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Tony Hughes

Dealmaker – Global Entrepreneurship Programme (GEP), Department for International Trade (DIT)

Tony Hughes has 20 years experience as an entrepreneur, mentor and consultant.  He established the UK’s first digital content incubator, starting over 60 tech start-ups and set up an international Digital Media research lab working with companies such as Unilever, Channel 4, BT and Nokia.   He has advised Hewlett Packard and the BBC on new product innovation and was a founding member of the Tech City Investment Organisation in London and Tech North for the 7 cities in the north of England.

Tony graduated in Media and Communications from Manchester University in the 1990s and taught European Media for Penn State University before joining a UK Media Research and Marketing company.  He joined Mersey Television to develop their new media arm that resulted in the development of a Digital Media Lab with Liverpool John Moores University, AMD and Channel 4.   

Tony was a Director for the Digital Media Lab for 8 years, establishing the Digital Content Incubator and over seeing R & D projects with Corporates, Start-ups and Research organisations.   Research in disruptive tech areas covered included Entertainment, Education, Marketing, Health & Government.  

In 2008 Tony co-founded Focus Innovation to connect innovative start-ups into Corporates and support access to finance initiatives.  He sat on assessment panels for InnovateUK grants programme and business support initiatives for Creative and Tech companies.   He has advised hundreds of Media and Technology businesses looking to expand across international borders and lead the expansion into Europe for the Beijing based Rekoo Games.    He is a UK government Industry Specialist for the Media sector and a Dealmaker for DIT’s Global Entrepreneur Programme,  helping tech entrepreneurs to set up new enterprises in the UK.

He is currently co-founder of CityCurator, which provides internationally mobile companies with the data and insights to help them access global markets.    CityCurator.co.uk matches global companies to city location best suited to their expansion requirements.  The company produces insights into industry international clusters and has recently contributed to research reports for the UK’s Digital Catapult on the Immersive Sector as well as providing data to city regions to map their top FDI clusters.

Tony’s personal interests include new technologies, film, literature, theatre and sports.  He is a mentor for various educational programmes to support the development of young adults into the knowledge industries.