And finally, my final post on Startups.co.uk reflecting on Web Mission 08 and what it has meant to Skimbit:
I have been back a few days from my Web Mission expedition to San Francisco. It’s taken me this long to recuperate and take stock of everything that went on.
I’m still in a state of shock and awe. It was a beyond successful week, exceeding even my overly ambitious expectations. Pretty much everything I’d hoped would happen, did happen.
What, you ask? Well, firstly, and most importantly, forming strategic partnerships with bookmark aggregators like Gigya and Add to Any. They were both San Francisco/Valley based, so I managed to set meetings up with them while I was there, and I can joyfully report that both companies completely understood my business, Skimbit, and agreed to include our ‘Skim this!’ badge in their bookmarking buttons.
I then managed to meet the team from AddThis.com at the Web 2.0 conference I attended in San Francisco, and managed to get them on board too. This is a huge win for us, and puts us on the same playing field as Digg and Delicious, though with a different enough focus and target market to compete effectively.
Then, potential customers for our white-label service, Skim-in-a-box… I had hoped to get leads for new clients, but as I didn’t have any meetings booked, my expectations were low. However, I was introduced to several incredibly exciting and high profile web entities, who you will all know, and they expressed not only interest, but a serious intent to partner.
I won’t spill the beans yet on who these companies are, but they will totally make my business when they come through. Understandably, I’m pretty chuffed.
From a funding perspective, my expectations were also very low, as I’d been repeatedly told US based investors won’t consider UK based companies. However, I had a meeting with a high profile seed investor, who said the distance issue – although challenging – is not insurmountable, and they are currently considering investing in Skimbit.
I had hoped WebMission would attract a lot of very much welcomed media exposure, and to my glee, this also turned out beyond expectation. In the last week I have been TechCrunched, on the BBC, the New York Times, International Herald Tribune, and soon to be in The Telegraph and Spectator. Not bad for a tiny little start-up!
But I would have to say, without a doubt, the best outcome of WebMission was the networking, interaction, and bonding that went on with the rest of the WebMission team. What really stood out to me is how innovative, supportive, and ambitious us Brits (well, I’m an Aussie, but you know what I mean) are, and that although going to the US was helpful and educational, we should be darn proud of what we have back home.
So now, as I deal with the avalanche of work, leads to follow, deals to execute on, and investments to finalise, I am buzzing with joy and elation that I’m on the right path, and the light at the end of the tunnel is bright and beckoning.