involved in developing business opportunities in Asia. My database of Asian contacts and investors is currently looking quite chunky as I prepare  for future business activity and initiatives over in Asia. I am priming my contacts now and exploring in readiness.

Going on trade missions shouldn’t just be about expanding your Linked In contacts. For those soon off to San Francisco and other similar trade missions, I hope they go not just to present their businesses but also to scout out and assess new territories or opportunities; to also question the way they do and think of business. If they are really sharp, I hope they will push themselves to make the most of a unique business opportunity, by trying to secure some form of business that would never have come your way if you had stayed at home.

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About Aristos Peters
I work rest and play in the digital space, with particular interest in digital startup companies and their need for seed, angel and VC investment. As a NED, I have worked with several start-ups, taking them through funding rounds and also work on investment acceleration and business growth helping companies to become investment ready. Currently about to launch the startup fundraising app D RISK IT (www.drisk.it).

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