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04 May 2020
Portraits

Hugo Hurtado (TBS 2015) - Entrepreneur in E-Sport

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Hugo has the soul of an entrepreneur.

He integrated TBS and created his first start-up by joining the School's incubator, TBSeeds. After passing his degree, he took a vested interest in E-Sport. Today he is Co-founder of Agence Esport, the leading agency exclusively dedicated to the economic growth of E-sport in France.

Why did you choose Toulouse and TBS to study ? 

I had the choice of several cities for my studies: Montpellier, Toulouse, Paris, Montreal... Toulouse was the city that appealed to me the most to establish myself.

I integrated TBS for my Masters degree for several reasons : the high level of teaching on offer, the Alumni network and the possibility of joining the TBSeeds incubator.

Can you tell us about your time as a student at TBS ?

I enrolled in the Master in Marketing, Management and Communication course with a major in Digital Communication while also completing a work-study placement. My timetable was therefore very full, unfortunately allowing little room for "student" activities. I worked from Moday to Thursday and had classes on Friday and Saturday. At the same time I was setting up my first own company called Start Trac within the TBSeeds incubator.…It was not easy.

Do you have any stories from your year to share ? (student associations, projects, lecturers, etc.)

I was part of the «Become a Buddy» group. We accompanied foreign students when they began at TBS. It was all very new to them discovering a new country. Our objective was to give insight into French culture and our habits and help them integrate school life as much as possible. 

How did your studies help you in your professional and personal path ?

During my Masters course at TBS, I was also doing a work-study placement and setting up my first business. It was fairly complicated to manage the triple dose of work. Several years on, I would say that above all, TBS gave me the chance to open and increase my network while refining my business plan with the TBSeeds incubator. 

What are you currently working on ?

I am Managing Director and Co-founder of Agence Esport, the leading French agency exclusively dedicated to economic growth in E-sport. Agence Esport has a economic action plan on a national level to help create employment in electronic sports and video games, to facilitate and develop E-sport business in France and to offer a full range of customized training programs in the E-sport sector for schools, universities and businesses.

Why did you choose this area of activity ?

Ever since I was a child I have been passionate about video games and their competitive "E-sport" side. The video game industry is in fact the leading cultural industry in France, ahead of the cinema and music combined. 

Together with Boris Bergerot, Founder and President of Stakrn (société spécialisée dans le développement économique de l’E-sport), we helped put together the ICONE Arena project in Toulouse in conjunction with the real estate agency, EDELIS. We won the "Dessine-moi Toulouse" (Design Toulouse) award in June 2019. What is the ICONE Arena ? It is 16400 m² of space entirely dedicated to E-sport to be launched in 2023 in the Argoulets park. It was in this context that we identified the need to create an agency dedicated to the Federation of key players in E-sport.

So with Agence Esport, I wanted to create a competitive cluster on a similar basis, building links between the public and private sectors, between small companies and key accounts. In other words, building business bridges. They are frequent in many other sectors, particularly in Aeronautics and Space, areas that I know a great deal about.

Where do you see yourself 10 years down the line ?

I asked myself the same question almost 10 years ago and at that time I wanted to raise my first million for my company to allow me to develop projects I like. 

Today, I obviously don't know exactly where I will be in 10 years time but what I want is to carry on doing what I like : that is my priority. If I am still passionate about the E-sport sector, that's where I'll be !

How did the Alumni network provide you with support ? 

The first thing I would spotlight is the specific help I received from Alumni Stéphane CONTREPOIS (TBS 1994), who was also an entrepreneur with several success stories under his belt ! He pushed me to launch my project and I would not be where I am today without him.

How would you recommend using the Alumni network ?

Use this very affluent TBS network to get advice or help when putting a project in place.   

Finally, are you willing for Alumni to contact you directly if they are interested in your career path ? 

Yes of course ! I can be contacted by email at : hugo@lagencesport.com



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