Hackney trade mission back, bigger and better than before
A trade mission led by Hackney Council during the international tech fair, the South by South West interactive event in Austin, Texas, has returned home in triumph after trumping their success last year.
Last year’s inaugural mission under the Hackney House Austin banner succeeded in bringing in £7.5m in new business for the 30 Hackney firms attending. The Department for Business Innovation and Skills awarded the Council an Enterprising Britain award for the venture.
This year with 80 Hackney firms attending, visitor numbers more than doubled to 3,870, and there were more than 14 million interactions on Twitter. Expectations are that this year’s gains for Hackney from event, held 7 to 10 March, will be bigger than ever.
Jonathan Tustain, Communications Manager of Shoreditch based production and emerging technology provider, Inition, said: “This is the first year we have attended and we made some good connections with other Hackney businesses as well as more international contacts. We have made at least five potential new business leads and we hope to go again next year.”
Eight students from Hackney Community College flew out with Hackney House Austin 2014 to join Austin students in taking part in the Millenium Mentoring programme which involves them in research and development of new goods and services.Partnerships and sponsorship from the private sector means that the cost of travel and putting on Hackney House Austin was met entirely by private sector sponsors and partners.
"This was a fantastic effort that built on last years successful launch of Hackney House Austin. It has strengthened Hackney’s position at the cutting edge of the international creative tech sector. "The Council, working with local businesses, is now developing links with business communities in Oslo, Barcelona and New York. This comes on the back of Mayor Jules Pipe and Mayor Lee Leffingwell signing a Sister Cities agreement between Hackney and Austin, strengthening our ties in further education and trade. "The Council is committed to creating a prospering, diverse and dynamic business base for our local economy that can go on to support local apprenticeships and jobs for the wider community."