Up and coming West Midlands businesses in the tech sector are being offered the opportunity to visit global technology hub Seattle as part of a trade mission visit to generate growth.  

Birmingham-based business development specialists Rockfine Group are leading a visit to the US West Coast city for Midlands companies in emerging tech sectors such as virtual reality, blockchain technology and artificial intelligence.

Organised by US Rockfine colleagues with connections to companies such as Microsoft and Amazon, both of which have large presences in Seattle, delegates will have the chance to meet new connections to discuss opportunities in North America during the trip in July.

A free webinar is being held on April 8 for interested businesses to hear more about the trip, planned to take place from July 19 to 21.

Drawing upon extensive international business expertise, Rockfine say they will be offering “a cost-effective opportunity to visit the USA market”, allowing participants to “immerse themselves in Seattle’s vibrant tech communities”.

Rockfine are also looking to take West Midlands companies with ambitions around non-fungible tokens (NFTs), the non-interchangeable units of data which can be sold and traded, as well as those offering software as a service (Saas), web technologies and machine learning.

The organisers say meetings will be tailored to the business needs and desired outcomes of the group members but the aim is to set up meetings with Rockfine’s connections at the likes of Amazon, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Microsoft and Starbucks.

If delegates fit the bill, Rockfine will organise meetings with angel investors and venture capital groups focussed on technology. A pre-visit briefing will be held over dinner in Birmingham to guide delegates on how to approach US expansion and collaboration conversations, as well as the business structures to consider when talking with potential partners.

For more than 20 years, the Rockfine team have led UK business owners to overseas markets to explore expansion as part of trade mission and trade show visits, with Seattle offering unique opportunities. BD Dalton, Strategic Director for Rockfine Group, which has its Birmingham HQ on Colmore Circus Queensway: “Seattle is not only the home of Nirvana and Bruce Lee but of some amazing companies changing the world, such as Microsoft, Starbucks, and Amazon.

“We understand small and large businesses and their interactions, so this mission is focussed on adding value and setting things in motion for the participants. With US natives on the team, we have deep knowledge of the North American market plus high level connections to make introductions.

“Unlocking a foreign market, particularly the world leading US tech sector, brings fresh opportunity and creates growth on a new level. Visiting Seattle, Rockfine will act as your guide to making the most of the opportunities waiting there.”

Rockfine Managing Director Michelle Dalton said: “Drawing upon our deep knowledge of international markets to deliver commercial value, Rockfine has built an excellent reputation with governments and other influential organisations to provide trusted services for businesses reaching out to new places.

“We get maximum value out of every international opportunity by putting every effort into the preparation, understanding the target business scene and identifying every potential interest. The Seattle trip will build on our work to date with more than 250 companies, who we have helped with short and long-term problem solving including building links with overseas partners and markets.”

The Seattle visit comes on the back of a series of recent overseas trips led by Rockfine, including a trip to Malta last November for creative businesses organised for the West Midland Combined Authority.

In January Telford-based Bohemia Automation, who provide cutting-edge software solutions for industry, drew upon Rockfine’s strong US business links to present their work in Las Vegas at CES, the annual exhibition billed by US organiser the Consumer Technology Association as the “most influential tech event in the world”.