Clipper Yacht Race 'US Roadshow' hailed a huge success

Sat, 21/04/2012 - 13:24 -- Editor

The Derry City Council delegation ,who took the Clipper roadshow to San Francisco last week, report that several US businesses and investors are interested in backing start-ups and considering setting up operations here in the city 

Derry City Council’s Chief Executive, Sharon O’Connor, says that strengthening international connections for the city during 2012 and 2013 remains a priority.

“The city met with a series of business, civic and Diaspora representatives in San Francisco last week and generated positive opportunities for further business, education and cultural connections," she said. "The interest and enthusiasm with which the city was received indicates the potential for developing international connections in the run-up to 2013. Keeping the city connected internationally is a real legacy from the NI 2012 and City of Culture 2013 programme and our connection through the Clipper ports of call in the USA and Canada will help bring the city’s story of change and investment to this international and enthusiastic audience. ”.

Derry City Council’s CEO, Sharon O’Connor was accompanied by the Chair of Development Committee, Cllr Martin Reilly and Digital Champion Mark Nagurski. Amongst those met by the group were Prof. Ron Gronsky from University of California; Berkeley, Senator Loni Hancock, the Mayor of Berkeley; Tom Bates, and Consul General of Ireland as well as business community through a UK TDI business network event.

Mark Nagurski of Digital Derry who also travelled with the group said, "The visit was very positive. Not only have we secured some extremely high-quality speakers for the upcoming Culture Tech festival but we have also had extensive discussions with several investors about backing start ups in Derry and a handful of companies about setting up operations here. There is no doubt that the progress we have made this week could only be accomplished face-to-face and I'm looking forward to making similar inroads as part of the Clipper stop in New York this June."

Including in the four-day engagement programme was a unique network event attended by a gathering of city expats. Cllr Martin Reilly concluded:

“The strength of numbers of the Derry-Londonderry Diaspora who live in San Francisco was surprising. They remain positive ambassadors for the city and, by further developing and maintaining our relationships with them, we can better promote the great opportunities Derry-Londonderry has to offer.”

For more information about the forthcoming City Connection visits to New York and Halifax please visit www.derrycity.gov.uk/clipper.