Co-Founder and CEO, JFDI.ASIA
Hugh is CEO at JFDI.Asia and Adjunct Associate Professor at National University of Singapore. Since 2012 he has co-founded, mentored or invested in more than 70 startup companies, achieving 48% IRR. A UK citizen and proud European, Hugh is now a Permanent Resident of Singapore.
Hugh's Physics degree was sponsored by GEC-Marconi Research, where he worked on digital radar, radio propagation and home automation. This technical background gave him the opportunity to train as a TV producer-director with the BBC's Tomorrow's World, a live primetime science show watched by up to 8 million viewers each week.
Hugh left the BBC to found Narrateo, an independent TV production company. It won a British Academy Award nomination making over 150 documentaries for Discovery Channel and National Geographic.
Building on his experience managing creative people and IP, in 2001, Hugh co-founded Pembridge Partners. This London-based investment and advisory firm raised over USD50m working with 300+ technology media and marketing firms. Hugh captured the insights he gained in Brainfruit, a book co-authored with Mark Chong and published by McGraw-Hill.
In 2009 Hugh and his wife chose to raise their son in Singapore, where Hugh co-founded JFDI.Asia. As the first business accelerator in SE Asia, JFDI proved pivotal in kick-starting Singapore's entrepreneurial ecosystem, deploying approximately USD3m into a portfolio of 70 very early stage startups across Asia. JFDI has also supported over 1,000 start-up founders through its outreach programs and thousands more through hundreds ofnetworking events, startup weekends and hackathons.
Outside work, Hugh co-founded UAS, a UK education charity, with Simon Singh MBE. UAS has enabled hundreds of science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) undergraduates to explore a career in teaching and it now forms part of more than 25% of UK STEM undergraduate courses.