Instructors

Our instructors are practitioners in the fields of social enterprise and impact investing, providing crucial insights into the daily challenges of working in this sector. The instructors will vary by Program Center, though the core curriculum will be similar across programs.

 

Kulsoom Ally – Head of Operations, M-KOPA

Kulsoom Ally is Head of Operations at M-Kopa Solar, a fast growing energy company in Kenya. Her work ensures that people in rural communities all over East Africa can gain access to light. She previously worked at Nokia for six years on initiatives that used mobile technologies to enhance the quality of and access to education, healthcare and livelihood services in Europe, Africa and Latin America. She also spent one year working with Juhudi Kilimo, a Kenyan social enterprise that provides financial services to rural smallholder farmers, using mobile solutions to improve the company’s business processes and social impact.

 

12516-1377654590

Ross Baird – CEO, Village Capital

Village Capital is a seed-stage venture firm that has invested in 33 ventures over the past four years in seven countries solving social and environmental problems. Ross Baird developed the Village Capital concept in 2009, and has led the development of programs worldwide. Before launching Village Capital, he worked with First Light Ventures, a seed fund focused on impact investments. Prior to First Light, Ross worked on the development of four education-related start-up ventures: the Indian School Finance Company in Hyderabad, India; the National College Advising Corps in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, and two ventures using technology to promote civic participation. He has a MPhil from the University of Oxford, where he was a Marshall Scholar, and a BA from the University of Virginia, where he was a Truman Scholar and a Jefferson Scholar.

 

Jane Barrett – Co-Founder, The Career Farm

Jane Barrett is co-founder of The Career Farm and co-author of ‘If Not Now, When? How to take charge of your Career’ published by Bloomsbury. She founded The Career Farm to provide people with a structure for career thinking and the essential resources to help them ‘grow their own career’. Her background is in-house recruitment (recruiting MBAs for PricewaterhouseCoopers) and retained search consultancy for blue-chip clients, private companies and start-ups across a variety of sectors including Finance, IT and FMCG. She started her career as a Chartered Surveyor before re-training as a career coach. In 1999 she founded her first company which grew to be one of the pre-eminent suppliers of careers services and information products to Business Schools across the UK and Europe. In June 2012 she sold her controlling stake in that company to focus on delivering new and innovative online careers programs through The Career Farm.

 

Dheeraj Batra – Co-Founder and VP Business Development, Arogya Finance

Like any passionate entrepreneur, Dheeraj Batra has worn many hats at Arogya, including those of chief marketer, fundraiser, and tech geek. Over the past few years, Dheeraj was involved with several start-ups. Until recently, Dheeraj was the Head of Business Design, India at IDEO, where he was part of a core team of people which helped establish the office in India. Prior to IDEO, Dheeraj worked at Innosight Ventures focused on building businesses in India. He led and was part of several ventures that cut across a wide range of industries from agriculture to financial services to men’s grooming and medical devices. His work gave him exposure to people from all walks of life – ranging from farmers in rural India to CEOs in executive boardrooms. Dheeraj holds an MBA from the Wharton Business School and BS degrees in both Finance and Computer Science from the University of Maryland. He lives in Hyderabad with his wife, Rishtee, and their two children.

 

Tom Bird – Founder and President, FARM Capital Services

Tom Bird brings over 30 years of general management and investment experience, has served on numerous boards and invested across a wide spectrum. Tom supports operational management with Sonen Capital, and is chair of the governance committee.  In addition, Tom is founder and president of the multi family office FARM Capital Services LLC, where he created the FARM Fund as an early stage direct impact investment donor advised fund. Previously he was chairman and CEO of FARM, Inc., a venture backed Silicon Valley information management firm that provided data storage and retrieval services from 1988 until the company was sold in 1999. Tom serves on the board of the GlobalGiving Foundation, as an advisor to Sanku, he is on the investment committee of the Patient Capital Collaborative, and is on the University Council as a former trustee and investment committee member of the American University in Bulgaria. He holds a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College, an M.B.A from Stanford University, and a Master of Theological Studies degree with an emphasis on ethics from Harvard University.

 

Emily Bolton – Director, Social Finance UK

Emily Bolton has played a central role in thought leading social change organizations for over a decade. Emily created and leads the Impact Incubator which engages stakeholders to develop and implement systems changing solutions to entrenched social problems. In this role, she partners with leading foundations, local and central government, charities, academics and communities across the UK. She manages a team of 9 which has so far launched one ground breaking social change program, with two more in late stage development and a further two starting incubation. During her time at Social Finance, Emily has led teams in developing models for lasting change across a range of issues including: mental health inequalities, young people leaving the care system, perpetrators of domestic abuse, refugees and asylum seekers, drug and alcohol addiction, offending and financial exclusion. Before joining Social Finance, Emily worked in San Francisco at REDF a venture philanthropy fund. Emily has an MA (Hons) in Natural Sciences from Cambridge University and a MBA from Haas Business School at UC Berkeley, where she was a merit scholar.

 

Breloff_headshot

Paul Breloff – Co-Founder and COO, Shortlist

New to Mumbai, Paul Breloff is Co-Founder and COO of an HR-tech company called Shortlist.  In his last role, Paul was the founding managing director of the Accion Venture Lab, a seed investment initiative that supports the world’s most innovative financial inclusion startups. He has advised CGAP (an independent research center focused on financial inclusion and housed at the World Bank) on policy and technical issues related to branchless banking and has been engaged by Root Capital, Shell Foundation, BRAC, and others on access-to-finance issues in Latin America, Asia, and Africa. Previously, Paul worked with SKS Microfinance, India’s largest microfinance institution, leading business development and strategic initiatives and assisting on capital raising. While at SKS, he led new product launches and managed strategic partnerships across mobile/mobile banking, energy, education, water, and rural distribution. He has also practiced corporate law with Mayer Brown, worked as a consultant for McKinsey & Co., and worked as an advertising account executive for Leo Burnett. Paul has a bachelor of arts from Amherst College and a law degree from Yale Law School.

 

Lauren Cochran – Director of Private Investments, Blue Haven Initiative

Lauren Cochran is Director of Private Investments at Blue Haven Initiative, where she leads strategy and execution for the portfolio of direct investments. Lauren spent five years at Imprint Capital leading investments in emerging and frontier markets that provide a measurable positive social impact as well as a commercial financial return. Previously, Lauren worked for the William J. Clinton Foundation’s Health Access Initiative where she analyzed healthcare infrastructure on the ground in Sub-Saharan Africa, working to fill gaps in the diagnosis, care and treatment of children living with HIV/AIDS. Lauren also worked in private equity, first as an Analyst with Deutsche Bank’s financial sponsors group in New York and then as an Associate at Diamond Castle Holdings, a private equity firm investing in energy, business and financial services and healthcare. Lauren holds a B.S. from Georgetown University, completed the General Course program at the London School of Economics and earned her M.B.A. from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania.

 

Priscilla de Graef, Manager Strategy and Operations, PWC NL

Within the Strategy & Operations Group at PwC Advisory, Priscilla de Graef helps clients within both the commercial and the social enterprise sector, to align their strategic ambitions with operational excellence. She does this by designing and implementing new Target Operating Models, in order for them to operate effectively and efficiently as to maximize their profitability and increase their financial and non-financial performance. Most of her experience is with large transformation projects, as well as optimization projects (Lean / Six Sigma methodology) where pragmatic solutions matter. She specializes in the client facing areas of the value chain, in the areas of sales / marketing and R&D/Innovation. It’s Priscilla’s mission to help clients in the commercial sector, and social enterprise sector to deliver value for their end customers and take their social responsibility in society by addressing their challenges with business insight and personal impact. By doing this she delivers sustainable change for her clients, while getting the best out of her teams and delivering innovative solutions. 

 

simon_desjardins_article

Simon Desjardins – Chief Customer Officer, Shortlist

Early in 2016, Simon Desjardins co-founded Shortlist, an HR-tech company based in Mumbai. Simon previously ran the Shell Foundation’s Access to Energy Program which has the goal of helping to provide access to modern energy services for the poor. Before joining the Shell Group in 2006 as a business analyst for Shell Chemicals, Simon has worked globally in a broad range of business and development roles, with experience in start-ups, multinationals and NGOs.

 

 

 

Tahira Dosani, Managing Director, Accion Venture Lab

Tahira Dosani works with Accion Venture Lab’s portfolio companies to extend their impact and profitability. She supports investment decisions, leads portfolio management and governance, and works with the fund’s portfolio companies, providing strategic and operational expertise that accelerates their growth trajectories and enables stronger financial and social performance. Tahira came to Accion from LeapFrog Investments where she acted as the Director of Global Engagement and Strategic Projects. Prior to that she served as Head of Corporate Strategy at Roshan. She also served as Director of Strategy at the Aga Khan Fund for Economic Development. Tahira holds an MBA from INSEAD and BA in International Relations and Computing and Human Development from Brown University.

 

Mark Hillen – Founder and Director, Social Enterprise NL

Mark Hillen has worked in social enterprise since 2012, when he co-founded Social Enterprise UK and the Social Enterprise Lab. He has written two books, “Improve the world, start a business” and “Everyone works, everyone profits.” He has also published several reports and blogs, including “Everybody profits agenda for the Dutch government” and “A jacket that fits the social enterprise towards the Civil Code.” Mark studied economics at the University of Amsterdam and in 1985 he joined Accenture. He spent 22 years there, rising to Managing Partner in 2007, while contributing to the growth of one of the largest consultancies in the world. Mark has been adviser, director, supervisor and/or investor in a variety of initiatives including Socio Next, Ish, BiD Network, Snowballs & Flywheels, Wekomenerwel, Africa Unsigned and Evodos, where he is currently the commissioner.

 

Thomas Hyland – Co-Founder & Partner, Aspada Investment Advisors

Tom Hyland is a Co-Founder and Partner of Aspada Investment Advisors. Prior, he was one of the first employees of SeaChange Capital Partners, a social sector financial intermediary founded by former senior partners of Goldman Sachs. Earlier, he worked in the Investment Management Division at Goldman Sachs in San Francisco. Tom received his MBA at the Indian School of Business (ISB) in Hyderabad, and his BA in Economics from Providence College. While at ISB he focused on innovations in early stage financing and entrepreneurial ecosystems in India and other emerging markets. He has worked and traveled extensively throughout India and Asia. He currently serves on the Board of NeoGrowth Credit and serves as a Board Observer across several of Aspada’s portfolio companies.

 

Manish Kumar – Co-Founder and CEO, SEED Schools

Manish Kumar is responsible for developing and scaling the SEED operations in India.  His mission is to create a holistic education model for the low cost private schools (“LCPS”) through innovative pedagogy solutions, best practices, and strategic alliance. Prior to SEED, Manish served as Head-Product and Finance at Indian School Finance Company (ISFC) for over 4 years after joining at an early stage of the company. ISFC is a lending institution to LCPS to expand and improve infrastructure. He was part of the core team responsible for business strategy and growth. He played vital role in fund raising (over $8 million) and led the process and IT system design to help organization grow to over 600 schools across two states in 4.5 years. He is a passionate educationist having previously taught students from LCPS as a volunteer for over 2 years. Manish received his MS from Georgia Tech, Atlanta and his B.Tech at the Indian Institute of Technology.

 

Alex Lazarow – Investments Principal at the Omidyar Network

Alexandre Lazarow is a Principal with Omidyar Network, focusing on investments in the global fintech and financial inclusion space, across US, Africa, Latin America, and Southeast Asia. He sources, executes, and manages for-profit investments and non-profit grants. Prior to joining Omidyar Network, Alexandre was a management consultant with McKinsey & Co.’s Brussels and Washington D.C. offices, focusing on the intersection of finance, economic development, and strategy. He served clients across Africa, the Middle East, Europe, and North America, in the private, public, and social sectors. Previously, Alexandre briefly worked as an analyst with the Bank of Canada’s Financial Stability Department, focusing on financial regulation. Alexandre was also a summer associate with Bridges Ventures where he worked on various impact investing efforts. He began his career as an investment banker in the M&A department of the Royal Bank of Canada. Alexandre is a Kauffman Fellow, earned an MBA from Harvard Business School and is a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) charterholder. He has a bachelor of commerce in international business and finance from the University of Manitoba.

Arvind Lodaya – Mentor & Trainer at DLabs, the Indian School of Busines

Arvind Lodaya trained in Industrial Design, but he consults with industry, NGOs and academia on a range of design areas, and has taught at various institutes in India. He consults and trains on strategic & impact innovation, after eight years at Srishti Institute of Art, Design & Technology where he was Dean of Research. He is Founder-Director of the Deccan Centre for Innovation & Design in Bangalore, Senior Advisor [Pedagogy & Design] for Radical Skills – a PPP skilling initiative, and Mentor & Core Team Member of dLabs – a design-led incubator at the ISB in Hyderabad. He was Creative Director at Ogilvy and led the comprehensive corporate rebranding of ICICI. At Srishti, he curated artworks for Ars Electronica, and helped launch programs on Product & Interface Design and Transcultural Design. He was the first HP Labs-Srishti Research Chair and was on the steering group of the Nokia-Srishti Design Research Studio. He is on the board of Quest Alliance, an NGO that aims to upgrade public education via tech innovation, and of Swati, an NGO that works on women’s development issues in a backward region of Gujarat. He also sits on the Advisory Board of USID Foundation, a nonprofit that seeks to channel design towards social innovation.

 

Bilha Maina – Founder, Kenya Promotions & Marketing Company

Bilha Maina founded Kenya Promotions & Marketing Company in 1998 which was formally registered as a holding company in 2006. Bilha is a social entrepreneur, who brings into her business a breadth of experience spanning 15 years having worked across multi-sector with a number of public and private organisations. Some of the organizations she has served include British American Tobacco, East Africa Breweries, Sarova Group of Hotels, the Export Promotion Council, the Kenya Association of Manufactures, the Association of Kenya Suppliers, Financial Sector Deepening and has at one point served as the private sector liaison for the World Bank and as a member of the advisory board for the MasterCard foundation’s Youthsave Consortium in promotion of financial literacy. Bilha holds a Masters degree in Business Administration from the United States International University, Africa and received a bachelor’s degree from Kenyatta.

 

Amol Mishra – Commercial Development Manager, Cotton Connect

With hands-on working experience in the sustainability space as well as financial, strategy and operations consulting for social and non-social enterprises, Amol Mishra has developed the practical insights and vital expertise necessary to contribute to the growing needs of the ever evolving social enterprise sector. This enables him to analyze business systems and models within the social enterprise / sustainability domain under a strong social KPI and financial returns framework. He has worked on business plan development, financial modeling, technology management, social interventions and project management, product innovation, brand management and product marketing. Currently, he is working in Commercial Development at Cotton Connect.

 

Biju Mohandas, Head – Health and Education Sub-Saharan Africa, IFC

Biju Mohandas is an emerging markets investor with close to two decades of investing and operational experience in South Asia and Africa. He has directly led equity, quasi-equity and debt transactions totaling $200 million as well as acquisitions and distressed asset turnarounds in healthcare, education, agribusiness and renewable energy sectors. In his current role, Biju heads the Health and Education investment team for the International Finance Corporation (IFC) in Sub-Saharan Africa. He is also their Global Sector Lead for Medical Devices. Biju and his team currently manage a $170 Million portfolio across 17 companies in these sectors in Sub-Saharan Africa and will invest $70-80 million annually for the next three years to more than double assets under management. Before IFC, Biju was the East Africa Director of Acumen fund and was responsible for their East Africa related investments, operations and business development activities. He has an MBA from the Indian School of Business majoring in Analytical Finance and also served in the Indian Army.

 

Vinay Nair – Director of Business Development, Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC)

Vinay Nair is the Director of Business Development at Social and Sustainable Capital (SASC), a social enterprise fund manager. He previously worked with the Social Investment Business Foundation and at Acumen, where he oversaw the creation and growth of its European presence, and sat on the board of portfolio company, DART. Vinay started his career at JPMorgan, and was Executive Director and head of a UK & Ireland marketing team. He is a co-founder & director of tech startup, Lightful, and is a Trustee and interim chair of the Social Entrepreneurs Trust, which accelerates the growth of UnLtd India. He is part of the advisory board of CTYI and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of the Arts (FRSA). Vinay has a degree in Economics and Political Science from Trinity College Dublin and a Master of Public Administration from the LSE. He is an “Resident Expert” at the Skoll Centre at Saïd Business School, Oxford University, and an instructor on the Impact Business Leaders programme.

 

Rehana Nathoo, VP Social Innovation (Impact Investing), Case Foundation

Rehana Nathoo joined the Case Foundation in 2016 as part of the Social Innovation team. Rehana serves as Vice President of Social Innovation, focusing specifically on the Foundation’s efforts around Impact Investing. Rehana previously worked at the Bank of New York Mellon to help design the firm’s Social Finance program. She worked closely with the Wealth Management business to build internal expertise around Social Finance, and engage clients on this topic. While at BNY Mellon, Rehana also created a prototype for the firm’s first Impact Investment Fund. Prior to BNY Mellon, Rehana was a program associate at The Rockefeller Foundation, helping to manage the grantmaking and thought leadership efforts around Impact Investing and Innovative Finance. After graduating from the Whitehead School of Diplomacy at Seton Hall University with an M.A. in Development Economics and Foreign Policy, Rehana joined the UN Capital Development Fund, frequently travelling to East Africa to explore innovative financing solutions. Most recently, Rehana also served as an Adjunct Professor of CSR and Social Finance at NYU Wagner School of Public Service.

 

Duncan Onyango – East Africa Director, Acumen

Duncan Onyango joined Acumen as Director of East Africa in September 2012. He has been a long supporter of Acumen and informally served as an advisor to the East Africa team over the years, as well as being actively involved in the Fellows Program. Duncan most recently served as the Group Chief Finance Officer of Rift Valley Railways, where he led the structuring of a $287M debt and equity capital investment in the rail sector. He began his career with over ten years at Abbey National, a major international bank in London, gaining cross-functional business experience in both the retail and corporate arms of Abbey, including serving as the bank’s Head of Training & Management Development for the Wealth Management Division. Building on that experience, Duncan moved into consulting at Strategic Workforce Limited in London, before returning to East Africa where he founded Quantum Africa in 2006, working with many small businesses and entrepreneurs. He has expertise in strategic & business planning, organizational alignment and business transformation. Duncan holds an honors degree in Computing and Retail Management from Oxford University.

 

Niti Pall – Medical Director and Director of Healthcare Innovation, BUPA

Niti Pall is a visionary senior clinical leader, who combines leading edge developmental roles with a passion for the delivery of top quality primary care to disadvantaged communities. Niti works as a doctor in a thriving inner city practice. She was a trustee of Diabetes UK for 7 years and is now on the board of the International Diabetes federation. Niti was an advisor to the Strategic Health Authority (West Midlands) leading on all the planned care patient pathways. Niti was also an Associate Director at the Department of Health and advisor to NHS global. She is a member of the NHS Future Forum advising the senior leadership at the department of health and the secretary of station NHS policy. Niti chairs Pathfinder healthcare developments a CIC and has developed a business case to roll out primary health care to India. She also is an executive member of the NHS Alliance and acts as a clinical commissioning champion for the organization.

 

Varun Sahni, Managing Director, Impact Investing Partners

Varun Sahni has 14 years experience in managing and investing in emerging markets. Presently a Partner at Impact Investment Partners – a venture fund focusing on critical goods and services in emerging markets its first fund is focused on healthcare investments in India. Varun was previously the India Director for the Acumen Fund from 2005 – 2010 Varun is currently on the Healthcare Leadership Council of USAID’s Market-based Partnerships for Health and on the Investment Committee of Ennovent Ventures. Varun is a member of the Executive Council of the Centre for Emerging Market Solutions at the Indian School of Business (ISB). a TED India Fellow, an Asia Society Global Young Leader and a Chevening Gurukul Scholar at the London School of Economics – an award given to 10 Indians in leadership roles every year by the British Government. Varun has an MA from Columbia University.

 

Aditi Shrivastava – Advisor & former-Head, Intellecap Impact Investment Network

After building up a stellar team for Intellecap Impact Investment Network (I3N), Aditi Shrivastava now advises the network on strategy and growth. I3N is India’s first angel network focusing on social enterprises, and has recently expanded to East Africa as well. Aditi works closely with entrepreneurs, advising them on their business models and investment approaches, and engages with HNIs, family offices and funds to bring them the most scalable and impactful young enterprises for mentoring and investment. Prior to joining Intellecap in 2011, Aditi spent over 5 years at Goldman Sachs in New York, specializing in quantitative equity research, trading and portfolio management. She has served on the American India Foundation Young Professional’s board, and currently serves on the board of Jibu, a social enterprise bringing clean drinking water to East Africa. With her husband, she is also building a digital media business for the global millennial. She hopes to leveraged media to mainstream impact investing as well. Aditi graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University majoring in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science. She is a CFA (USA) charter holder, a Shaper in the World Economic Forum Global Shaper Mumbai Hub, and a TiE Mumbai Charter Member.

 

nadiasood-photo

Nadia Sood – Founding Partner, Impact Investment Partners

Nadia Sood has 13 years of experience investing in, managing and operating businesses in developed and emerging markets that provide critical goods and services to mass market consumers. She has managed large infrastructure investment portfolios and Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) in India, Nepal, Latin America and Africa.Prior to co-founding IIP, Nadia was Executive Vice President, South Asia, and Global Investment Committee Member at SN Power Invest AS, a leading emerging markets renewable energy private equity firm. During her tenure there, she helped grow SN Power from 260 Million to $1.75 Billion in assets under management in a period of 5 years. She was also directly responsible for all of the company’s investments in South Asia which included 380 MWs of operating hydropower assets and a large portfolio of projects at various stages of development. She has also successfully exited three businesses in Africa and South Asia. Nadia was previously Director, Health and Wellness at Nestle UK, and Global Issues Manger for Nestle SA. She has also worked in the Office of the Secretary General Kofi Annan at the United Nations in New York.

 

Coryell Stout – Consultant at Proven Art

Coryell Stout is a business strategy and operations specialist with 8 years of experience in managing sales, operations, and distribution in emerging markets. Currently, Coryell is consulting East African-based social innovators with a focus on bringing prototype-stage companies to mass production. Previously, Coryell was the Chief Operating Officer at One Degree Solar, an award-winning manufacturer of energy and technology solutions created specifically for families and small businesses in areas without reliable electricity. At One Degree, Coryell founded the Kenya office headquarters and grew the team to 25 people, including sales & distribution across 32 counties in Kenya. Prior to One Degree Solar, Coryell served as Director of Business Development for the Foundation Management Group. Coryell also worked as Chief Operating Officer of Generation Enterprise, a business incubator for youth entrepreneurs in emerging markets. Coryell graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania with a B.A. in Political Sciences/International Studies and African Studies. She was named the University of Pennsylvania’s Global Development Scholar, the Wharton School of Business’s Social Entrepreneurship Fellow, and a Theta Foundation Scholar.

 

Donn Tice

Donn Tice – former Chairman & CEO, d.light

Donn Tice has been operating renewable energy businesses in the developing world since 2006. Donn is the former Chairman & CEO of d.light, and led the company’s growth from $3 million in revenue and 30 employees to over $40 million in revenue, 300 employees, and 10 million units sold through over 12,000 outlets in 60 countries.

Donn has recently been assisting Acumen to develop an energy access investment fund focused on off-grid solar in East Africa. Donn is also the co-author of Power for All: The Energy Access Imperative (2014), and has helped create a global campaign to drive clean technology to deliver universal energy access.

As an entrepreneur and corporate executive he has helped create several $100 million businesses, and earlier in life led Procter & Gamble’s 4th largest brand ($1B Folgers’ Coffee) to market leadership. He holds a BA in Economics from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and an MBA from the University of Michigan.

 

Stef van Dongen, CEO, Enviu

Stef van Dongen is an impact-driven entrepreneur. His lifework is focused on innovation and kick-starting ventures with sustainable solutions for the world’s biggest challenges. In 2004, he started Enviu. Enviu’s mission is to provide products and services that improve the quality of life of large groups of marginalized peoples through financial inclusion, livelihood creation and technology. Enviu has allowed for innovations including a micro-pension company, a franchise chain for healthy and affordable food for slum dwellers, an asset financing company for clean auto-rickshaws, and more. Steph is board member and advisor for several companies and innovation networks. He loves to innovate, to kick-start new ventures and to speak at conferences and universities about his passion: the economy of the crowd, open-innovation, crowd sourcing, venture philanthropy, impact investing and impact-driven entrepreneurship. Stef was recently awarded Distinguished Alumni by the Rotterdam School of Management (Erasmus University) and Radical Innovator by a leading Dutch magazine.

 

Mike Velings, Founder and Managing Partner, Aqua Spark

A lifelong entrepreneur, Mike Velings has spent decades jumpstarting a range of successful businesses. Among other ventures, he co-founded Connexie, which has helped catalyze a professional employment industry across the Netherlands. Mike naturally combines his business background with environmental and social engagement. He’s concerned for the planet and its inhabitants, and understands the potential for business to create durable solutions to complex world problems. With this in mind, Mike founded A-Spark Good Ventures: an investment company that assists entrepreneurs across the globe in realizing their visions of a start-up with a world-changing element. A-Spark invests in a broad range of ventures – from US-based software companies to international organic food manufacturers to India-based transportation systems. Each of A-Spark’s investments are both commercially successful and good for the planet, the population, and future generations. Not unlike A-Spark itself, each has a spirited, passionate, and innovative entrepreneur at its helm.