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Always first with the killer idea; My First Step To Success: Mark Hookham meets Andy McLoughlin, Marketing Manager.

Byline: Mark Hookham

ANDY McLoughlin prides himself with being at the cutting edge of technology. His job is to make Merseyside companies realise they will flourish if they embracehightechnology advances.

Andy, 29, is the marketing manager for ICDC -International Centre for DigitalContent -and is based in Liverpool city centre.

``We cover a huge area from wireless technology to interactive TV to graphic and film. We have become thehubfor the whole industry,'' he said.

Andy, who is originally from Oxton, Wirral, studiedEnglish at Newcastle University before returning to Merseyside to take up a marketing position with the University of Liverpool.

After a year he was snapped up by local entrepreneur Rob Gutmann and startedamarketing and promotions role at theLyceum Group, which owns Albert Dock's BlueBar.

He then moved to recruitment company Prospects' Manchester office where he was responsible for spearheading Prospects TV-the company's interactive digitalTV service.

``It was an extremely exciting time. I learnt a lot about interactive technol-ogy which was booming at the time. We were using interactive TVand mobile phones to tell people about job vacancies.

``It was different for working for Liverpool University, which taught me about marketingabigorganisation.''

In February 2002 Andy went to work for ICDC -a part European-funded organisation with the remit of helping businesses keep abreast of technology.

The organisation, formed in 2000, helps around 200 local businesses keep in touch with the digital advances being made by companies like Eriksson, Nokiaand the BBC. ICDC also runs courses at LiverpoolJohn Moores University including a masters degree in digital games - tofu el the city's growing gaming industry.

``First and foremost we want to empower people with digital technology, whether it be throughcomputers, phones or TV. The next big thing will be mobile and wireless technology -making the link between business and the mobile phone.

``Workers will be able to link up with their lap top computers through their phones. They will beable to check their calendar,makeappointments and send emails,'' he said.

Andy, who now lives in a Kings Dock apartment,has also established socalledbusiness incubators in an office in Blundell Street.

``We basically engineer the conditions where a technology company can grow quickly. They have a physical office space and a regiven all the support they need. A lot of small businesses fall in the first year and the incubator basically tries to stop that happening.''

In such a fast - paced industry Andy says the ability to come up with a killer idea is the secret to success. ``You succeed if you have lots of new ideas and areorganised. You have to be willing to try out new things and take risks.''
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Copyright 2003 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

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Title Annotation:Business
Publication:Daily Post (Liverpool, England)
Date:Sep 25, 2003
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