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Programme: speakers' biographies


Till Achinger
Achinger GmbH, Sonntagmorgen GmbH

Till founded Sonntagmorgen coffee roasters with Tamer El-Hawari in 2007, pioneering a wave of coffee startups in Germany with what was initially a mass customisation approach to specialty coffee. Later Sonntagmorgen developed into selling pure origin coffees with a focus on direct sourcing/sales. In 2015 they acquired Kaffeebitte, arguably the most sophisticated German coffee subscription platform. Currently, Sonntagmorgen is looking for partners to further increase its volume of direct and organic sourcing. 

Before and Sonntagmorgen and alongside its existence, Till co-founded other startups in the field of software and hardware and, set up a social media competence centre at a management consultancy firm. 

Till is a sociologist by training, an entrepreneur by experience and a curious learner overall. Beyond his areas of expertise – e-commerce, online marketing and the food/beverage industry – he's interested in the sharing economy, smart mobility solutions, and how to apply findings from network theory and behavioural economics to drive sustainable consumption. He advises startups and mature companies as a business angel or consultant. He speaks German, English and a little French and Arabic.


Alexandre Askmo
Business Developer, EXEGER Sweden AB

Since joining in 2013, Alexandre Askmo has been essential to the business development team at EXEGER Sweden. He brings with him a solid background in banking and finance from one of the largest financial institutions in Scandinavia. He comes from a multinational and multi-lingual background, and has a degree in Economics, specialising in renewable energy markets, from Stockholm University. With his background, and marketing and communication expertise, Alexandre is a great asset.


Pierre–François Bareel,
R&D Manager, Comet Traitements SA

Pierre-François Bareel is a civil mining engineer and a graduate from the University of Liège. His academic work focused on the treatment and recovery of waste, which earned him a Ph.D. in Applied Sciences in the field. Since 2006, he has worked for the company Comet Traitements S.A. (Comet Group) where he holds the position of R&D Manager.
Comet Traitements is a company active in the treatment and recovery of shredder residues from metal waste. Since 2002, this fast-growing company (Awarded Trends Gazelle 2014) has positioned itself as a technology leader in its field, by engaging with  disciplines outside of its core business: petrochemicals (Phoenix Project: catalytic cracking of ultimate organic waste), bio-hydrometallurgy (Biolix Project: copper cathode production), robotics (PICkit Project: automated sorting of alloys), etc. This strategy enabled recycling rates unmatched in Europe, such as 97.6% for end of life vehicles.

In addition, since 2014 Pierre-François Bareel has held the presidency of SCRL Reverse Metallurgy aimed at implementing the ambitious Walloon mobilisation program for metal recycling. In the footsteps of Prof. Eric Pirard, he is also a former president of the NGO Engineers Without Borders Belgium where he worked on projects related to the recycling of plastic waste.


Bernhard Berger
Head of Unit, European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment, Dir. A – Policy 3: Environmental Knowledge, Eco-Innovation and SMEs

PBernhard Berger works for DG Environment as acting Head of the Environmental Knowledge, Eco-Innovation and SME Unit. Previously, he worked for DG SANTE on inspections of food of plant origin, as well as for the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) in Parma, Italy, heading the Scientific Cooperation Unit responsible for the coordination of the work of the Authority with the EU Member States. Before joining the Services of the European Commission in 1997, he worked for the European and Mediterranean Plant Protection Organisation (EPPO) in Paris, France, and the University of Göttingen, Germany. He was a visiting scientist at the US Environmental Protection Agency and holds diplomas in Chemistry and Agricultural Engineering, as well as a PhD in Agronomy.


Linda Bergset
Senior Researcher, Borderstep Institute for Innovation and Sustainability GmbH

Linda Bergset is a senior researcher at Borderstep Institute and a PhD candidate at the Carl von Ossietzky University of Oldenburg in Germany. In her research, she focuses primarily on the financing of sustainable entrepreneurship and eco-innovation. The Borderstep Institute however also carries out more practice-oriented projects. In this context, Linda Bergset is currently managing Green Start-up Investment Alliance (GreenUpInvest) – which seeks to improve the financing situation for start-ups with environmentally friendly products and services in Germany. The project is part of the German Federal Ministry for the Environment’s Climate Initiative.


Joanna Drake
Deputy Director-General, DG Environment, European Commission.

Joanna Drake is the Deputy Director-General of the European Commission's Directorate-General for the Environment (DG ENV) where she is in charge of the coordination of resource-efficiency policies and other legal instruments.
She has a doctorate from the University of Malta, where she lectured in the Department of European and Comparative Law. She acquired a post-graduate degree in Advanced European Legal Studies from the College of Europe in Bruges, Belgium. She held various legal posts in the private and public sector before joining the European Commission as head of the EC Representation in Malta in 2005. Between 2010 and 2015, before joining DG ENV, she was a director in the EC's  Directorate-General for Internal Market, Industry, Entrepreneurship and SMEs where she also led the Commission's Task Force on The Collaborative Economy, New Business Models And SME's.


Alexis Figeac
Head of Sustainable Business and Entrepreneurship, CSCP (Collaborating Centre on Sustainable Consumption and Production gGmbH)

Alexis Figeac has invested in early-stage eco-innovation technologies and start-ups for over twelve years, and has extensive experience in venture capital.  He has a particular interest in Circular Economy and is the project director for the Horizon 2020-funded Route2Pi project on Circular Economy Business Models (CSCP is the consortium coordinator). With CSCP, he has just completed INNEON, achieving investment-readiness in some 50 eco-innovation enterprises and building an eco-innovation investment network. The intention is to create an impact investment fund for INNEON’s pool of innovative businesses. At CSCP, he heads the Sustainable Business and Entrepreneurship unit, advising public institutions and private companies on implementing sustainability through such approaches as CSR, sustainable portfolio management and innovative business models. He has authored a number of papers on investment and sustainability. Alexis is personally involved as an advisor or investor in a number of eco-innovation start-ups, in particular in Circular Economy enterprises such as Antaco, Polysecure and 2zk.


Giovanni Fili

Giovanni Fili is an experienced entrepreneur and private investor with more than 20 years’ experience in entrepreneurship and 10 years’ experience in commercialising high tech innovations. Mr Fili was born in 1976 and holds a MSc in Business and Administration, with a double major in Finance and Information Management, from the Stockholm School of Economics, where he graduated in 2002. He has been invited to several round table discussions with the Swedish Ministry of Energy and Enterprise to discuss the entrepreneurial climate in Sweden and has participated on state visits with the Swedish King to represent future Swedish industry. Mr Fili has recently been appointed a permanent member of the Swedish Entrepreneurship Forum to advise Minister Mikael Damberg on the entrepreneurial situation in Sweden.


Dr Silvia Fluch,
Chief Operating Officer, Ecoduna produktions GmbH

Silvia Fluch studied plant molecular biology in Graz and Vienna, Austria where she also earned a Ph.D. on forest genetics before she started her career as a scientist at the Austrian Institute of Technology (AIT) in 1996. From 2004-2006 she undertook post- graduate studies in organisational development at the University of Klagenfurt.

During her time at the AIT she was project leader of large European and national projects, dealing with various aspects of plant molecular biology, bioinformatics as well as data base integration in the biological field. In 2002 she won a national business plan contest, and 2003 this same project ( began to be implemented at AIT. In the role of senior scientist and group leader she developed and applied novel molecular techniques for analyzing big plant genomes.

In 2015, she moved to ecoduna as senior biologist and became Chief Operating Officer of the ecoduna productions GMBH as well as a member of the board of directors of ecoduna AG.


Liesbet Goovaerts,
Environmental Engineer, European Investment Bank

Liesbet Goovaerts is an environmental engineer, working for the project department within the European Investment Bank (EIB). She is responsible for the technical, environmental and economic assessment of industrial projects, and innovation and research related programmes and projects. She is also working on the topic of the circular economy (CE) within the EIB – laying the groundwork and raising awareness in order to increase lending to CE projects. Prior to the EIB, she worked as a researcher at the Flemish Institute for Technological Research (VITO), Belgium. Her activities focused on policy supporting research-and-sustainability assessment tools in the areas of best available techniques, eco-innovation and sustainable business models.


Sander Happaerts
Policy Analyst, European Commission, Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy (DG REGIO G1)

Dr Sander Happaerts is a policy analyst at the Competence Centre ‘Smart and Sustainable Growth’ (Directorate-General for Regional and Urban Policy). He focuses on promoting environmental and climate policy issues in a regional development context. Before joining the Commission, Happaerts worked as a research manager on environmental policy, sustainable development and sustainable materials management at the Research Institute for Work and Society (KU Leuven, Belgium). He was also a part-time professor of the EU and global environmental politics. He obtained a PhD in Social Sciences in 2011, with his research on regional policies for sustainable development. His dissertation won an award in the 2012 Thesis Competition of the Committee of the Regions of the European Union. In 2010, Happaerts held a visiting fellowship at the Université du Québec à Montréal (UQÀM), Canada, where he joined the Social Responsibility and Sustainable Development Research Chair. In 2006, he worked as an intern for the Permanent Representation of Belgium at the United Nations in New York.


Ernesto Hartikainen
Circular Economy Specialist, Sitra - Finnish Innovation Fund

Ernesto Hartikainen works as a Circular Economy Specialist at Sitra where he focuses specifically on EU issues, the bioeconomy, and waste management. He is also one of the organisers of the World Circular Economy Forum 2017, which takes place in Helsinki on 5 – 6 June 2017. Mr Hartikainen previously worked as Sitra’s Foresight Specialist, analysing global megatrends and developing Finland’s National Foresight Network with the Prime Minister’s Office. Mr Hartikainen’s previous background is in management consultancy, the forestry industry, and entrepreneurship. He holds two MSc degrees, one in Economics and one in Technology.


Harri Holopainen,
Head of Technology, ZenRobotics Ltd. 

Harri Holopainen creates value out of software and high tech. He works in fields characterised by the very rapid pace of technical evolution. He co-founded Hybrid Graphics, a graphics technology startup that helped to bring real-time 3D graphics to mobile phones. After selling the company to NVIDIA in 2006, Mr Holopainen co-founded distributed labour start-up Microtask Ltd. Currently he is applying advanced robotics to recycling and the circular economy at ZenRobotics Ltd. Mr Holopainen defines strategies, builds robots and leads R&D teams. The themes that most intrigue him include: what makes tiny organisations ridiculously effective; how to change the world in small ways; and the shift from hardware to software for value-add technology.


Peter Horsburgh
Founder and Chairman, ETF Partners

Peter is a founding partner of the London-based Environmental Technologies Fund (ETF) which manages approximately $250 million. He has over 30 years’ experience of European and US business development and investment, particularly in greentech. Prior to founding ETF in 2005, he worked for five years with Matrix Corporate Finance where he advised companies inter alia on solar PV, renewable forestry and sustainable transportation.

Previously Peter worked for ten years at PaineWebber International (United Kingdom) Ltd, now part of UBS. He left in 1996 to become Head of US Equities for Europe at NatWest Markets Inc. During this time, he worked on transactions involving such companies as Ionics, US Filter, Fuel-Tech NV, Thermo Electron (now Thermo Fisher), United Waste & Culligan Water.

In 1993 at PaineWebber he started its Annual Environmental Service Companies Conference: Europe’s first cleantech conference focusing on international growth companies.

Peter has a first class honours degree from Trinity College, Oxford; he is a member of the UK Parliamentary Renewable and Sustainable Energy Group (PRASEG); has served on the European Advisory Board of the Cleantech Venture Network (of which the Environmental Technologies Fund was a founding member), and has been a member of the Development Board of the Plymouth Marine Laboratory.


Dr Steve Jenkins,
Chief Science Officer, Xeros Limited

Steve Jenkins is a polymer physicist with 25 years of experience in new product R&D. His career with various blue chip corporations (including DuPont, INVISTA and ICI) has focused on novel polymer solutions ranging from advanced long fibre composites for aerospace applications, to packaging resins and novel processing additives. Over this time he has worked as a R&D leader in Europe, USA, India and the Far East, and has successfully commercialised many major new product developments.

Steve joined Xeros in March, 2009. He has led the R&D for the company to deliver its revolutionary technology which replaces up to 80 % of the water used in conventional laundry processes with re-useable, recyclable polymer beads. Steve is the lead inventor on key polymer bead, washing machine, and detergent patents which form the backbone of the Xeros laundry technology. Further work both in residential laundry and applications beyond laundry, is now also well underway.


Indrek Kaldoja
Chief Financial Officer, Skeleton Technologies

Indrek Kaldoja joined Skeleton Technologies as Chief Financial Officer in 2014. His main role is to assure the financial management of the company and co-lead the company's financing efforts. His prior experience includes both the financial and IT sector, and he has also carried out financial management tasks in the manufacturing and service sectors. Kaldoja is the founder and a previous partner of the Estonian corporate finance company Essentia Capital, and was responsible for financial-structuring and capital-raising tasks. Before Essentia he served as fund manager at Swedbank Investment Funds, the largest fund management company in the Baltics. He has managed both public equity funds and the portfolios of alternative assets.


Martin Kärner
Board Member and CEO,Advanced Sports Installations Europe AS

Martin Kärner graduated as an engineer from Tallinn University of Technology. He has 15 years of experience in the construction business, leading big projects in various departments. He has been in the artificial grass business now for four years, overseeing projects from the subbase construction, right through to kicking a ball around with footballers. The company develops innovative solutions and equipment for reusing and recycling used artificial grass, keeping staff and equipment continuously updated. Mr Kärner is also a small shareholder of the company, and keeps an eye on finances and general administration.


Ardo Kaurit,
Founder, Ampler Bikes

Ardo Kaurit is one of the three founders of Ampler Bikes, an innovative electric bicycle manufacturer in Estonia. Ardo is a former professional motocross racer and he actively took part in technical developments in the sport. He also graduated from Tallinn University of Technology (TUT) in Mechatronics. Thanks to his specific experience, great work capacity, open mind and enthusiasm, he excels at developing the frames and electronic parts of Ampler Bikes. Ardo is also responsible for business administration.


Marko Kiisa
CEO and Partner, UPMADE

Marko has 10 years of experience in corporate banking, finance and management. Since 2014 he has worked with Estonian sustainable designer Reet Aus, PhD to develop UPMADE® design and production systems. The UPMADE® system, with integrated software and independent certification, enables industrial upcycling of textile leftovers – creating enormous environmental savings thanks to the reduced use of materials.


Solvita Kostjukova
Co-Founder and CEO, ALINA LLC

Solvita Kostjukova is co-founder and CEO of the ALINA venture. ALINA develops technology to produce materials for the 21st century – organoclays. Today, ALINA’s organoclay is used by producers of building-finishing and composite materials to substitute toxic biocides and heavy metals. Kostjukova’s key competences are in research and product development. She has more than 10 years of experience running scientific projects within the University of Latvia, where she is a PhD candidate in Mathematical Modelling. She has studied Environmental Science, Global Change and Technologies for Sustainable Development, and has worked as an intern at UNICAMP’s Ecological Engineering Laboratory in Brazil. Previously she enjoyed the three-year experience of developing a company called LUDE – a social business-related start-up. Kostjukova  has a perfect match of experience, covering both the academic and business worlds.


Michael Koziwoski
Founder, FiduCon

Michael (1966) founded the fiduCon network in October 2012, having previously been with KPMG for 20 years. Michael has a strong valuation background and has specialised in advising family-businesses / SME´s re: strategic and financial investments.


Frido Kraanen,
Principal Director Societal Impact, PGGM

PGGM is a Dutch pension service provider, working for multiple pension funds, with €185 billion assets under management and working for 2.6 million participants. PGGM is a cooperative with 705 000 members, and functions as an association for people who work or have worked in health care or social services.
Frido is responsible for the implementation of PGGM’s cooperative principles, the societal agenda of PGGM and the corporate social responsibility program. He is also a board member of the cooperative WeHelpen, Deltaplan Dementia (a nationwide program to fight Alzheimer’s disease) and chairs an international working group on the role of money and finance in the transition to a circular economy. Before Frido joined PGGM he worked for the Netherlands’ Ministry of Healthcare, Welfare and Sports, and subsequently as a deputy director for macroeconomic policy and labor relations. He was the Netherlands’ delegate and council member of the Health Committee of the OECD. Frido has a degree in business administration.


Hannu Lamp,
Adviser to the Structural Funds Unit, Environmental Investment Centre (est. Keskkonnainvesteeringute Keskus)

Hannu Lamp advises the EIC on the design and implementation of an EU-financed measure with total funding of EUR 109 million that supports energy and resource investments in Estonia’s manufacturing industry.

He is also responsible for the sale of Estonia’s unused CO2 emission rights under the Kyoto Protocol and the EU internal scheme covering the non-ETS sector. Under Hannu’s lead, Estonia has so far concluded over 20 CO2 emissions-trading transactions with EU governments and Japanese corporations, resulting in proceeds of nearly EUR 400 million, which were invested in energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable transportation sectors. Hannu Lamp has an MSc in International Business from Copenhagen Business School.


Kristjan Lepik
Head of Partnerships, Teleport

Kristjan Lepik acts as an economic expert at Teleport, helping the brilliant engineering team with business development to build cutting-edge software that helps people move more freely. Prior to Teleport he helped to found LHV, which has grown to be the most innovative, and biggest, local bank in the Baltics. He also has experience in the public sector – putting together a team and leading the research for smart specialisation in Estonia. Lepik is an adviser to the Estonian e-residency programme, helping to create the world’s first borderless digital society.


Mario Lionetti
Project Adviser, Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), Unit B3, LIFE and CIP Eco-innovation

Mario Lionetti is an Environmental Engineer. He has gained extensive international work experience on the environment and climate change, with a particular focus on technology, finance and innovation. He worked for the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, and for the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). He is currently working at EASME on the LIFE and CIP Eco-innovation Unit.


Ado Lõhmus
Deputy Secretary General, Estonian Ministry of the Environment

As Deputy Secretary General of the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, Mr Lõhmus is responsible for areas such as Environmental Management and Mineral Resources. He is a Member of the Environmental Management Commission in the Estonian Ministry of the Environment, a Member of the EBAE Commission (chair of the jury), a Member of the Rail Baltic Development Commission in the Estonian Ministry of Economic Affairs and Communication, a Member of the ‘Greening European Semester’ expert group, and a Member of the Commission on Sustainable Development. Mr Lõhmus’ main areas of competence include: environmental auditing, environmental management, innovation, resource efficiency, environmental charges, sustainable use of natural resources, environmental impact assessments, strategic environmental assessments, environmental responsibility, subsoil use, protection policies for the development and implementation of effective organisation, and emergency response organisation.  He has worked in the Ministry of the Environment since 2007, initially involved with strategic planning and organisational development tasks, he became Deputy Secretary General in 2012.
Between 2005 and 2007, Mr Lõhmus worked in the private sector.  He graduated from Tallinn University of Technology with a degree in Chemical and Environmental Technology in 2005.


Timo Mäkelä
Senior Advisor, Sitra - Finnish Innovation Fund

Timo Mäkelä is a Senior Advisor for Sitra’s thematic area, Resource Wise and Carbon Neutral Society. He has worked in various international roles for over 20 years, most recently as a Director at DG Environment. His responsibilities including International Affairs, LIFE and Eco-innovation. Timo Mäkelä has previously acted as the Head of European Commission Representation in Finland and as Director for Sustainable Development and Integration at DG Environment. He has also been a member of the advisory board on environmental protection for the Chinese Government, and a chair of the Steering Committee of the UN International Resource Panel.


Jean-David Malo
Head of Unit, European Commission, Directorate-General for Research and Innovation, Deputy Director-General: Open Innovation, Open Science, Open to the World. Responsible for Directorates A, B and C, Dir B — Open Innovation and Open Science, 3. SMEs, Financial instruments and State Aid

Jean-David Malo studied at the Institut National Supérieur des Sciences Economiques et Commerciales (Paris) and the University of California (Berkeley).
He started his career as head of internal control management in the Comité Professionnel de la Distribution de Carburants in France before joining ARMINES, a body managing contractual research and innovation for French engineering schools (Ecoles des MInes, Ecole Polytechnique, ENSTA) where he created, developed and managed the European Affairs Directorate.  He joined the European Commission in January 2001. In the Directorate General for Research, he participated actively in a number of developments on the design of funding instruments, rules for participation, and funding schemes, both for FP6 and FP7.  From 2003 to 2006, he was the assistant of Director Robert-Jan SMITS. After heading the unit in charge of the regional aspects of FP7—the Regions of Knowledge and Research Potential programmes—from 2006 to 2010, he managed a newly created unit in DG Research and Innovation from 2011 to 2013, the main objective  of which was to contribute to increase private finance and close market gaps in investing in research and innovation by expanding the scope and scale of existing EU innovative financial instruments (like the Risk-Sharing Finance Facility) and by developing new ones in the fields of debt (including guarantees) and equity financing, notably in the context of Horizon 2020. The EU state aid framework, tax incentive schemes and philanthropic funding were also areas covered by the work of the unit. From 2014, this unit is now also covering the SMEs dimension of Horizon 2020, including in particular EUROSTARS II and the design and coordination of the SME Instrument and the Fast Track to Innovation pilot.


Märt-Erik Martens,
Research and Development Specialist, Gleather 

Märt-Erik Martens is one of the co-founders of Gleather and is responsible for research and development. Märt-Erik’s interest in technology and science led him to undergraduate studies in material science at the University of Tartu. There he started to research gelatin-based materials. In the spring of 2016 he began to focus on making the leather-like textile Gleather. Märt-Erik is also a member of the of Estcube 2/3 team.


Alyssa Jade McDonald-Baertl
Founder, BLYSS gmbh, and Board member of The German Federal Association of Green Economy (Unternehmensgrün) of Green Business and also the European Federation of Sustainable Business (Ecopreneur)

Alyssa Jade McDonald-Bärtl is a social entrepreneur working to advance standards to influence food sovereignty and agroecology. She founded BLYSS GmbH, which grows, certifies and trades natural cacao for food companies working with over 1 000 farmer families in Ecuador and the Philippines. The cacao has been technically ranked, on average, 93/100 by European critics. Additionally, BLYSS has test nurseries conducting research for in-situ genetic diversity and the preservation of origin cacao, as well as methods for creating alternate economies within agriculture, jobs for women and next generation farmers. She founded a CACAO Academy that has trained 600 people along the supply chain in 10 principles to increase quality and trade equality for natural cacao; it must be farm-direct and contribute to sustainable cacao futures. There has been an immediate, direct increase in farmer income and an increase in cacao quality, export volume and fairness of trade.

She is a board member of UnternehmensGrün (the German Federal Association of Green Business) and Ecopreneur, the European Network of Green Business, and runs, a company bringing tools and techniques for positive social influence out of the cacao fields and small businesses and into larger companies, academia, politics and the field of social equality.


Mari-Ann Meigo,
Business Development, Gleather 

Mari-Ann Meigo is one of the co-founders of Gleather and responsible for business development. She has a bachelor´s degree in technical design and technology of clothing and is doing her master´s degree on Entrepreneurship and Technology Management (MBA) in the University of Tartu, Estonia. She also works as a product development technologist in the fashion industry. Mari-Ann is very passionate about different eco-innovative solutions, new materials and entrepreneurship. In April 2016, after first learning of the possibility of producing eco-friendly leather-like textile using gelatin, she was convinced of its potential, which inspired her to found Gleather.


Jochen Moesslein
Co-founder & CEO, Polysecure GmbH

Jochen Moesslein is a physicist and MBA by training. His initial career was in the solar sector, as a researcher (Stanford University) and then developer of a new solar business for a midsize German industrial company. Thereafter Jochen has been involved in a number of start-ups and growth companies, one of which, a biotech company, went public with an IPO. Another start-up, an innovative dental implant company, he developed and sold to a S&P 500 corporation. With Polysecure, Jochen went back to his roots as a physicist. He lives his dream of contributing to a more sustainable world through developing innovative and good technology.

Jochen combines technological understanding with commercial acumen. He is a team motivator and thrives in an entrepreneurial role. With courage and vision on the political and legislative level, ethical entrepreneurs can accelerate the transformation towards a more sustainable world.


Toby Moore,
Managing Partner, Imprimatur Capital Fund Management (ICFM)

Toby Moore co-founded the ICFM venture firm in 2010, raising and managing a EUR 17 million (USD 20 million) seed/venture fund for investing in early-stage, high-tech startups in the Baltic Sea Region. Since the business launched in mid-2010, it has reviewed more than 750 cases from 18 countries, and to date provided investment for 30 companies. Startups include those involved with SaaS, big data, EdTech, Cleantech, and VR. Mr Moore is a Member of the Fund Investment Committee, board director of six companies, including the Green Tech Incubator in Riga, Latvia. His first completed deal in 2015 realized an M&A trade sale of a high-tech industrial nano-coatings startup in Latvia to a global automotive components manufacturer based in Germany. He holds an MBA from Durham University (UK), and a BSc in Life Sciences from Adelaide University (Australia).


Ward Mosmuller
Director EU Affairs, Royal DSM N.V.

Ward Mosmuller joined DSM in 2009. Currently he is Director of EU Affairs and supports and advises Royal DSM’s business groups on regional EU affairs, and the Managing Board/Executive Committee on strategic issues that have an impact on DSM’s license to operate in the EU. He represents DSM in EU associations Cefic, EuropaBio, and BIC (of which he is one of the founders). He engages in societal, governmental, and legislation-related debates and is responsible for stakeholder management.
Ward studied Molecular Sciences at Wageningen University and obtained his PhD in 1993 in Bioorganic Chemistry. He joined the Dutch Technology Agency Centre where he held several positions, starting as coordinator of a national innovation programme and leaving as manager of a national innovation development loan scheme, a EUR 600 million public loan facility for innovative businesses. It was during this period that he obtained his MBA. In 2001 Ward joined PricewaterhouseCoopers and was one of the key members of the Life Sciences Team at PwC NL. At the end of 2002 he became Managing Director of BioPartner, supporting universities in improving their capabilities in entrepreneurship, and supporting and setting-up a range of spin-offs in life sciences.

In 2005 Ward started his own company with a focus on innovation and technology transfer. He was one of the founders of Health Valley, a regional broker between science and business. In 2006 he co-founded the Technology Transfer Office at VU University Medical Centre and was appointed Managing Director (on a part-time basis); in this role he has been (co-)founder of several spin-off companies.


Jana Pavlenkova
CEO, Prototron

Jana Pavlenkova has obtained 10 years of experience in regional development and politics. She managed regional strategies, foreign affairs and subsidy programmes for SMEs and NGOs, before moving to the Prototron Fund. Ms Pavlenkova graduated from the University of Tartu in Environmental Physics and worked at the Institute of Ecology. Jana implemented several eco-innovation projects in the field of renewable energy.  Thanks to her experience, open mind and enthusiasm, she has driven regional initiatives and her own start-up.


Jaakko Pellinen
CEO, Oulu Water Alliance (OWA)

Jaakko Pellinen is the founder of the company. He has a master of science degree in chemistry and is also doing his PhD studies at the University of Oulu. He has been an entrepreneur since graduating from university and is now a multi-entrepreneur. Jaakko has expertise in water treatment and waste utilization. OWA provides innovative solutions for water and waste treatment and waste utilization.


Marko Pomerants
Estonian Minister of the Environment, Ministry of the Environment
Marko Pomerants has been Minister of the Environment of the Republic of Estonia since 9 April 2015.

Between 2011 and 2015, Marko Pomerants was a member Estonia’s XII Parliament. From 2009 to 2011, he was Minister of Internal Affairs. Between 2007 and 2009, he was a member of the XI Parliament. Elected as a member of the X Parliament in 2003, he served as the Minister of Social Affairs from 2003 to 2005. Between 1995 and 2003, he worked as Governor of Lääne-Viru County. Prior to that, he was Head of the Environment Department and Head of the Nature Protection Service in the same county government. Between 1989 and 1990, he was Deputy Head of Rakvere Nature Protection Administration. Marko Pomerants is also a member of the Estonian Volleyball Federation and a board member of the Foundation of Virumaa Museums.
Born on 24 September 1964, in Tamsalu, Marko Pomerants went on to be educated in Tamsalu High School. He completed his higher education at the University of Tartu, graduating in 1989 with a degree in Geology; he attained an MA in public administration in 2001.


Gustav Röken
Chief Financial Officer, EXEGER Sweden AB

Responsible for finance and investment related matters in Exeger Sweden AB since 2014. During this period the company has raised more than EUR 16 million and the company valuation has increased from EUR 50 million to EUR 85 million.
Mr. Röken has been an employee at Exeger since 2014, responsible for financing and security. Mr. Röken holds a B.Sc. in Finance and Systems Sciences and started his career in the Swedish finance industry where he focused on equity research and capital procurement. During this period Mr. Röken accrued a profound knowledge in the complexity of financing high-tech innovation companies facing the “valley of death”. Mr. Röken has participated in and overseen both bond- and share issues in listed as well as unlisted companies in multiple sectors.
In 2012 Mr. Röken was recruited as a consultant to a prominent actor in the Swedish IT-security industry, where he got to combine his competences in finance and business as well as in IT. During this period Mr. Röken came in contact with Exeger and in 2014 he was recruited to handle security and financing related matters. His technical and financial competence has proven to be of great use when discussing a high-tech company such as Exeger with potential investors. During Mr. Röken’s time at Exeger the company has raised more than EUR 16 million in equity, which has given him a profound insight into the financing process from the perspective of a small and highly innovative company in the middle of an industrialization process; thus complementing his experience from a large financial institution. During this period Mr. Röken has worked directly with the founder and CEO, giving him a hands on understanding of the entrepreneurial side of financing and company-building, to further strengthen his position in this field.


Jan Rosen,
Public Support Programmes Project Manager, Komerční banka, a. s.

Jan Rosen has obtained 13 years of experience in SME financing. He managed a subsidy programme in the state-owned development agency CzechInvest, before moving to the private sector to work for the Komenrční banka, a.s., the leading bank for SMEs in the Czech Republic. He started as a credit analyst for SME financing, and for the last eight years he has been working in product development for the business loans department. His team manages products where public and private sources are blended, mostly in cooperation with the European Investment Bank Group. The latest implemented product, EuroEnergie (private finance for energy efficiency), provides discounted loans to energy efficiency projects.


Marco Rubinato
Project Officer, European Commission, Executive Agency for Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (EASME), Unit A2 SME-Instrument

Marco Rubinato specialises in environmental politics and project management. After gaining an MA from UCL in Louvain-la-Neuve, he worked with and for SMEs for more than 10 years. He then joined EASME, where he works on projects related to his topics of interest; the environment and technologies. His activities are related to project follow-ups, report evaluations, dissemination and on-site visits.


Olli Salmi
Managing Director, Baltic Sea Co-location Centre, EIT RawMaterials

Dr Salmi has more than 15 years of experience in recycling and environmental issues in the mineral sector, as well as industrial planning experience in sustainable design. Prior to joining EIT RawMaterials, Dr Salmi worked as Research Professor at VTT Technical Research Centre of Finland. At VTT, he was responsible, among other things, for setting up and running a company-wide mineral economy innovation programme, covering technologies from mining to downstream processing. Since 2012, Dr Salmi has served as associate editor in Industrial Symbiosis for the Journal of Industrial Ecology.


Marcello Somma
Head of Sustainability & Sustainable Innovation, FATER S.p.A

After 12 years of experience in FMCG R&D and marketing, with a sustained record of delivering banked contributions, Marcello Somma recognised the opportunity to leverage the sustainability challenge as a driver of innovation and competitive advantage. As part of the Italian Rientro dei Cervelli (‘Brain Gain’) programme, he moved back to Italy in 2009 to lead FATER’s sustainable development programme. Since 2010, he has become an award winning pioneer in sustainable innovation and the circular economy. He is the inventor of several patented processes for the upcycling of post-consumer absorbent hygiene product waste. His leadership role has led FATER to establish itself as a corporate name for sustainability in Italy. Several awards achieved under Marcello’s tenure testify to this, such as the EMAS Award 2011, the GPP Award 2012 from the Italian Ministry of Environment, and the top spot in Great Place to Work’s 2013 ‘Best Sustainable’ Company ranking. Marcello Somma also regularly lectures on green economy at the MBA Alma Graduate School, University of Bologna, and his role in contributing to sustainable innovation has been covered in both specialist and mainstream media.


Clara Song
Business Development Manager, Black Bear Carbon

Clara is responsible for rolling out Black Bear plants globally, to bring an innovative, high value, circular solution for producing high grades of carbon black from end-of-life tyres. The technology was developed in the EU. Before joining Black Bear, Clara worked as a financial and systems engineering consultant with Atkins, on the largest international rail projects (including PPP projects). She also served a short stint as an investment banking analyst at Goldman Sachs. Clara holds a MA in Mechanical Engineering and Business Finance from University College London and London School of Economics.


Christian Strasser
Deputy Head of Unit, European Commission, Directorate-General for Environment, Dir D4. LIFE Programme

For several years Christian Strasser worked in the Austrian Ministry of Finance in a tax department. He joined the Commission in 1998 and worked as desk officer and later as programme manager in the Directorate General for Employment, Social Affairs & Inclusion. In 2012 he moved on to DG Environment and, in 2014, he became Deputy Head of Unit of the LIFE Programme. He is co-responsible for the management of the unit and in particular for the implementation of the LIFE+ and LIFE 2014–2020 programmes.

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Maarika Susi
Member of the Board & Event Organiser, Garage 48

Maarika is a sales and project management specialist with more than nine years of international experience in the advertising industry, working in sales in the largest e-commerce company in the Baltics and organising intensive weekend hackathon events aimed at boosting the local start-up communities around the Eastern European region and emerging countries.

She is currently discovering the world of B2B Saas businesses as the Inside Sales Team Lead in Pipedrive Consulting and helping SMB customers worldwide in structuring their sales processes better.

Maarika started working with Garage48 in 2012.  Since then the organisation has been focusing on Eastern European countries and post-Soviet Union region, bringing Estonian know-how of building and scaling IT sector closer to those communities.


Andres Susi
Mentor & Speaker, Garage 48

Andres Susi is a tech entrepreneur and investor with extensive experience in the consumer internet space. Andres has been a founder, investor and advisor to more than ten companies in e-commerce, online gaming and social networking sectors.
Currently, Andres is engaged in building a fintech company that aims to change how people manage personal finances.

Previously, Andres was co-founder and CEO of Cherry Media, a EUR 30 million e-commerce company, co-founded, an online dating site, managed Playforia and advised several other startups. In 2006-2010 Andres was a partner at MTVP, a micro venture capital fund focusing on internet and tech companies in Baltic and CIS countries.

Andres is a frequent speaker at tech conferences. He graduated from Moscow State Institute of International Relations (MGIMO) in 2004.


Mari Vavulski
Head of Startup Estonia, KredEx

As a Head of Startup Estonia – a governmental initiative for the Estonian start-up ecosystem – Mari Vavulski is constantly seeking ways to supercharge Estonian-bred start-ups possessing the potential to take on the world. We are making Estonia one of the world's best places to start a company, partnering with, and uniting, the best of start-ups, incubators, accelerators, as well as the public sector, and researchers into one big, successful Estonian Mafia – #estonianmafia – a term that has successfully become a brand for the local start-up community. As a member of the management board in SmartCap, Ms Vavulski is responsible for management issues and preparing and implementing their new investment strategy – investments into early-stage seed funds (new types of accelerators).


Alar Võrk
CEO and Co-Founder, Cityntel

Alar Võrk is a visionary entrepreneur with passion for technology which can make the world a better place. He is CEO and co-founder of Cityntel, an Estonian-based technology startup developing energy saving Smart Streetlight controls based on next-generation flat wireless mesh networking technology and Mist Computing.


Iakovos Yakoumis
Founder & CEO, Monolithos Catalysts & Recycling Ltd.

Iakovos Yakoumis was born in 1974 in Athens. He obtained his MSc degree in Chemical Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens in 1997. His diploma thesis was conducted in the Shell Research and Technology Centre, Amsterdam. Since 2012, he has been a PhD candidate in the School of Mining and Metallurgical Engineering at the National Technical University of Athens. He has published 14 research papers in international scientific journals. The citation index of these papers has exceeded 1 040 (Google Scholar). He has presented more than 20 papers at international scientific conferences (two of them were key-note participations) and he has published more than 10 solicited articles in Greek media (technical and newspapers). He has been invited to give lectures by the European Materials Research Society (EMRS) for their 2016 spring meeting, by the University of Padua (Chemical Engineering Department), and by Federchimica, the Italian Federation of Chemical Industry Associations. He has been appointed as peer reviewer in one international scientific journal and as reviewer of Horizon 2020 proposals. At the age of 26 he was honoured by the Hellenic Organisation of Small and Medium Enterprises with the Panhellenic Award for the Best Young Businessman of the Year. He has been a member of the board for several local and business associations. For example, he was member of the Scientific Board of the Greek Observatory for Young Entrepreneurship, Vice-President of the Attiki Association of Young Businessmen, member of the Board of Directors of the Association of Industries of the Area Athens-Piraeus, etc. He has served as elected Vice-President for the city council of the Municipality of Naxos and the Small Cyclades.


Peter Woodward / Moderator

Peter Woodward is co-founder and director of Quest Associates. He has varied experience from chairing national conferences to facilitating a wide range of stakeholder engagements within the public, private and non-governmental sectors. Peter is one of only a small number of specialist facilitators operating in the UK who have achieved Certified Professional Facilitator (CPF) status from the International Association of Facilitators.

Peter believes the key to effective progress is in enabling participants to own the issues and work together to achieve powerful outcomes.  His drive, humor and skill as a facilitator all contribute to unlocking the very best from people in diverse situations.


Sonja van Renssen / Rapporteur

Sonja van Renssen is a freelance climate, energy and environment journalist who writes for publications such as European Energy Review, European Voice, Nature Climate Change, and ENDS Europe. She also hosts interviews and gives media training for the internet-based TV channel Prior to freelancing, van Renssen spent four years as lead climate/carbon correspondent for the EU environmental policy news and analysis service ENDS Europe. She has worked as a radio journalist for the BBC World Service and won Young Broadcaster of the Year Award in 2005. She has worked as a reporter for the Science and Development Network in London, the Buenos Aires Herald in Argentina and the Llama Express in Bolivia. Before working as a journalist, she spent two-and-a-half years as a strategic marketing consultant for KAE Marketing Intelligence in London. Van Renssen holds an MSc with distinction in science communication from Imperial College London and has an MA in biological sciences from the University of Oxford.