British Health Technology Entrepreneurs Courting Silicon Valley's Heavyweights

There are 19 startups in the Valley this week meeting with Qualcomm, Hewlett-Packard, and Cisco.

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The Irish have long courted investors in Silicon Valley and now the British are making their move—a group of promising health technology startups are in Silicon Valley this week showing off their wares with the hopes of cementing future ties.

The trip was initiated by the Future Health Mission and sponsored by the British Technology Strategy Board. A total of 80 startups applied to join the trip, of which only 19 were selected.

"We brought the best and the brightest companies that we think are on the bottom of the growth hockey stick to the San Francisco Bay Area," says Board member Zahid Latif. "Where else would you bring them but one of the most innovative areas on the planet?"

Qualcomm, Hewlett-Packard, and Cisco are all in meetings with the British entrepreneurs this week.

One of the startups in attendance is Cambridge Temperature Concepts, maker of the popular British device, DuoFertility, that wirelessly predicts ovulation and fertility information. Looking to expand to the United States, founder Shamus Husheer says "Getting these introductions at a very high level to the right people is amazing."

Health technologies have enjoyed particular attention over the last couple of years, especially as the U.S. grapples with its aging population. GE and Intel have teamed up on a joint health care initiative, GE Care Innovations, which is rolling out this year, and will include a personal telehealth system as well as a remote monitoring system for the elderly. Telehealth is already a $3 billion industry and is expected to reach up to $7.7 billion by 2012.

So it's excellent timing for the Brits to be hanging out with VCs in Silicon Valley—everyone's got their eyes on innovation in health and for good reason.

Follow me, Jenara Nerenberg, on Twitter.

[Image courtesy AgaMatrix]

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