Digital Mission to Washington DC Confirms Events at US State Department, State of Maryland, Microsoft and Deloitte

Last week we promised you some exciting news about the up and coming trip to Washington and we would hate to disappoint.

Just in case the top 10 reasons to head over to DC weren’t enough, we’re excited and delighted to announce a stellar line-up of partners for the Digital Mission to DC, including the US Department of State and a range of federal government agencies, Blue State Digital, the State of MarylandMicrosoft and Deloitte.

Along with our partners, Future Gov, Bright Lemon and Kathryn Corrick we have been working away to secure some of the most influential organisations and government departments for July’s mission visiting the US capital from 11-15th July. Applications close on 10th June, with a limited number of spots available.

This is just part of what the mission companies can expect during the week with more events and partners still being confirmed, watch out for a further announcement next week. It’s going to be a packed five days!

As well as the main agenda, we have built in the time and opportunity to connect those on the mission with specific contacts through FutureGov’s local DC network, giving you the chance to hold meetings with individuals and organisations who have caught your eye and might have  particular interest in what you have to offer.

Here’s an outline of what’s planned so far:

Monday 11th July

After a few drinks and a chance for everyone to meet up on Sunday night, Monday morning see the group off to Microsoft’s offices for the essential “Doing Business in the US” masterclass. The speakers are still under wraps but expect top-flight legal advice, industry analysis and insight with a focus on digital government and social innovation including;

  • Legal issues of setting up and doing business
  • Industry trends
  • Investment landscape
  • Ex-pat advice
  • Where to find support

Come with notebooks/iPads/tablets at the ready.

As the first evening draws in it’s time to kick off the mission in style with an exclusive VIP reception. Some of the most influential bodies from across government and the digital sector will be making an appearance at the reception, where mission companies will have the chance for a speedy pitch to the assembled audience.

And that’s just day one!

Tuesday 12th July

Tuesday morning sees the group take to the road and head to Annapolis for a briefing and tour led by Maryland’s first Chief Innovation Officer, Bryan Sivak, discovering how innovation is being brought into the heart of government and how technology is enabling this.

Back on the coach and back to Washington for Tuesday night’s activities at the well known digital gathering, DC Tech Meetup for a chance to meet and geek out with the movers and shakers on the DC tech scene from politicos to techies to social innovators and more besides.

Wednesday 13th July

Typically, by Wed morning, the blackberries are all a Twitter, and everyone’s inbox is overflowing - you know the office will be missing you by now. The morning is left available for your own plans, whether that’s catching up on work, or if you want to schedule your own meetings with the help of well networked mission organisers FutureGov. 

The afternoon sessions lift the lid on the government and digital ecosystem in DC with a series of industry briefings hosted at Deloitte’s offices in Rosslyn, just over the Potomac River from downtown DC.

Starting off with a look at Transparency and Campaigning, with leading agencies Blue State Digital (the guys behind the 2008 Obama Campaign) and Echo Ditto (equally well versed in the political and non-profit campaigns scene) it’s a chance to get the Washington perspective on the overlap between the digital sector, government and politics.

Following this will be an in depth session on Gov 2.0 (from data to apps to competitions and more) with the inside track from a range of government agencies as well as high profile local companies such as Rock Creek, Govloop and Phase one, discuss the huge changes in government over the last few years and how government engages through technology.

After a spot of early evening Social Innovation speed-networking back at Deloitte, there’ll be a chance for networking, followed by a few drinks in historic Georgetown.

Thursday 14th July

Thursday sees the doors of US government thrown open, with two in-depth briefings with the US State Department at their base in central Washington, DC.

The first session will be on the use of emerging technology for diplomacy by the International Information Programs Bureau’s Office of Innovative Engagement and the second,on the professional exchange programs run by the Education and Cultural Affairs Bureau.

This is a unique opportunity to get inside government and meet a well-connected team who, not only are experts in their field, but also have a stake in purchasing decisions.

Thursday evening is the last official mission night and we want to go out with a bang. The night’s activities are still under wraps but be prepared for a special grand finale!

Friday 15th July

With all the official mission events finished, Friday morning will give you a chance to catch up on work, arrange some meetings and follow up on contacts made during the week. 

And for those after a spot of culture, it’d be a shame to leave without seeing some of the best sights in DC. Friday morning is a chance to explore sights of Washington before heading back to the UK, or if you fancy spending the weekend, what a perfect way to start.

The above activities are just the start, more events, speakers and opportunities are still to be announced so make sure you keep updated with the Chinwag blog and Twitter account.

Next Steps

If you are interested in coming on the mission, please help us by filling in the short application form. It shouldn’t take more than 10 minutes and is an important part of the process of helping us target the organisations and contacts you’d like to meet whilst on the mission.

Applications are open until the 10th June - so don’t miss out.

For more details on the schedule check out the Digital Mission to Washington activity page.

//Apply for the Digital Mission to Washington, DC

Photo (cc) Waldron H Leard / Ana T. Gallant


U.S. Government Opportunities for Small UK Companies

It should be interesting to get the UK small business leader perspective of just how easy/difficult it would be for smaller companies to participate in the U.S. government procurement process.

Given the feedback from the attendees at a recent meeting in the UK, it's apparently very difficult for entrepreneurs and even established small companies to receive serious consideration by the local UK government entities - more details on that topic are in this video recording of the meeting

David H. Deans


Engaging with US Gov vs UK Gov

Agree. It'll be interesting to see the reaction the other side of the pond. The interest from government departments, corporates and the startup, open data and social innovation folks in Washington has been incredibly welcoming.

I was pleasantly surprised by how open major US government departments were to meeting with UK firms. The Digital Mission to DC is a great opportunity to build links between the two capitals, hopefully it'll give us an insight into what works and what doesn't on both sides of the pond and provide plenty of opportunity to build relationships between firms in DC and the UK.