British tech start-ups off to India on the Web Mission 2013

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Last night, 16 of the most innovative technology SMEs from the UK were chosen to join Web Mission 2013 to India in early February.

The chosen start-ups, building tech for various sectors including  health, education, infrastructure and mobility, included Audioboo, Cyceera, uMotif, Omnisoft Services and BuffaloGrid.

The Mission programme, organised by The Long Run Venture and the Co-Sponsorship Agency, is supported by the Technology Strategy Board and UK Trade & Investment (UKTI), alongside other private sponsors.

This will be the eighth trip. Each trip is designed to help successful early stage businesses accelerate their growth potential overseas. According to the organiser, the chosen companies are all scalable, while offering profitable solutions for low and middle-income populations in urban and rural India, while also offering B2B opportunities.

"When you take UK and India, people think there is a lot of trade, but this is miniscule in terms of start-ups, especially when in terms of investments , eyes are drawn to Silicon Valley," said Guy Pattison, co-founder of The Long Run Venture.

"You would have around 10 million people to pilot a project in India, but a couple of thousand here. These start-ups have the opportunity to get in there and scale up," he said.

The hand-picked companies will visit the country for seven days, first heading to Bangalore to visit other big companies and universities and then onto New Delhi which will provide a government perspective to venturing into the country. 

Start-ups on Web Mission 2013 include:

  • Audioboo - Audioboo allows users to record audio and post over social networks. With customers already including the BBC and The Guardian, the company claims to do to audio, what Instagram to did to photos. Audioboo is also delving into the audiobook and education sectors. 
  • uMotif - uMotif is a telehealth company which builds attractive apps for users with health problems. The apps help users to comply with taking medicines, to improve treatment and reduce hospital costs of readmissions. The software works on various platforms, not just smartphones, by providing SMS services as well. uMotif is currently demonstrating an app to help people suffering from Parkinsons. The app, which was funded by the Department of Health and adminstered by the NHS Midlands and East, has an engaging colourful interface which encourages the users to "own their own data".
  • BuffaloGrid -Buffalo Grid provides mobile charging power to rural areas of the world, where it could quite easily take a quarter of a day's wage to charge your device at a local power station. BuffaloGrid uses solar panelling to distribute power and customers can pay via text message. The company hopes to pair with mobile operators, while any residual power is then sold back to the local people at highly competitive rates. There are around 650m off-grid mobile phones in the world, 300m of which are in India, proving the move into this market incremental for the company's future development. 

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