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Simon Walker

Founder & CEO, Marquee TV (Netflix for arts & culture fans)

Simon Walker is a founder, investor and advisor working where the creative industries meet digital technology.

Simon’s vehicle, Maidthorn Partners, is the UK’s specialist incubator for global passion niches.

Founded in 2008, and based in London and New York, the Maidthorn group are venture builders supported by an elite global network of over 150 senior experts across media, music, arts, fashion, publishing, entertainment, sports and technology.

Maidthorn is passionate about building valuable digital-first brands in global content-led niches. The group successfully creates, incubates, funds and launches new ventures – some with partners, some on our own. Examples of Maidthorn teams delivering our mission of ‘super-serving the under-served’ include Love Home Swap (sold to Wyndham Hotels in August 2017 for $50m), Marquee TV and CountryLine.

In a world of serial entrepreneurs working with broad portfolio VCs, Simon is proud to take a different approach he calls ‘parallel entrepreneurship’ – building a family of related ventures that leverage the brightest and best in the Maidthorn network. All Maidthorn ventures have female founders and female investors. #MadeByMaidthorn.

With his expertise and experience in global niches and growth ventures, Simon and his team also support strategy and development for a diverse portfolio of clients – from the most successful global media and technology groups to the most disruptive digital challengers.

Simon’s background is as an accomplished innovator with over twenty-five years’ experience in the digital and creative industries. As leader of the global strategy & business development functions at the BBC, EMI Music and EMAP plc, Simon was at the heart of the media and entertainment business’s transformation to digital in the 90s and 00s.

Simon holds an MA from Keble College, Oxford and lives between central London and coastal Dorset with wife Kirsty and their three daughters.

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Darren Henley OBE

Chief Executive, Arts Council England

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Business Intelligence Strategy and Times & Sunday Times Director, News UK

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DIgital Director, National Gallery

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Director of Learning, Science Museum

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Digital Director, British Film Institute

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Chair, Creative England

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External Relationship Manager, BBC Digital Archive

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Co Founder, REMIX Summits & CultureLabel.com

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Director, Possibilizer

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Artistic Director, Music and the Deaf

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Head of Digital Business Academy, Tech City

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Head of TV, The Drum

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Robert Rowland Smith

Presented by the School of Life

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Lois Stonock

Curator and Researcher

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