Building the future

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Meet the movers and shakers, the investors, innovators and leaders who are delivering impact today. Use the Filters option below to toggle between Speakers and Impact Investors options.

More speakers and investors will be added in the coming days.
Mari Tikkanen (M4ID)

Mari Tikkanen (M4ID)

Mari is the Co-CEO and Co-Founder of M4ID. In this role, Mari represents M4ID globally in its relationships with clients, vulnerable communities as well as M4ID’s large networks of partners and stakeholders. She initiates and develops new ways of delivering social impact, spearheads measurement initiatives, and leads projects funded from M4ID’s social mission fund. Mari also plays a critical role in the governance of M4ID as a member of the Board of Directors. Prior to co-founding M4ID in 2008 and leading the organisation for a decade, Mari worked for 15 years on women’s and children’s health and rights, including for WHO South East Asia Region, UNFPA, IPPF, AMREF and Aurat Foundation in Pakistan. Mari holds an MSc. in Population and Development from the London School of Economics and a Sociology degree from Helsinki University, and is a qualified social worker. Mari is a requested speaker at international events and serves on a number of advisory boards, including on the Senior Advisory Group of Saving Newborn Lives and Design for Health.

 

ANDREW REBEIRO-HARGRAVE (University of Helsinki)

ANDREW REBEIRO-HARGRAVE (University of Helsinki)

Andrew Rebeiro-Hargrave is currently a Visiting Scientist with the Megasense project at University of Helsinki

Andrew worked at GeoInformatics at the University of Helsinki, and at Nokia Networks was an author of “Multimedia Group Communication: Push‐to‐Talk Over Cellular, Presence and List Management Concepts and Applications” book (2008). He transferred to Nokia Siemens Networks in Nairobi and was Solution/Sale Engagement manager for business development in Africa between 2006-2012.

Andrew returned to academia as an ICT lecturer for the Institute of Decision Science for a Sustainable Society, Kyushu University, Japan in 2013. He became involved with the Grameen Organization in Bangladesh and designed frugal digital health solutions. He returned to Finland in 2016 and is an Academic Visitor at Aalto University Department of Industrial Engineering and Management and Visiting Scientist at University of Helsinki Department of Geoscience and Geography and is studying a variety of spatial-temporal problems. He went to King’s College London and graduated with B.Sc. in Geography and Ph.D. for modeling drainage network evolution in the 1990s. He freelanced as a science editor with Dorling Kindersley and as a statistics lecturer at the Unversity of Greenwich.

Andrew set up a productivity business called ‘Enzyme Consultancy’ and coordinated four large EU grant submissions with international consortiums on behalf of the University of Helsinki since 2016.

 

Roney Solomon (Senior Digital & IT Professional)

Roney Solomon (Senior Digital & IT Professional)

Roney Soloman is a senior digital & IT outsourcing sales professional, who has been at the forefront of customer engagement in the UK, European and US markets. His experience spans the breadth of leading Tier-1 and Tier-2 IT services vendors, including HCL, Cognizant, Accenture, Mindtree & NIIT Technologies. Roney also co-founded Ignitho, a digital startup. He has been leading the way in applying the concepts of Frugal Innovation to enable western enterprises to structure and execute viable digital solutions, as well as leveraging the capabilities of global startup ecosystems.

 

Joseph Olassa (Ignitho Technologies)

Joseph Olassa (Ignitho Technologies)

Joseph Olassa is Co-founder & CEO of Ignitho. He brings a track record of nearly two decades of fast paced business growth in IT services across Europe, Middle East and Asia. His core expertise lies in successfully setting up and growing business in new geographies and service lines. Prior to Ignitho, Joseph was part of the core team that grew Mindtree in Europe and the Middle East by orchestrating multi-million dollar contracts as a strategic IT services partner for clients. As CEO, he drives Ignitho’s mission of igniting thought to accelerate customers into the digital economy and in building IP in digital software products.

 

Mikael Juntunen (Catapult)

Mikael Juntunen (Catapult)

Mikael Juntunen is a result-driven entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience in the startup ecosystem from Europe and North America. Having worked with academia, the corporate world and in the startup scene, he has faced multiple perspectives for the speed of organizations. The past 4 years as a founder & COO of Catapult, collaborating with several international corporations as well as interviews of hundreds of corporations have revealed him the diversity of different organizations and their capabilities to move forward and develop. Mikael feels passionate about challenging the operational models of old organizations when it comes to digitalization, new innovation, and use of tech in business development.

 

Markku Heino (BEAM- Business Finland)

Markku Heino (BEAM- Business Finland)

Markku Heino is currently Program Coordinator for BEAM program with Business Finland. Markku specialized in materials & nanotechnology, advanced manufacturing and cleantech. He has wide experience covering scientific research in academia, strategic application oriented R&D and practical product development applying new materials in many industrial applications as well as running large multi-partner innovation programs to successful results.

Markku has a D.Sc. (Tech) degree at Helsinki University of Technology (today called Aalto University), where he is currently Docent of Polymer technology. He has written about 50 scientific articles in peer-reviewed journals, 5 book chapters, several other scientific, technical or popularized articles, given numerous conference presentations regarding polymer/material science, nanotechnology, telecommunications, cable applications, innovation management etc.

 

Christopher Palmberg (BEAM- Business Finland)

Christopher Palmberg (BEAM- Business Finland)

Christopher Palmberg is currently Program Manager and leads the Business Finland Developing Market theme and Business with Impact (BEAM) program to support Finnish innovative and sustainable solutions for needs in developing countries. His prior responsibilities include RDI program portfolio management, ideation, funding and utilization of innovation research for strategy and Finnish innovation policy. He has chaired international evaluation panels for Strategic Innovation Programs (SIP) in Sweden, he is a delegate to the OECD Working Party on Bio-, Nano- and Converging technologies, and has held expert positions in RDI program and policy evaluation panels for the European Commission.

Prior to Business Finland he worked as Senior Consultant at Advansis, an innovation and development policy consultancy, lead the Working Party on Nanotechnology at the OECD in Paris to advice governments on policy issues related to the responsible development and use of nanotechnology. He also has a background as senior researcher at ETLA, the Research Institute of the Finnish Economy, with a focus on the ICT industry and knowledge economy, internationalization of R&D and emerging technologies, and at the VTT Group for Technology Studies with a focus on the sources, patterns and success of innovation, S&T and innovation indicators, and policy evaluations. Christopher Palmberg holds a Ph.D. in Industrial Economics and Management from the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

 

Timo Nyberg (Keksintösäätiö – Foundation for Finnish Inventions)

Timo Nyberg (Keksintösäätiö – Foundation for Finnish Inventions)

Professor Dr. Timo R. Nyberg, from the Foundation for Finnish Inventions, is an Intellectual Property (IP) teacher, researcher and inventor with over 20 years of experience in commercializing local and global inventions. He organizes IP Strategy workshops in Europa, Americas and Asia. Currently Timo is working on topics related to IP created in modern decentralized production models like social manufacturing and co-engaging production.


Ulla Koivukoski (Board Member- Finland India Trade Association)

Ulla Koivukoski (Board Member- Finland India Trade Association)

Ulla has over 30 years’ experience in the leadership of international ICT and telecommunications business from sales and marketing to R&D and regional business – and country management as well as corporate ventures. Previously she was heading Avanto Ventures in India and was Managing Director of Comptel India and Bangladesh until end of 2016.

Before her India assignment, Ulla was a member of Executive Board of Comptel Oy and was heading the Analytics Business Unit. Ulla is passionate about values, customer excellence, employee engagement, discovery of new ventures and adding value to the society. With these drivers she has been able to move across various cultures and functions in large companies, run her own corporate startups as well as help the other startup teams in go-to-market phase. Today Ulla is focusing on building Avanto Ventures India business with the spearhead of advanced passenger mobility, which will be massive transformation program in India and which requires comprehensive technology and business system approach to make it happen successfully.

Mika Pyykkö (Sitra – Finnish Innovation Fund)

Mika Pyykkö (Sitra – Finnish Innovation Fund)

Mika leads Sitra’s Impact Investing Assistance Unit. From Sitra’s perspective impact investing offers Finland a new, profitable tool for enhancing positive societal and (including environment) development. It is also seen as a means of enhancing profitable co-operation between the private, public and NGO sectors by preventing and solving various societal and/or environmental problems in a qualitatively and economically sustainable way.

Mika has previously worked in leadership positions in organizations such as Finland’s Slot Machine Association from 2008 to 2012 and the Finnish Centre for Health Promotion between 2003 and 2008. He has also worked in Finland and abroad, particularly as a champion of health and wellbeing promotion and preventative action. In addition, Mika has been engaged in the development of collaboration between the public, private and third sectors. One of Mika’s most public achievements is the National Heart Symbol system (food labelling) – he headed its development and start-up when working for the Finnish Heart Association between 1995 and 2003.

Kevin Eboigbodin (Orion Diagnostica)

Kevin Eboigbodin (Orion Diagnostica)

Kevin Eboigbodin is currently a Senior Development Manager, Research and Development (R&D) at Orion Diagnostica Oy, a Biotechnology/Healthcare firm. He has a proven track record and long history of successfully leading early biotechnology concepts to commercialization of diagnostics and biotechnology products that improves patient outcomes. He has led the successful technology transfer and the development of novel DNA amplification technology resulting in the commercialization of several in vitro diagnostic medical (IVD) and medical device products.

Kevin has also played a leading role in several business development deals and currently serve as a mentor and a member of advisory board for several start-up companies and SMEs. Kevin holds Master’s and PhD degrees in Biotechnology and Bioengineering respectively, with over 25 scientific publications and patents/patent applications. Kevin has also recently completed his Master’s in Business administration studies (MBA) from Aalto University, Finland.


CYRIL GOUIFFES (European Investment Fund)

CYRIL GOUIFFES (European Investment Fund)

Cyril has been an investment manager within the venture capital team of EIF for the last six years and closed 15+ investments in social impact, clean tech and ICT funds throughout Europe. His career within EIF has been dedicated to impact related activities in the area of microfinance. In this context, he was responsible for implementation of the JASMINE programme, an EU initiative aimed at boosting the institutional capacity of microfinance institutions in Europe to increase their outreach and impact on marginalised micro-borrower clients. Prior to joining EIF, Cyril gained unique field experience working with microfinance institutions in the Middle East. Cyril has a Masters in Political Science and a Masters in Development Economics.

Erik Feldt (Nordea)

Erik Feldt (Nordea)

Erik is Head of Community Engagement in Nordea. He has more than 20 years’ experience from the financial industry, working within asset management, retail funds, responsible investments, people strategy and sustainability. Nordea’s community engagement strategy focuses on building financial skills and accelerating entrepreneurship and is an integral part of the business. It covers all activities that include volunteering and sponsored partnerships and aims to have a positive impact on society.

Pradeep Nair (Ford Foundation)

Pradeep Nair (Ford Foundation)

Pradeep Nair joined the Ford Foundation towards the end of March 2017, to head the India region, including Sri Lanka and Nepal. He has about 20 years of private and public sector experience primarily in US and India. His most recent assignment before joining the Foundation was with The Volcker Alliance in New York, where working along with Paul Volcker and his advisory team he led their Public Service Program. In this role, he directed the Alliance’s efforts to work with corporates, academia and the government, to catalyze more effective, sustainable, and accountable solutions to public policy challenges; and to bridge the divide between government and the people it serves.

Previously, Pradeep worked for the Institute for Sustainable Communities, where he helped start and manage the group’s India office and develop and grow their global strategy and programs. Prior to that, as a Director with the Clinton Foundation, Pradeep helped in designing and expanding their global programs, managing India strategy and operations and later helping to establish the C40 Cities group in the South Asia region. He spent the first part of his career in Silicon Valley, as a strategy consultant and technology specialist with Deloitte Consulting and several start-ups. He focused on advising corporates strategize and implement process and technology solutions, to grow, and scale up in new regions. He also led product development and helped launch several technology applications globally. Pradeep is a regular panelist and speaker on international development and social issues, and given his diverse and deep work with corporates and public sector, he has a keen interest on bridging the gap between the two. An engineer and MBA by training, he has worked and lived in North America, Asia, Europe, and the Middle East.

RAVI VUKKADALA (NORTHERN ARC INVESTMENTS)

RAVI VUKKADALA (NORTHERN ARC INVESTMENTS)

Ravi is the CEO of Northern Arc Investments and has over 13 years’ experience in credit investing, risk and fund management. Prior to joining Northern Arc, he was working in credit and rates assessment as part of the Fixed Income investment team at Invesco Mutual fund. His capital market experience also includes stints with companies such as Bharti AXA Investment Managers, JM Financial Ltd, and Merrill Lynch. Ravi is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA Institute) & Financial Risk Manager (GARP) and holds a Post Graduate Diploma in Finance from NMIMS (Mumbai), Masters in Management & Information Systems from Virginia Tech (US) & Bachelor of Chemical Engineering from University of Mumbai. An avid sports enthusiast, Ravi can usually be found chasing goals on the football pitch.

ILARI LINDY (Southern Africa Innovation Support)

ILARI LINDY (Southern Africa Innovation Support)

Ilari Lindy is working as Lead Expert in SAIS 2 program tasked to foster entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystems in Southern Africa region. Before this he worked as Senior Operations Officer at the World Bank on digital innovation and development. Ilari has previously served as Senior Advisor at the Ministry for Foreign Affairs of Finland on policies and instruments related to innovation and information society for development as well as in various positions in the European Institutions and bodies related to digital innovation. Ilari is regularly serving in advisory capacity for international initiatives supporting innovation for development and was European co-chair of the Joint Expert Group on Science, Information Society and Space of EU-Africa Strategic Partnership

ISMO TIITTANEN (YIT)

ISMO TIITTANEN (YIT)

Ismo is working as VP, Strategic planning at YIT – a leading construction company operating in 11 countries in Northern and Eastern Europe. Currently, he is responsible for YIT Group’s strategy and annual planning processes. Ismo is a strategist and an operating model expert with over 10 years of experience working with Finland’s largest organisations both in corporate roles and as a consultant. Ismo is passionate about challenging the status quo, creating inspirational strategies and helping companies to bridge the gap between strategy and execution with operating model design.

ROYSTON BRAGANZA (Grameen Capital)

ROYSTON BRAGANZA (Grameen Capital)

Royston joined Grameen Capital in 2007 to launch the organization as CEO. He currently oversees all aspects of operations in India.

Grameen Capital, founded by Grameen Foundation USA, IFMR Trust and Citigroup, is a first of its kind social business enabling Microfinance Institutions and Social Enterprises wider access to the capital markets. Grameen Capital is part of the global Grameen family of companies, the flagship of which is the Nobel Prize-winning Grameen Bank founded by Nobel Laureate Professor Muhammad Yunus. 

The London-based Finance Monthly publication named Royston in their 2013 Global CEO Award Winners list as Top 4 CEOs in Asia, and Top 2 in India, the other one being Kumar Mangalam Birla. He has also been awarded the Global CSR Leadership award by World CSR Congress and the Power of One Award by the Archdiocese of Bombay.

Royston has done his Masters in Management Studies from the prestigious Jamnalal Bajaj Institute of Management Studies, Mumbai.

Antti Öhrling (Vault Impact & InnoFrugal)

Antti Öhrling (Vault Impact & InnoFrugal)

Antti is Founding Partner of the upcoming 35M€ Impact VC fund, Vault Impact. Antti is also co-founder of InnoFrugal and is a serial entrepreneur who combines creativity with strategy with previous experience as the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Jolla/Sailfish and country director of India for Rovio Entertainment/Angry Birds. Though he has 20 international patents to his name, Antti’s forte is business and not technology. Antti has worked in the FMCG, retail and wholesale, media, advertising and IT and telecommunication industries. Antti co-founded Blyk, and founded Contra Advertising Group. He is currently the Chairman of Contra China, based in Beijing. Through his consultancy, Ohrling Ltd, Antti guides companies through market entries and re-positioning exercises mainly in the Asia region. He is also a board member of IFBF (Indo-Finnish Business Forum based in New Delhi) and a Fellow at RSA (Royal Society for the encouragement of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce), UK.

Matti Copeland (Ernst & Young)

Matti Copeland (Ernst & Young)

Matti Copeland is Executive Director / Nordic Business Development at Ernst & Young. Matti spends his time at EY as Growth Market Leader and Client Executive with a demonstrated history of working with growth companies like Basware and Alekstra. He is skilled in M&A, Capital Markets, PE/VC, SaaS, Fund Raising, Go-to-market Strategy, and Board Work. Matti has graduated from Helsinki School of Economics and Stanford Graduate School of Business. He loves to build bridges between startups and large corporations. He also calls himself Chief Curiosity Officer.

Sebastian Aniszewski (Lassila & Tikanoja)

Sebastian Aniszewski (Lassila & Tikanoja)

Sebastian Aniszewski is currently the Director, New Services and Development at Lassila & Tikanoja. He has wide range of experience on strategy, business development, growth. design and execution.  Sebastian has experience in various areas ranging from services and logistics business to products, consulting and industrial. B2C and B2B as well as public sector. Currently he is focused on building circular economy activities and engaging with startups to deliver on those areas.

Venkata Gandikota (Vault Impact & InnoFrugal)

Venkata Gandikota (Vault Impact & InnoFrugal)

Venkata is Founding Partner of the upcoming 35M€ Impact VC fund, Vault Impact. He is the lead organizer and Co.founder of InnoFrugal. This conference has now an annual UK edition at Judge Business School in Cambridge University and a soon to be annual German edition in Stuttgart with Fraunhofer Institutes. He is involved in developing the impact investing ecosystem in Finland. He has also been helping Finnish businesses in India as CEO of Indianeer Consulting and is a guest lecturer at JAMK University of Applied Sciences (International Business), Jyväskylä University (Business Program) & Aalto University (MBA Program). He has a Bachelors in Chemical Engineering from India and a Masters in Environmental Engineering from USA.

MICHAEL HANF (Taival)

MICHAEL HANF (Taival)

Michael is an Executive Partner at Taival, an advisory focused on helping companies understand and utilize the disruptive trends that are all around us. What does this mean concretely? Michael is working with companies to understand how their business and operating models will change through technological, environmental and societal influences.  Circular economy and sustainability as two of the major trends facing companies today are close to Michael’s heart as he believes it will be critical to leverage technology and new business and operating models to manage the impact we have on our environment and society. Originally from Germany Michael has been living in Finland for the past 13 years. Through his work, he has had the opportunity to work across Europe as well as the US collecting a very good understanding of cultural differences and commonalities. In his professional life, Michael has worked for the past 16+ years across a broad spectrum of executive roles in business and technology.  Having worked across industries, with start-ups as well as large cooperations Michael combines the ability to think and act lean and agile while understanding and considering current business realities.

FABIAN SEPULVEDA (Courage Ventures Fund)

FABIAN SEPULVEDA (Courage Ventures Fund)

Fabian Sepulveda is Partner at Courage Ventures Fund. Fabian has over 20 years of working experience in engineering, management consulting and investment banking with the likes of Lucent Technologies, A.T. Kearney, and JP Morgan.

Most recently, he is actively involved in Finland’s entrepreneurial ecosystem as a startup coach and Lean Launchpad® trainer, and helps organizations understand and execute Lean Startup methodologies and customer development. Fabian teaches Venture Formation and other courses at the Aalto University Ventures Program and Aalto Executive Education. He co-founded eyescubed, a startup in automotive technology, and also cofounded Courage Ventures Advisory, which provides entrepreneurship training and development to leading private and public organizations. He is also a co-founding Partner of Courage Ventures Management, a fund investing in health & wellness, education, and environment verticals.

Fabian has a BSc in Electrical Engineering, an MSc in Finance and a PhD in International Entrepreneurship.

SAGA FORSS (FiBAN)

SAGA FORSS (FiBAN)

Saga Forss is on a Board member at FiBAN. She has an extensive background in Corporate Finance (M&A) both domestically and internationally. She has a broad network in Europe, and especially in the Nordics. During the past 10 years she’s has been both entrepreneur and investor mainly in the food sector. Lately she has also become interested in impact investment. Currently she is an investor in 10 companies, such as Arctic Super Foods, Epic Foods and Jävla Sås Bolag as well as New Nordic School and Future Dialog. She has successfully exited Leipomo Keisari, Jungle Juice Bar (partly) and Talokaivo Oy.

JANNE JORMALAINEN (FiBAN)

JANNE JORMALAINEN (FiBAN)

Janne Jormalainen is currently Chairman of the Board at FiBAN. Janne is a serial entrepreneur and angel investor. He is chairman of the board in five start-up companies. Janne made his early career in large corporate environment, then moving to entrepreneurship. At Nokia, he was in charge of multiple functions and businesses; managing for example business with over 800 M€ in annual revenues. Since 2005 he has been working as an entrepreneur in multiple industries and founded several companies. In 2015 he sold SPU, a company producing energy efficient building materials, to Kingspan Plc. He has lived and worked in the USA, Europe and Southeast Asia.

REIDAR WASENIUS (FiBAN)

REIDAR WASENIUS (FiBAN)

Reidar joined FiBAN as Managing Director at the end of 2017. The over 650 approved business angels of FiBAN invest around 30 million euros into more than 300 startups per year. Before FiBAN, Reidar headed the Finnish operations of the Founder Institute – the world’s largest startup acceleration program.

Reidar’s past employers include Samsung, Nokia, TeliaSonera, Digital Equipment Corporation and T​ekes. His employers in the media industry include the Finnish National Broadcasting Company, a number of commercial radio stations and Arcada university of applied sciences, where he was the founder and first Director of the four-year B.A. program in Media and Communications.

Reidar studied Computer Science at the Helsinki University of Technology (now: Aalto University) majoring in Interactive Digital Media and minoring in Mass Media and Journalism, which he studied at the University of Helsinki.

Reidar is a popular public ​speaker and he is interviewed as an expert on startup investing, business development and personal development in national media almost weekly. You often hear Reidar’s voice in your telephone and whenever you travel by train in Finland.

NEHA BHATNAGAR (India Impact Investors Council)

NEHA BHATNAGAR (India Impact Investors Council)

Neha is Head of Partnerships at Impact Investors Council in India. She is IIC’s second employee and has been associated with the organisation since October 2015. She manages Memberships and core functions at IIC. A traveler by nature and wanderer at heart, Neha has tapped multiple industries during the 10 years of her work life. Post her specialization in Robotics/Multimedia/Software Development from Melbourne, Australia she worked with brands like CitiBank (Australia), TCS, IMS (Education). After her stint at Indian School of Business, Hyderabad she tested waters at Oliver Wyman (Singapore) and Googled around. Despite her varied work experience, she feels that her growing years at Scindia School, Gwalior and her time with her family will always be the most impactful in her life.

EMANUELE SANTI (Bamboo Capital)

EMANUELE SANTI (Bamboo Capital)

Emanuele Santi is Fund Manager at Bamboo Capital Partners.

Prior to joining Bamboo Capital Partners, Emanuele has worked for 15 years at World Bank and African Development Bank, where he has pioneered new program and instruments to support entrepreneurship and innovation, such as Souk Attanmia, the largest mobilization of partners to support social entrepreneurship in Tunisia in the aftermath of the Arab Spring, and Boost Africa, a blended finance vehicle enabling the market emergence of innovative forms of financing in the continent.

He also founded Afrilanthropy a platform connecting African social enterprises with wide variety of venture philanthropists, foundations and impact funds.

He holds a PHD in Development Studies from University of Trieste, MA in Economics from College of Europe in Bruges and a Harvard certificate on Public Financial Management.

JOÃO SANTOS (Mustard Seed Maze Impact Fund)

JOÃO SANTOS (Mustard Seed Maze Impact Fund)

João leads MAZE’s capital advisory services, structuring some of Portugal’s first seed rounds for impact ventures. Previous experience includes MaRS Centre for Impact Investment (Canada), where he was seconded to design impact portfolios for foundations and wealth managers, as well as Head of Onsite at Zalora (Rocket Internet, Singapore). João taught Social Entrepreneurship at UEM (Mozambique) and has BSc in Economics, MSc in Management from NOVA SBE.

TOVE LARSSON (Norrsken Foundation)

TOVE LARSSON (Norrsken Foundation)

Tove Larsson is the Investment Manager at Norrsken Foundation. Norrsken wants to create a world that is optimised for both people and planet and believes that entrepreneurs building rapidly scalable tech businesses are the best bet to solve some of the toughest challenges that our world is facing. Tove has been active in the impact/social entrepreneurship space since 2012, before Norrsken at Inkludera Invest where she helped social entrepreneurs build scalable and financially sustainable organizations. Prior to focusing on this sector, Tove worked as a Management Consultant at Bain and Company and ICA Sweden.

LIZA WOHLFART (Fraunhofer IAO)

LIZA WOHLFART (Fraunhofer IAO)

M.A. Liza Wohlfart is a Program Manager at the Fraunhofer Institute for Industrial Engineering IAO with a focus on Frugal Innovation, Strategic R&D Management and Human Factors in R&D. Her project experience includes national and international (e.g Brasil, Australia, Russia, Malaysia) R&D projects, both for science and industry. Liza has been involved in Frugal Innovation research and consulting since 2008. Her current focus is on the establishment of a Frugal Innovation Center in Stuttgart together with partners from Fraunhofer‘s Institute for Production Systems IPA.

MARTIJN BLOM (Hivos Impact)

MARTIJN BLOM (Hivos Impact)

Martijn is responsible for Investor relations at Hivos Impact Investments, a dedicated impact investment management office for Hivos Foundation. Hivos Impact Investments is currently managing two SME impact funds with a diverse and growing portfolio. Martijn is an experienced business angel investor since 2007 with a special expertise in impact investment in international development. He is co-founder of Dutch business angel network De Investeerdersclub and a co-chair of EBAN Impact Investment Committee.

– Hivos Mideast Creatives Fund that aims to support innovative companies in the creative industries in Middle East North Africa in order to support more open societies and freedom of expression.

– Hivos Food and Lifestyle Fund that supports sustainable food production, local food sales and support biodiversity and healthy diets in Southern Africa.

Dr STEVE SIMPLAY (Belcan)

Dr STEVE SIMPLAY (Belcan)

Dr. Steve Simplay is currently Director- Automotive Solutions, Belcan. He was previously heading the automotive strategy at Tata Technologies. He has more than 14 years of automotive experience with a number of global OEMs such as Toyota, BMW and Jaguar Land Rover and Tier 1 Suppliers, where he held a variety of engineering positions.

Steve has worked on a number of multi-million dollar complete vehicle programs from initial design to full production and utilising frugal engineering techniques through offshoring the product design and development activities.

Steve holds a PhD in Engineering Strategy and Management and a Master of Science degree, both earned from Coventry University, United Kingdom. He is also a Chartered Engineer registered with the Institution of Engineering and Technology.

DR PRASHANT JHA (School For Intl Biodesign, AIIMS)

DR PRASHANT JHA (School For Intl Biodesign, AIIMS)

Dr Prashant Jha is Fellowship Director, School of International Biodesign, AIIMS, India. He trained in family medicine, bioengineering, computer science, innovation management and design. He leads the training and program development activities the School of International Biodesign(SiB). At SiB Dr. Jha trains physicians, engineers, designers, researchers and entrepreneurs in the science and art of innovating low-cost, high-impact medical devices. He has played a key role in initiating medical technology innovation programs at QUT, Australia and Universities of Tokyo and Osaka in Japan.

In 2014 he co-founded the world’s first Medical Innovations journal – BMJ Innovations (innovations.bmj.com) and serves as its editor. The journal publishes innovations in medical devices, diagnostics, assistive technologies, mHealth and systems innovations.

Dr. Jha, with his team, has invented multiple medical devices in areas of pregnancy monitoring, wearables for hypertensives and diabetics, stress urinary incontinence and stroke. He serves as the product evangelist at Brün Health – which is working to commercialize some of these inventions.