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Douglas Leone

Partner at Sequoia Capital

Mentor accelerator

JC grew up to 18 years in the Uaiparú-La Gran Sabana jungle.Venezuelan mother and French father. 3 children and husband of Daniella Meneses Petersen, a Venezuelan master baker.Founder of URIJI, application and global social network based in the UK and Caracas.Graduated from the University of Paris 10 and La Sorbonne with a license and Master in Modern Literature.Knight of the National Order of Merit, decorated by the President of France. 20 years of career at L’Oréal. Marketing and commercial director in France, General manager in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. President of L’Oréal Venezuela for the period 2011-2016.Poetry writer and author of a book in 2014 El Alféizar.Single-engine plane pilot, 15 years of Karate and advanced SSI diver. Awarded by the Ushuaia-Hulot foundation on ecology project 1992. Advisor of the Capstone Project BMI Louvain University. Ambassador of the Union Avatars Linking Realities Barcelona

John Berger

Founder and CEO, Sunnova Energy Corporation

Mentor accelerator

Mr. Berger founded Sunnova in 2012 and has since then served as Chief Executive Officer, President and Chairman of the Board. With more than two decades of experience in the electric power industry, Mr. Berger is an energy entrepreneur who has always supported free market competition, consumer choice and the advancement of energy technology to power energy independence. Before Sunnova, Mr. Berger served as Founder and Chief Executive Officer at SunCap Financial, a residential solar service provider. He also founded Standard Renewable Energy, a provider and installer of renewable energy and energy-efficient products and services. Mr. Berger received his Masters of Business Administration from Harvard Business School and graduated cum laude from Texas A&M University with a Bachelor of Science degree in civil engineering.

Danijel Visevic

Founding Partner at World Fund

Mentor accelerator

Danijel Visevic is a recognised climate tech thought leader investing in startups that promise the highest financial and climate returns. Before initiating the World Fund, he worked for Project A, one of Europe’s most successful venture capitalists. Before that, he was co-responsible for the audio-visual appearance of Angela Merkel and worked as a journalist focussing on climate tech, startups and venture capital.

Andrés Blazquez

Board Member SEVILLA FC

Mentor accelerator

Andrés Blazquez joined 777 Partners in 2020. Prior to joining 777, he was a Senior Advisor with Guggenheim Partners. Before that, he was the Founder and Managing Partner of Caucasus Capital Partners, one of the pioneer private equity investors in the Caucasus. He also was in charge of business development at Erlang Technologies, a US-based fabless semiconductors company. Mr. Blazquez has a B.A. in Physics from Kalamazoo College, a B.S. and M.S. in Electrical Engineering from Washington University in Saint Louis, and an MBA from INSEAD. He sits on the boards of Sevilla Football Club, Fanatiz and New World Value Fund.

Francisco Ruiz

Partner at Metyis

Mentor accelerator

20+ years of experience leading strategy, innovation and business transformation projects within Energy & Utilities, TMT & Manufacturing in Europe, LatAm and US. Director of Business Consulting - Energy & Utilities at NTT DATA Europe & LATAM Professor of Entrepreneurship, Open Innovation & Digital Transformation Co-Founder of Exedra, An open community for entrepreneurs, innovators and new ventures developers to share experiences, knowledge and talent. Director of Business Consulting - Energy, Utilities & Open Innovation at everis (Mar 2017 - Oct 2021) 5 yrs 1 mo at Axis Corporate as Senior Manager | Energy, Telecom and Infrastructures in Barcelona Area, Spain

T. Anim-Somuah

Engineering Manager Projects at World Energy Council

Mentor master

Thaddeus Anim-Somuah is a thought leading engineer and climate advocate. He is a dual citizen of Ghana and the United Kingdom, currently living in the Netherlands. He is a World Energy Council Future Energy Leader and works as Engineering Manager Projects at Croda, where he plays a key role in the global energy transition plans, In addition to these roles, he is a EU Commission Climate Pact Ambassador, Global Youth Climate Network (World Bank Group) Climate Ambassador (2021) and Executive Board Member at European Federation of Chemical Engineering (2020-2021). He is an experienced university advisor and startup advisor; having been appointed to advisory boards at organisations such as of University of Southampton and Brunel University as well as having supported incubators such as World Startup Co and Forward Incubator. In 2020 he was listed by Forbes Europe as 30 under 30 for Manufacturing & Industry

Giovanni Ciferri

CEO at Buddyfit

Mentor accelerator

Giovanni is Buddy Fit Co-founder and CEO. He is on a mission to empower people. He wants you to feel strong, healthy and at your best by making wellness fun & accessible!

CJ Gooderham

Associate Analyst at Balanced Rock Power

Mentor accelerator

CJ Gooderham is the Co-Founder of Equitable Solar Solutions. A non-profit program focused on re-purposing solar panels to underserved communities. He also works for a startup renewable energy development company, Balanced Rock Power, that develops and sells utility scale renewable energy projects across the United States. Prior to Balanced Rock, CJ worked for AES Clean Energy, a business unit of the Fortune 500 company, The AES Corporation. At AES, he worked with a team focused on Greenfield development of solar and storage projects in their most strategic markets and was part of over 2 gigawatts of interconnection filings. CJ is passionate about decarbonization, and building a better future for the planet”

David Rivier

CPO / CPTO (Product & Engineering)

Mentor master

David was until recently the Chief Product Officer at WonderBill (Shell Plc), a Fintech company based in the U.K, where he led the product and engineering teams during a challenging transformation initiative. David has over 15 years of senior product leadership experience in international environments working for companies like Skype, Skyscanner, Barclays, 118118Money, etc.During his career, David has acquired extensive knowledge building and leading customer and product-led businesses across B2C, B2B, and B2B2C in various industries. In addition, he has a track record of attracting top talent and establishing high performing product and engineering teams in distributed environments. David is a French national, holds an Mst in ICT Management at Limoges University (France), and an alum of Montpellier Business School MBA (France)

Thomas Sherman

Startup Business Developing Solutions for Renewable Energies

Mentor master

Thomas Sherman is the co-founder of CRCL Solutions, a small business focused on delivering artificial intelligence driven wind energy production forecasts to North American markets. As a founder of CRCL, Dr. Sherman has received national recognition, being named to the 2022 North American Forbes 30 under 30 energy list and being accepted into University of Texas’ Austin Technology Incubator. Prior to founding CRCL, Dr. Sherman received his PhD from University of Notre Dame. Here he focused on developing mathematical models for environmental science applications. In his free time, he enjoys all things outdoors, including backpacking, kayaking, hiking, and wildlife viewing.

Rajdeep Gahir

Startup Builder

Mentor accelerator

She has founded multiple businesses and has over 10+ years deep dive experience in optimising real estate through design, innovation and operational prowess and has received numerous awards and recognition as a young power woman including being on the Forbes list in 2019. She has served as the co-founder of Aikito a prop-tech firm transforming CRE and founder of Co-Creations a company building and corporate advisory vehicle. She previously Founded and exited, Vivahouse an innovative co-living operator that used a rapid flat pack prefabrication system to reduce the time and cost of construction by 50% with the mission to solve the urban affordability crisis though partnership with governments.She also served as the MD of international design firm Design Haus Liberty and worked in corporate venture innovation for Bank of America Merrill Lynch and eBay as well as for French VC fund 50 partners. In her early career, Rajdeep joined WeWork as an early employee and led the European rollout from 2014, responsible for taking WeWork in London from inception to 8 buildings, over 6000 members and a team of 200 people. Rajdeep built WeWork’s European business from $0- $50 million in 18 months. She also launched the brand in the Netherlands and oversaw the first site.

Maxwell Ampong

Investment Strategist | Sustainability Development Models | Impact Services & Products

Mentor accelerator

Maxwell Investments Group (MIG) is a trade and investment firm with a focus on agricultural trade and optimization of its processes. MIG has operations in Ghana, Kenya, Uganda, Rwanda, Nigeria, Seirra Leone, Delaware USA, England, and more.In recent years, MIG has invested in innovative technologies that continue to drive Africa’s future in enterprise resource planning (ERP) systems, e-commerce, media consumption, and supply chain management.He also serves as business advisor to Ghana’s largest union under the nation’s Trade Union Congress (TUC), the General Agricultural Workers’ Union (GAWU), where he often deals with more than 50,000 self-employed farmers, formal sector employees, agribusinesses, and Farmer Based Organizations (FBOs).He worked (until April 2022) as a real estate investment consultant at Coldwell Banker Commercial (CBC) Ghana, a full-service real estate provider operating at the highest level.Was a mentor at the Founder Institute, the world’s largest pre-seed start-up accelerator, where aspiring entrepreneurs and small teams get their first funding.

Martin Schwemmer

Managing Director BVL - Bundesvereinigung Logistik

Mentor accelerator

Martin is the managing director of BVL-Bundesvereinigung Logistik, an open platform for people passionate about logistics and supply chain management worldwide.He worked for 14 years for Fraunhofer IIS, Institute for Integrated Circuits, which conducts world-class research on microelectronic and IT system solutions and services.He attended FAU Erlangen-Nürnberg, One of Germany’s oldest and most prestigious universities.

Scott Dodson

CMO, Play Magnus Group; Techstars Mentor; Reforge Practitioner

Mentor accelerator

Passion for building teams, building brands, shipping product, and driving growth.Entrepreneur and mentor in entertainment, games, fintech, AI, and edtech.Expert in motivation, engagement, & monetization. Product owner by training, marketer at heart. Sixteen years at C-level in games and tech.Five as President/CEO, six in Product (PM/CPO), and five in Growth and Marketing (HoM/CGO/CMO). A people-first leader who drives innovation and success by creating the space for the team to play big.

Monika Krewer

Data driven Business and Product Development

Mentor accelerator

JC grew up to 18 years in the Uaiparú-La Gran Sabana jungle.Venezuelan mother and French father. 3 children and husband of Daniella Meneses Petersen, a Venezuelan master baker.Founder of URIJI, application and global social network based in the UK and Caracas.Graduated from the University of Paris 10 and La Sorbonne with a license and Master in Modern Literature.Knight of the National Order of Merit, decorated by the President of France. 20 years of career at L’Oréal. Marketing and commercial director in France, General manager in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. President of L’Oréal Venezuela for the period 2011-2016.Poetry writer and author of a book in 2014 El Alféizar.Single-engine plane pilot, 15 years of Karate and advanced SSI diver. Awarded by the Ushuaia-Hulot foundation on ecology project 1992. Advisor of the Capstone Project BMI Louvain University. Ambassador of the Union Avatars Linking Realities Barcelona

Marton Gaspar

BeADiscoveryExpert.com

Mentor accelerator

He helps product managers and startup founders with coaching on quick and effective communication and leadership principles that ensure sustainable results.Has been trained and coached by Silicon Valley coaches. He has held product executive roles in startups and companies - B2B and B2C, has undergone master’s level training in coaching. Has been a speaker and advocate for neurodiversity in the tech industry (over 20,000 podcast listens).

Geoffrey Heddle

CPO at at CarNext.com

Mentor master

Geoff is Chief Product Officer at CarNext.com, part of Constellation Automotive Group. He has extensive experience building and scaling eCommerce platforms with multi £m revenue within some of the UK and Europe’s most successful and largest digital brands. He held senior product roles at Auto Trader Group plc which is a British automotive classified advertising business. It specialises in new and second-hand automotive sales, including cars sold by private sellers and trade dealers. It is listed on the London Stock Exchange and is a constituent of the FTSE 100 Index.He built a new product function within FinTech, has experience within a niche legal service business and more recently as a founder director of cinch Cars Ltd, arguably one of the most successful start-ups in UK start-up history (raising £1bn PE funding) recently expanding into 22 markets across Europe with the acquisition of CarNext.com.

JC Garrett

CEO at FarShore Partners

Mentor master

JC Garrett has spent nearly his entire career working with startups in one form or another. JC currently serves as the Chief Executive Officer for the 200+ person global custom software development agency, FarShore, and Managing Partner for its investment and advisory arm, Dashfire.  He joined FarShore in its early stages over 12 years ago and has worked closely with hundreds of startups to be a strategic leader in their tech and business planning processes.  While software development is FarShore’s business, JC always looks at tech with the end goal of creating profitable and sustainable ventures that can raise money, scale operations and grow revenue. He also serves as a mentor/advisor for several startup accelerators and enablement organizations and is also a Co-founder a first-of-its-kind founder development program called FounderUp.

Stefano Giacone

Founder at Italian Elite

Mentor master

Stefano is Italian Elite Co-founder and CEO. He's passionate about e-commerce and fintech (he's also a Product Manager at Klarna). He has years of experience working, mentoring, and investing in startups. Fun fact: he's also a seaplane pilot, so if you're ever near Como, reach out to him, he might be able to give you a ride over the beautiful Como Lake.

Boris Von Bieberstein

COO at Oerlikon

Mentor master

Studied in France, USA, and Germany, Masters's Degree in Business Administration & Economics and Ph.D. in Strategy and M&A both from WHU Beisheim School of Management (Germany). Business Experience in Banking, Energy, Automotive, Aerospace & Airlines, General Engineering, and Defense industries. Started career as Strategy Consultant, and worked later as Chief of Staff and Head of Gas turbine product management at Siemens. Currently COO at Oerlikon plus direct responsibility for the global Equipment Manufacturing and Powder Production businesses. Previously Global Head of Business Services, in charge of Procurement, IT& Digital, HSE, Real Estate. Mentor for ETH Zurich Master Program students and MassChallenge start up accelerator in Switzerland, Israel, and USA.

Bei Zhang

Head of Marketing Analytics at Grammarly

Mentor master

Bei is the Head of Analytics at Grammarly, a leading brand using NLP technology to improve communications. He built the marketing data science team to identify growth opportunities and create values across B2C and B2B product lines. He has extensive experience leveraging strategy and data science to solve growth challenges across different industries: Saas, Fintech, Real Estate, eCommerce, etc. Before joining Grammarly, he was the Head of Growth in an A16Z portfolio company called Point Digital Finance which created a new product to help homeowners unlock their home equity without taking on debt. In Point, he built a diverse growth team from scratch and grew the revenue by 10x in a year. Located in the heart of Silicon Valley, he has been active in the start-up community, advising various early to mid-stage companies to scale their business.

Prasanna Sankar

Co-Founder of Rippling.com

Mentor master

Co-Founder of Rippling.com, currently valued at $10B; Been a founder of multiple cos over a decade. Starting something new in the blockchain space.I used to do a lot of programming contests while at college: I was ranked #1 in India at TopCoder. 2x Google Code Jam world finalist. 2x ACM ICPC world finalist.

Sigrun Nilsen Rodrigues

VP of Marketing at Ardoq

Mentor master

Sigrun has led change initiatives and marketing teams, including at Microsoft. She's currently VP of Marketing at Ardoq, a B2B SaaS company disrupting the enterprise architecture space, where she has built a top-performing marketing function. She believes the best workplace is where people create value with a clear purpose while having fun.

Francois de Bodinat

CPO at Younited

Mentor master

François is Chief Product Officer at Younited, a scaleup member of the French Tech #Next40, which is leading the instant credit revolution in Europe. Based in Paris, he has successfully built and deployed a product culture within Younited, driving teams of product managers, marketers, and designers to deliver credit, coaching and payment solutions across Europe.

François has over 20 years of international experience (USA, UK, Europe, Asia) spanning fintech, automotive and e-commerce industries, underpinned by an MSc in 3D software engineering and artificial intelligence as well as an MBA from INSEAD business school.

He has expertise in start-ups (co-founded Givted with +$1.5M funding), scale-ups (ZeroLight, 3DExcite, Younited) and big corporates (Amazon, Dassault Systèmes, Autodesk).

François’s cross-cutting expertise in technology, sales, marketing, and strategy brings a forward-thinking and entrepreneurial mindset to deliver the best possible products and user experiences.

Cecilia Manduca

VC at Talis Capital

Mentor master

Cecilia joined Talis in April 2020 and has carved her specialisms in climate tech, and consumer social. Cecilia is fascinated by the psychology of entrepreneurship and loves digging into what makes founders tick. Cecilia works closely alongside Serena on our ESG workshops and programs.

Before joining Talis, Cecilia co-founded a travel and events business for students in Italy, worked at an early-stage cleantech startup and then went on to work for Grantree where she helped hundreds of UK tech companies secure government funding. Cecilia holds a MA in Human Geography from King’s College London and a BSc in Business Administration from Bolzano University.

When she’s not traveling, Cecilia can be found playing beach volleyball, at Crossfit or cycling around London. She speaks four languages – Italian, English, German and Spanish and has lived in four continents.