Hackney's award winning alternative trade mission heads back to Austin


Hackney Council's award winning alternative trade mission, Hackney House Austin will be returning during South by Southwest (SXSW) Interactive in Austin, Texas, from 7 to 10 March 2014, to showcase the talents of East London’s creative, tech and design community.

Last year’s event was a huge success generating over £7.5 million of business leads, reaching 760,000 users on Twitter and welcoming 1500 people through its doors. After visiting Hackney House Austin in 2013, futurist Bruce Sterling heralded Hackney as "a district with unheard of global ambition, a force to be reckoned with".

This year more than 30 Hackney based businesses are going to be using Hackney House Austin to showcase their products and services, meet new contacts and win new business. Any business based in the borough is welcome to use the Hackney House Austin venue for free and attend all of its business and networking events.

The venue has increased in size from last year to over 6,000 square feet giving ample room for demonstrating the best that Hackney’s business sector has to offer. Based at 721 Congress Avenue, Hackney House Austin will occupy a prime location in the city centre.

Hackney House Austin will also offer a chance for eight students from Hackney Community College to learn more about the creative tech sector. They’re taking part in the Millennial Mentoring Programme and will be attending Hackney House Austin’s events culminating in an interactive workshop with companies who are seeking their creative input into developing new products and services for young people. This is a partnership scheme with Austin Community College who have six students taking part in the programme.

Partnerships and sponsorship from the private sector means that the cost of staging Hackney House Austin is paid for entirely by private sector sponsors and partners.

Partners include iCITY, Dazed and Confused, Poke, Human After All and the Victoria and Albert Museum; all making the trip to Austin courtesy of British Airways’ inaugural start up flights, to showcase the very latest in British creativity, digital technology and design.

Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Hackney Council
This will be Hackney’s second year in Austin following an award winning, highly successful appearance in 2013. It’s testament to our creative businesses and partners that this year will be bigger and better with more Hackney based companies exhibiting, running events and making the most of a major networking and business-building opportunity. Our business friendship agreement with Austin is a great example of how likeminded cities around the world can work together for the benefit of their economies and their communities.
Cllr Guy Nicholson, Cabinet Member for Regeneration, Hackney Council

The transformation, created by global design firm Gensler, of a derelict retail unit at 721 Congress Avenue in downtown Austin will be home for this core group of creative designers, who together have collaborated to create a four day programme of art, design, music, film, product launches and interactive displays built around daily themes that reflect Hackney’s core vision and mission; DESIGN, MAKE and PLACE.

The evening sessions will, once again, see the return of the highly popular Hackney Mixers, in association with some of world’s most innovative companies. The team at Hackney have compiled an exciting programme featuring Hackney’s finest digital artists, musicians, DJs and special guests (for full details and free bookings go to:

Hackney House picked up an Enterprising Britain Award for 'Promoting Exports' from the Department of Business Innovation and Skills in 2013.