High Level Group of Innovators

On this page you will find the biographies of the members of this group

What is the High Level Group of Innovators?

This group will support the European Commission in developing the EIC. It has as an initial mandate of two years, which may be renewed.

It will base its work on the results of evidence gathered by the Commission, including the results of a "call for ideas" carried out in spring 2016, and of the Interim evaluation of Horizon 2020 carried out in spring 2017.

The Chair

Dr Hermann Hauser, KBE, CBE FRS FREng FInstP

Entrepreneur, Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners

Hermann Maria Hauser

In 2015 Hermann was awarded an KBE for services to Engineering and Industry.

Serial Entrepreneur and Co-founder of Amadeus Capital Partners, Dr Hermann Hauser KBE has wide experience in developing and financing companies in the information technology sector. He co-founded a number of high-tech companies including Acorn Computers which spun out ARM, E-trade UK, Virata and Cambridge Network. Subsequently Hermann became vice president of research at Olivetti. During his tenure at Olivetti, he established a global network of research laboratories. Since leaving Olivetti, Hermann has founded over 20 technology companies. In 1997, he co-founded Amadeus Capital Partners. At Amadeus he invested in CSR, Solexa, Icera, Xmos and Cambridge Broadband.

Hermann is a Fellow of the Royal Society, the Institute of Physics, the Royal Society of Chemistry and of the Royal Academy of Engineering, as well as an Honorary Fellow of King's College, Cambridge. In 2001 he was awarded an Honorary CBE for ‘innovative service to the UK enterprise sector’. In 2004 he was made a member of the Government’s Council for Science and Technology and in 2013 he was made a Distinguished Fellow of BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT.

Hermann has honorary doctorates from the Universities of Loughborough, Bath, Anglia Ruskin, Strathclyde, Glasgow and York.

The members

Nicklas Bergman

Serial entrepreneur, deep tech investor and futurist

Nicklas Bergman

Nicklas Bergman has spent the last 25 years working as an entrepreneur and technology investor. He has been a part of huge successes as well as responsible for epic failures, said no to investments that turned into unicorns and spent way too much time in endless meetings with bankers, lawyers, and boards of directors.

A couple of years ago he lost interest in business politics, cleared his schedule and embarked on a journey to understand where technology is taking us and to understand if we are ready for the upcoming tech storm. Today, he is dividing his time between existing and new technology investments, including a couple of his own skunkworks projects, and speaking and writing on the future of technology and business.

Martin Bruncko

Founder and Managing Partner of Steam Capital

Martin Bruncko

Martin is a technology entrepreneur, investor, and former public policy leader. He’s the founder and managing partner of Steam Capital that helps to build transformational, deep tech companies in Europe. He holds board and advisory positions in several other highly innovative, R&D-based technology companies from Europe, including AeroMobil, where he also acts as Chief Strategy Officer and Chief Financial Officer. He is the founder and former executive chairman of Neulogy, the first major advisory and investment boutique in Central and Eastern Europe focusing on R&D and technology start ups. Previously, Martin was a Senior Director and Head of Europe at the World Economic Forum. He also held several senior positions in the Government of Slovakia, including junior minister for innovations and deputy for European affairs of the minister of finance. He holds a B.A. in International Relations and Modern Thought and Literature from Stanford University and M.P.A. in International Development from Harvard Kennedy School. In 2012, Martin was honored as Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum.

Paddy Cosgrave

Founder and CEO of Web Summit and f.ounders

Paddy Cosgrave

Paddy Cosgrave is the founder and CEO of Web Summit and f.ounders. Web Summit is a global technology conference hosted annually in Lisbon. In November 2016, more than 50,000 attendees from over 150 countries flew to Lisbon for Web Summit, including over 20,000 companies, 1,300 investors and 2,000 international journalists. Speakers included the founders and CEOs of the world’s largest tech companies as well as political leaders and major sports, fashion and music personalities. In less than 6 years the Web Summit has grown from a small team of 3 people to a full time team of over 150. F.ounders, an annual private gathering of 200 CEOs of the world's leading technology companies which happens alongside Web Summit, has been described by Bloomberg as "Davos for Geeks". Paddy graduated from Trinity College Dublin in 2006 with a BA, MA in Political Science and Economics. He worked in a number of start-ups before setting up Web Summit and f.ounders in 2010 with Daire Hickey and David Kelly. Paddy has been listed in WIRED Magazine's 100 most important people in tech.

Gráinne Dwyer

CEO of Ludgate Hub

Gráinne Dwyer

Gráinne Dwyer (26) is CEO of the Ludgate Initiative in Skibbereen, Ireland which has recently launched a digital hub with one of the fastest broadband connections in the country. The €1 million, 10,000 sq foot state of the art building has attracted Start Ups from LA, Chicago and London. The Ludgate Hub is now being used as a case study for Europe on how to rejuvenate rural coastal communities. The Ludgate initiative is an award winning project which aims to highlight rural Skibbereen as an exemplar '1Gigabyte Town'.

Gráinne has presented at the European Digital Assembly in Bratislava and at the European Commission's Going Giga Conference in Brussels about the project. Gráinne is also co-organiser of National Digital Week a conference which focuses on digital innovation and how technology can sustain rural areas. The conference attracts over 1,600 attendees and 80 international and national speakers each year. Over the last 12 months Gráinne has worked with her team to raise nearly € 1.2 Million in sponsorship deals and support. She is also a recipient of the Cork Conference Ambassador award in 2015, and the Ludgate initiative has also been awarded the Cork Business Award in 2016, and was a finalist of Europes Best Broadband Project in 2016.

Marjolein Helder

Founder and CEO of Plant-e

Marjolein Helder

Marjolein Helder is Chief Executive Officer of Plant-e. She graduated as a PhD on electricity generation from living plants at the sub-department of Environmental Technology of Wageningen University in November 2012. Since then, she’s been working full-time as Plant-e’s CEO. With a PhD in environmental technology and a minor in entrepreneurship and management, she is well equipped to run a technology-based company. Her active engagement in several boards (a.o. alumni association KLV, Rugby Club Wageningen) combined with her positive attitude and energy has led to a vast network in the Netherlands and abroad.

Taavet Hinrikus

Co-Founder and CEO of TransferWise

Taavet Hinrikus

Taavet Hinrikus is co-founder and CEO of TransferWise, the international money transfer platform. TransferWise is the low cost and fair way of transferring money internationally. Using peer-to-peer technology and without any hidden fees, it makes sending money abroad up to eight times cheaper compared to using a bank. TransferWise customers send £800m every month using the platform, and it’s attracted $117m from investors such as world’s largest VC firm Andreessen Horowitz, Sir Richard Branson and Max Levchin, the co-founder of PayPal.

Prior to starting TransferWise, Taavet was Skype’s director of strategy until 2008, starting as its first-ever employee. One of the World Economic Forum's Tech Pioneers, Taavet was an adviser to the former Prime Minister of Estonia on the digital agenda. He’s also a mentor and angel investor; his investments include Tweetdeck, Mendeley, OMGPOP, Property Partner, Sunrise, Improbable and Mapillary.

Ingmar Hoerr

Co-Founder and CEO of CureVac

Ingmar Hoerr

Ingmar Hoerr, PhD, MBA, Chairman and CEO of CureVac AG, Germany, founded the biopharmaceutical company in 2000 together with Florian von der Mülbe and other colleagues. His entrepreneurship was motivated by a surprising discovery during his doctoral research. Experiments conducted for this research showed that mRNA is capable of generating a strong specific immune response, contrary to what had previously been believed. From this key discovery, Ingmar Hoerr and his colleagues built up a company that is now a global leader in the research and development of mRNA-based drugs. Since its inception, CureVac has received approximately $330 million (€300 million) in equity investments. In 2015, the company has been valuated at €1.5 billion.

Bindi Karia

Start-up expert and advisor

Bindi Karia

Bindi is incredibly passionate about all things startup in Europe and connecting the dots between Investors, Founders, Corporates and Government, and as a result has worked in and around technology startups for most of her career. As a Consultant (PwC Consulting), as a Corporate (Microsoft BizSpark /Ventures), as a Startup employee (Trayport), as an Advisor (Startup Europe, Startup Weekend Europe, Tech London Advocates), as a Connector (GQ UK, the IoD and Evening Standard have all recognised this) and until recently, as their Banker (Silicon Valley Bank). The entrepreneurs have influenced her so greatly over the years, that she's now left, and is currently in the process of setting up a new venture, focussed on…connecting…of course.

She currently sits on the Advisory Boards of six startups and one Venture Debt fund, as well as Digital Advisory Board of ShopDirect plc (1.9bn turnover business), the Advisory Boards of Startup Europe, Tech London Advocates, a Global Ambassador for Innovate Finance FinTech Association and just finished a term as trustee for TechStars Startup Weekend Europe (2014- October 2016).

Jana Kolar

CEO of CERIC-ERIC and governing board member of the European Institute for Innovation and Technology (EIT)

Jana Kolar

Dr. Jana Kolar is executive director of CERIC-ERIC. She has a broad range of expertise, ranging from research and innovation to entrepreneurship. She is currently a member of the governing board of European Institute of Technology and Innovation (EIT) and a member of the ERA Council Forum Austria, a high-level expert body advising the Austrian Minister responsible for Science and Research.

 

Carlos Oliveira

Entrepreneur, CEO of ebankIT, President of InvestBraga and Startup Braga, Non-Executive Director of Pathena

Carlos Oliveira

Carlos has an entrepreneurial and visionary spirit with experience in entrepreneurship, innovation, management and public policies for innovation. Carlos is the former Secretary of State for Entrepreneurship, Competitiveness and Innovation at the Portuguese Government. Carlos founded MobiComp, a startup in the mobile arena, and led the company as CEO until July 2008 when he sold the company to Microsoft. His work included building the company product strategy, driving sales and growing the company. Carlos is founder of several startups and worked as an executive at Microsoft and as an angel/VC investor.

Carlos has a consumer-centric perspective with experience in management, strategic planning, and business development for the mobile and wireless industries. Carlos regularly speaks at industry events as well as contributing to print, radio and television media.

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Board of Trustees Member, World Economic Forum, and Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School

Jim Hagemann Snabe

Jim Hagemann Snabe is the former co-CEO of SAP AG and a non-executive board member at Siemens AG (D), Allianz SE (D), SAP SE (D), A.P.Moller Maersk (DK) and Bang & Olufsen A/S (DK). He serves as the member of the Board of Trustees at World Economic Forum and is Adjunct Professor at Copenhagen Business School. Jim holds a Masters degree in Operational Research from University of Aarhus, Denmark.

Jim Hagemann Snabe has developed his career through 24 years of service in the IT industry. He started his career as a Trainee in SAP AG in 1990. Throughout his career Jim has had leadership roles at SAP and IBM, leading consulting-, sales- and product development organizations. He was appointed member of the Executive Board Member of SAP in 2008 and co-CEO of SAP AG in 2010 alongside Bill McDermott. In 2014 Jim decided to leave the role as executive and leverage his digital experience to help accelerate the digital transformation of society and global non-IT companies.

Kinga Stanisławska

Managing Partner and Founder of Experior Venture Fund

Kinga Stanisławska

Kinga is Managing Partner and Founder of Experior Venture Fund (EVF).

Kinga has been working in private equity / venture capital and finance for the past 17 years. She is the Vice President of the Management Board of the Polish Private Equity Assocaition (PSIK). She sits on the supervisory boards of XTRF Management Systems, Tourmedica, iTaxi and WeGirls.

Prior to EVF, she was the Global Head of TMT at Raiffeisen Investment in Vienna. She started her career in banking at Salomon Smith Barney (Citigroup, London) and followed on to Equity Capital Markets at ING Barings, with responsibility for the EMEA region. In 2001-2007 she was a Principal Banker at European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (London and Warsaw), where she led investment and financing projects across the TMT and infrastructure sectors. She was responsible for supervising selected assets of EBRD’s equity portfolio. She is active in supporting women led companies – Kinga is a mentor in Vital Voices and Foundation for Women Entrepreneurship. She is also on the board of the WeGirls Foundation.

Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau

Special Envoy StartupDelta

Constantijn Van Oranje-Nassau

Constantijn van Oranje is in charge of StartupDelta, the Dutch umbrella organization that boosts the entrepreneurial climate in The Netherlands. Previously he worked for Booz Allen & Hamilton, RAND Europe, the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs and most recently as Head of Cabinet to former Vice President Neelie Kroes at the European Commission. Now, his focus is on the Dutch startup ecosystem as founder of StartupFest Europe and Startup Envoy for StartupDelta. His ambition is to turn the Netherlands into the West Coast of Europe: epicentre of innovation, with the best climate for entrepreneurs to start, build, grow and internationalize their businesses.

Roxanne Varza

CEO of StationF

Roxanne Varza

Roxanne Varza is the Director of Station F, which is set to be the largest startup campus worldwide. Prior to her current role, Roxanne was the lead for Microsoft’s start-up activities in France, running both Bizspark and Microsoft Ventures programs for 3 years.

Business Insider listed her as one of the top 30 women under 30 in tech. She has also been listed in additional rankings by Business Insider, Vanity Fair and Le Figaro, The Evening Standard and more. Prior to Microsoft she worked for several European startups and was the former Editor of TechCrunch France. Roxanne has also contributed to other publications, including The Telegraph, The Kernel, Betakit and Business Insider. Roxanne also co-founded StartHer (ex Girls in Tech Paris) and is the co-organizer of the Failcon Paris conference. More recently, she co-founded Tech.eu, a European tech media backed by Dave McClure, Adeo Ressi, Daniel Waterhouse and more.

Prior to TechCrunch, Roxanne worked for the French government’s foreign direct investment agency helping fast-growing startups develop their activities in France. Roxanne has spoken, moderated, mentored and judged numerous startup events and programs throughout Europe and also helps European startups with content and communications.

Roxanne is trilingual and holds degrees from UCLA, Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics. She is also an epilepsy advocate.