A delegation of Northern Ireland's top tech talent will be hoping to make their mark in San Francisco when they descend on the Apple World Wide Developer Conference later this week.
Tim Brundle, director of innovation at the University of Ulster, will lead a 24-strong team to the show, seen as the big event on the calendar for software developers who create applications for Apple's computers, iPhone, iPod and newly released iPad.
"Apple revolutionised the software model with the iPhone apps store," said Mr Brundle. "What we'll see at the developer conference is where the next technological breakthroughs will be. But we'll also see how Apple views the software market changing, and how they will position themselves. The market insights we will get will be invaluable."
Taking place from June 7 to June 11, WWDC features a keynote address by Apple founder Steve Jobs. The 5,000 tickets for the event reportedly sold out in only eight days.
Mr Brundle said with access to Apple's experts and practical demonstrations, the event should yield business opportunities.
"When you are out there with like-minded people, business does happen more easily," he said.
While a number of local developers are making a living solely producing Apple apps, the market is also viewed as a launch pad for fledgling software businesses.
Of the group, eight are affiliated with the University of Ulster, one from Belfast Metropolitan College, one from Invest NI and the rest are software developers.