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Digital DNA and Xpand International join forces to launch Northern Ireland tech trade mission to Silicon Valley

Published 16/02/2016

James Gumble of XPand, Stephen Cairns of Innov8 Interiors and John Bell of Digital DNA launch the Digital DNA Trade Mission to San Francisco
James Gumble of XPand, Stephen Cairns of Innov8 Interiors and John Bell of Digital DNA launch the Digital DNA Trade Mission to San Francisco
James Gumble of XPand, Stephen Cairns of Innov8 Interiors and John Bell of Digital DNA launch the Digital DNA Trade Mission to San Francisco

Two Northern Ireland organisations have announced the launch of the first ever private sector-led trade mission to San Francisco.

Digital DNA and Xpand International will run the trade mission during St Patrick’s week, kicking off on March 13.

They say they are passionate about driving international sales and investment into Northern Ireland, and this event will provide connections and a unique insight into the workings of the technology capital of the world.

The itinerary includes opportunities to meet representatives from some of the world’s leading digital innovators while exploring San Francisco and Silicon Valley. Businesses will get to meet with visionary and leading organisations including Facebook, Uber, Google, Microsoft, Evernote and Stanford University.

Digital DNA founder Gareth Quinn said: “Digital DNA’s core objective is to drive more wealth into Northern Ireland by helping local businesses grow online and by teaming up with the great team at Xpand International, we’re offering local companies the chance to connect with and learn from the world’s biggest technology companies in Silicon Valley."

James Gumble, founder of Xpand International added: “Having spent an extensive time in Silicon Valley, what has surprised me the most is the range of opportunities to work with worldwide organisations which have been only been available through networking in San Francisco.

"San Francisco and New York are uniquely positioned, having representatives from over 50 European organisations within a small area.  Companies making the effort to explore the Valley are exploring business models and ideas in the Bay area; bringing these innovations back to Europe.”

One of the firms already signed up for the trade mission is Belfast and Dublin-based office interiors specialist, Innov8. Stephen Cairns from the company said: “This international trade mission offers local businesses genuine opportunities to grow customer bases and engage with new clients and suppliers across the US and we jumped at the chance to get involved. The global marketplace is becoming a cornerstone of the Innov8 growth strategy and we’re excited by the potential of this trade mission.”

Local businesses attending the trade mission will receive a pre-prepared schedule of meetings, networking events and conferences with relevant contacts to their industry, whether that be to identify potential clients, build strategic partnerships or to discuss business and the latest digital developments and innovations.

Opportunities will be scheduled to meet with world trade organisations and there will also be opportunities to test new business ideas with representatives from multiple countries worldwide, and to find out how market-leading companies in California are implementing innovation – a great chance to be ahead of competition.

Throughout the week there will be multiple opportunities to develop relationships with key connections in European and American business development organisations, including tailored networking events in exclusive locations. These will provide an opportunity for face-to-face meetings with well-connected representatives from over 50 organisations around the world.

Connections made at these events could forge strong future alliances and trade links for attendees, not only with the US but also across Europe.

To sign up for the trade mission, get in touch with the team at or call 028 9751 2120.

Online Editors

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