Meet our Speakers!
Project Manager, Bank of Lithuania
Andrius Adamonis works as a Project Manager at the Bank of Lithuania, by the Digital transformation and advanced analytics division, and he is leading the LBChain – blockchain sandbox project. Andrius graduated his Master’s degree in computer science at Vilnius Gedimino Technical University, theses: Research of Blockchain technology. Andrius was a member of OECD Blockchain Expert Advisory Board, while he got interested into blockchain since 2016. He is an active speaker in various local and international conferences.
Head of Platform, MAZE – decoding impact
Cristina Almeida is the Head of Platform at MAZE, an impact investing company based in Lisbon that accelerates and invests in solutions solving for the greatest social and environmental challenges of our time. Since joining MAZE in 2017, Cristina has connected entrepreneurs, investors, corporates and public sector individuals through community and brand management, content creation and distribution and impact events. Previously, Cristina was a consultant at EY, seconded at Impact Investment Group in Australia, and learn the ins and outs of startups at Mellow.
Co-founder, Head of Service & Product Design, GivingStreets
Elena Avatangelou is Co-founder and Head of Product Design at GivingStreets, a social enterprise enabling cashless donations to vulnerable groups and charities. She has been actively involved in Open Innovation projects for more than twenty years as a research consultant and project coordinator, working with and managing multi-national, interdisciplinary teams, driving all phases from concept definition to go-to-market strategy and pivoting. Elena is also a Design Thinking facilitator and coach, aiming at improving her clients’ product offering, services, and internal procedures. Her empathy skills, combined with her technological background, enable her to design services and solutions that resonate with and give value to end users of all ages and backgrounds. She is also founder of the Young Thinkers Club, training children and teenagers on the principles of empathy and user-centered design, and volunteers as domain expert at 50plus Hellas, a non-profit organization supporting and empowering people above 50 years of age in Greece. Her fields of expertise include social and financial inclusion, wellness, culture, and education.
Executive Director, Mikrofond
Georgi Breskovski has worked for more than 20 years at one of the most active microfinance institutions in Bulgaria – MIKROFOND AD. He holds an MBA from the University of Applied Science, Bremen, Germany.
Mikrofond was the first Bulgarian NGO MFI, to transform successfully into commercial financial institution supporting micro and small companies. The company’s mission is to provide business loans for micro-entrepreneurs, to finance the needs of low-income families and to maintain good financial results in order to serve customers in the long run. Georgi Breskovski took part in the transformation of MIKROFOND from non-governmental organisation into joint-stock company in early 2000s. As Executive director he managed the growth of the company to become the largest MFI’s in Bulgaria in 2010’s. Currently Mr. Breskovski is managing yet another transformation of Mikrofond – to become digital social finance company lending only to start-ups and social enterprises.
Head of Finance Department, Hefboom
Piet Callens graduated as Master of Business Economics. He started his professional career at Flemish Public radio and television (VRT) and took the opportunity to become commercial manager. Piet was responsible for media sponsoring. He built a wide network in the Flemish cultural and creative sectors (CCS).
In 2008, Piet made his entry into the financial world and became investment manager at CultuurInvest, a venture capital fund CCS. Today, Piet leads the finance department at Hefboom. Hefboom supports social-profit organisation and enterprises, by granting credits, consultancy and offering services (www.hefboom.be). Through Impulskrediet Hefboom also grants microcredits to entrepreneurs who are not able to get a loan with a bank (www.impulskrediet.be). In 2018 Hefboom started granting cultural loans (www.cultuurkrediet.be) to the CCS in close cooperation with the Flemish government and Cultuurloket, a consultancy agency for the cultural sector. Piet has experience in developing and managing additional financing products for individuals, organisations and enterprises having difficulties in accessing traditional finance, such as SME’s active in cultural sector, social-profit sector, etc.. He truly believes that additional financing products developed in close cooperation with public and private partners are key to finance social and economic welfare in a sustainable way.
Co-founder and CEO, Fyorin
James Camilleri is the co-founder and CEO of a fintech start-up, Fyorin. With all the co-founding team being Maltese, Fyorin is changing the fabric of business banking, on an international level.
Before Fyorin, he has spent a decade doing international business, on a B2B level, in the area of sales & marketing and business strategy. Whereby he was instrumental in generating millions of euros for the companies he represented. His industry experience ranges from IT software to fintech to iGaming.
Journalist, ERT3, makthes.gr, insidestory.gr
Sofia Christoforidou is a jouranlist. For 20 years she has worked in printed and online media, tv and radio. Currently she works with “Makedonia”, one of the oldest newspapers in Greece and ERT3, the third TV channel of the greek public broadcaster. Her passion for journalism derives from stories. She holds a BA in European Studies and an MA in Journalism and new media.
Senior Investment Officer, European Investment Fund
Samuel works for the Inclusive Finance team at EIF, structuring guarantees, loans and equity investments for the benefit of microfinance institutions and providers of social loans.
De Paula Coelho Francisco
Dean, EIB Institute
Francisco de Paula Coelho is the Dean of the EIB Institute. Prior to that he was Director for EIB Operations in Asia and Latin America (2004-2015), after having been Director of the Department for Planning and Settlement of Operations in the EIB Financial Directorate (2000-2004).
Francisco started his career at the EIB in 1987, as a loan officer for the ACP countries. In 1989, he became Manager of the EIB’s bond portfolio at the Treasury Department after which he became Head of the Loans Back Office. After graduating from Solvay Business School, University of Brussels, and before joining the EIB, Francisco de Paula Coelho held successively the following positions: financial analyst with Unido, assistant lecturer in Economics at the University of Lisbon and consultant in investment promotion for Emerging Countries in New York, before joining the World Bank, in Washington DC.
Chairman, Founder, IMPACT Ventures Lt.
Elemér Eszter founder and CEO of PBG FMC Ltd. (VC fund since 2014) and chairman of the Board of Directors at IMPACT Ventures Lt. (Impact VC fund since 2018). He graduated as a historian, and studied political sciences and economics in the United States. Afterwards he became a serial entrepreneur. Between 2004 and 2008, he was the cofounder of Cryo-Innovation Inc., which was acquired in 2012 by the Swedish public listed company Vitrolife. In 2009, Elemér contributed to the founding of SSP Inc. in the US on behalf of investors and is an observer member of the board ever since. In 2015, he was a cofounder of the Hungarian Social Impact Investors Association and from 2017 the President of the Association. Elemér is also a Supervisory Board member of Susterra Ltd., a fund management company which will manage the Water Impact Fund specializing in water and environmental impact investing. Since 2019, Elemér Eszter is the Chairman of the Hungarian Ventura Capital Association.
Partner, IMPACT Partners
Astrid Fockens Lassagne is Partner at Impact Partners since January 2020. Graduated from INSA-Lyon and HEC, she started her career in engineering in Australia in 2001, then joined Newell Rubbermaid’s European marketing team in 2002. She evolved in several product marketing positions in France and the UK before joining Match.com/Meetic Group as European Brand & Communication Director. She was promoted Marketing Director for Southern Europe in 2015.
In 2016, she joined Just Eat as International Marketing Director, then MeilleursAgents in 2017 as Chief Marketing Officer and member of the executive team. After 19 years of experience in various international business roles, she decided to move to Impact Investing in order to align her work and love of making business with her values. French Dutch, Astrid Fockens Lassagne has lived in Germany, Australia, Brasil and the UK and speaks fluently 5 languages.
CEO and Co-founder, Innovestment
Christin Friedrich is CEO and co-founder of Innovestment, the alternative financing and investment platform focused on long-term sustainable impact finance for SMEs based in Berlin/Germany founded 2011. Christin is also chairwoman of the non-executive board of the European Crowdfunding Network (ECN), based in Brussels, Belgium.
Together with other European platform operators, she advocates greater transparency, common standards, and a fundamental understanding of alternative financing’s positive impact on the European economy and society.
Executive Director, EUROCROWD
Oliver Gajda founded EUROCROWD as an international NGO in 2013, serving since as Executive Director and Chairman. The past decade, Oliver has worked with venture capital, microfinance, technology and social entrepreneurship in both commercial and non-profit settings in Europe and the USA. A former journalist, he started his career in the early 1990s in the publishing and business information industries. Oliver holds Master’s degrees from Solvay Business School and from the University of Hamburg and studied at SEESS (UCL) in London. Oliver is a member of the Executive Board of EUROCROWD.
Deputy Director, Equity Investments & Guarantees, European Investment Fund
Uli Grabenwarter is Deputy Director – Equity Investments at European Investment Fund (EIF). In this capacity he oversees EIF’s activities in Venture Capital, Impact Investing, and Technology Transfer, with EIF being Europe’s biggest Fund-of-Funds Investment platform in these markets. Previously he was responsible for EIF’s strategic development in the equity space and in this context has led the build-up of the Social Impact Accelerator, the first pan-European social impact investing fund-of-funds. From 2010 to 2012 he conducted a 20 months research project on impact investing in collaboration with IESE University of Navarra in Barcelona and the Family Office Circle Foundation based in Switzerland, analysing best-market-practices for impact investing in the private equity and venture capital space. He is a visiting Professor for Private Equity and Venture Capital at IESE University and is an angel investor in life sciences companies. Since 2018 he is a Trustees of the Global Steering Group for Impact Investment (www.GSGII.org) and serves on the Board of several asset management companies and family office structures. He regularly publishes articles and white papers on venture capital and impact investing. Uli is also member of several expert groups on impact investing and impact metrics across Europe. Uli holds a Master’s degree in Business and Finance of the University of Graz.
CEE Regional Director, SME Banking Club
Olena Gryniuk is responsible for the development of the SME Banking Club in the CEE region. Before getting involved in the SME Banking Club activities, Olena
was in charge of SME products and sales in Raiffeisen Bank and Eurobank groups. The SME Banking Club was established by a team of former SME bankers in 2010
as a professional network of bankers to exchange information and experiences
in the segments of micro, small and medium-sized businesses. The SME Banking Club organizes regional SME banking conferences and webinars that bring together financial institutions, technology companies, and development finance institutions to share knowledge, spur innovation and promote the growth of SMEs in the region. Moreover, it provides its members with access to detailed analytical market reports and annual studies. SME Banking Club’s main activities are focused on Central and Eastern Europe.
Head of Social Impact Investments, European Investment Fund
Cyril Guiffes has been an investment manager within the venture capital team of EIF for the last seven years. Since 2019, he is heading the team in charge of managing EIF equity social impact investments and portfolio, from social impact funds investments, social impact bonds and investments in impact incubators. His entire career within EIF has been dedicated to impact related activities, starting with microfinance in 2008. In this context, he was responsible for the implementation of the JASMINE programme, an EU initiative aimed at boosting the institutional capacity of microfinance institutions in Europe. Prior to joining EIF, Cyril gained unique field experience working with microfinance institutions in the Middle East.
Founder & CEO, Fairlo
Serial entrepreneur with insatiable passion for creating sustainable financial services. Founded his first fintech in 2007 at the age 24 using a proprietary software to democratize asset management and within a few years became a major disruptor in the Swedish pension system. He then went on to combine his obsession for a value-driven organisation with cutting edge technology and, together with his brother, founded Fairlo – a fintech startup to outsmarting the predatory credit market. Fairlo is in the forefront of transparent and fair lending services, giving people the opportunity to solve temporary cash flow needs in a safe and sustainable way.
Member, European Parliament
Chair, Future of Science and Technology Panel STOA, C4AI, European Parliament
Eva Kaili is a Member of the European Parliament, part of the Hellenic S&D Delegation since 2014. She is the Chair of the Future of Science and Technology Panel in the European Parliament (STOA) and the Centre for Artificial Intelligence (C4AI), Member of the Committees on Industry, Research and Energy (ITRE), Economic and Monetary Affairs (ECON), Budgets (BUDG), and the Special Committee on Artificial Intelligence in a Digital Age (AIDA). Eva is a member of the delegation to the ACP-EU Joint Parliamentary Assembly (DACP), the delegation for relations with the Arab Peninsula (DARP), and the delegation for relations with the NATO Parliamentary Assembly (DNAT).
In her capacity, she has been working intensively on promoting innovation as a driving force of the establishment of the European Digital Single Market. She has been the draftsperson of multiple pieces of legislation in the fields of blockchain technology, online platforms, big data, fintech, AI and cybersecurity, as well as the ITRE draftsperson on Juncker plan EFSI2 and more recently the InvestEU program. She has also been the Chair of the Delegation to the NATO PA in the European Parliament, focusing on Defence and Security of Europe. Prior to that, she has been elected as a Member of the Hellenic Parliament 2007-2012, with the PanHellenic Socialist Movement (PASOK). She also worked as a journalist and newscaster prior to her political career. She holds a Bachelor degree in Architecture and Civil Engineering, and Postgraduate degree in European Politics.
Information Security & Risk Management Expert, Macroprudential Policy Section, Financial Stability Department, Regulatory Sandbox Project Coordinator, Bank of Greece
Dr. Alexandros Kaliontzoglou obtained his Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering in 2000 and his Ph.D. in information systems security in 2006 from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece. He has extensive experience in the consultant and banking industries and has participated in several E.C. research projects in the fields of information systems security, e-business and e-government. He has over 20 scientific publications in the above areas. Since 2009 he has been working as an expert in information systems security and risk management for the Financial Stability Department of the Bank of Greece. He has worked for 10 years in the field of Payment Systems Oversight, with significant contribution in payment instrument related policy development, especially in the context of PSD2. Since 2019, he has been working in Macroprudential Policy, and his responsibilities currently focus on FinTech, cyber security and real estate related risks. He has been a member of the Bank of Greece FinTech Hub team since March 2019 and the coordinator of the team since April 2021. He is the coordinator of the Bank of Greece team that contributed to the implementation of the Regulatory Sandbox project and member of the Regulatory Sandbox Operations Team. He represents the Bank of Greece in the ESRB European Systemic Cyber Group, the European Forum of Innovation Facilitators and the Eurosystem Innovation (Innov8) Forum.
Senior Editor, Researcher, Investment Monitor
Sofia Karadima is a senior editor and researcher at Investment Monitor, focusing on FDI in financial services and ESG investing. Prior to Investment Monitor, she covered institutional investment across private markets for financial news and research provider Acuris. She has reported on private equity, venture capital, private debt and infrastructure, among other topics. Sofia is currently based in London, after living in Chile, Denmark, Spain and Greece.
International Economic & Finance sector development Specialist
Piotr Koryński is an international economic and finance sector development specialist with significant field experience working in more than 30 countries globally. For over 10 years, Mr. Koryński led the efforts of Soros Economic Development Fund, a social investment vehicle of the Open Society Institute, to support alternative financial institutions and stimulate local economic growth. He is also a recognized expert in access to finance and financial inclusion, and serves as an advisor to central banks, regulatory bodies, and development agencies.
In his career, he helped to initiate and operate several alternative finance institutions as well industry infrastructure projects and policy programs to create appropriate legal and regulatory framework for access to financial services for low-income people. Piotr led the first Alternative Finance Forum in Warsaw in 2017. Piotr is a graduate of the Ohio State University and the Kellogg School of Management.
Journalist, Senior Editor, epixeiro.gr
Christos Kotsakas is a journalist with years of experience in the fields of technology, business and world news, focusing on new media, emerging technologies and startups. He has collaborated with a number of electronic and print media, in areas such as news reporting and editorials. Today he is the Senior Editor of the business portal epixeiro.gr.
CEO, GX Blocks Energy SA
Theodoros Koukoutsas’ interest in Blockchain technologies and digital assets started back in 2013 when he set up a mining operation while studying maritime business at the Business Athens College. In 2016, after 3 years exploring the Blockchain ecosystem, Theodoros co-founded a Digital Asset Mining Hardware distribution and service company in the EU. In 2018 was involved as a team leader in a crypto project for a family office, by structuring a crypto fund and the fund team. A year later the journey of GX Blocks began when he presented the vision of the future digital blockchain ecosystem in MIT Enterprise Forum 2019. The core focus is to help enterprises join the digital transformation by utilizing blockchain applications & services to the traditional ecosystem, giving access to an independent global network that enables transparency, security and sustainability.
Kratouni Athalis Dimitra
Founder & CEO, Tenbeo Biotechnologies
Athalis Kratouni is the founder & CEO of Tenbeo, a biotechnology firm which is developing a blockchain based universal authentication protocol based on the unique heart signature of each individual.
As Athalis grew up in Burundi – the heart of Africa – she knows first hand about the identity and technological shortcuts that the upcoming generation faces in developing countries as the identity card they hold gives some access to enhanced services while it leaves many behind. Having left the continent to pursue her career dream of being a tennis player, she started to devour massive amount of knowledge as she saw technology as a tool that empowers people. Combining her winner’s mentality with great ambition, Athalis’ drive is to empower people of all age with a universal digital identity so that they can access and partake in the digital economy.
Executive Director, Alliance of Microfinance Organizations
Goran Lazarevski holds a Master of Science in Economy Degree in International Management and a Bachelor Degree in Economy, both from the Ss. Cyril and Methodius University of Skopje as well as a Bachelor diploma in Applied economics of the Moessinger Institute in Zuerich, Switzerland. At his positions as COO, CEO and Management Board President as well as Director of the office in Kosovo for a leading ICT system-integrator, he had the opportunity to work on financial management challenges, liquidity and cash-flow issues and resource optimization, business transparency and ethics, corporate governance principles and introduction of best practices in the field of operational management, finance, sales, marketing and research/development in the ICT business.
After four years as Senior Advisor at the USAID’ Investment Development and Export Advancement Project, in charge of the Public-Private Dialogue (PPD) Component, working with a wide range of stakeholders from the public, private and civil sector to
1) improve existent forms of PPD (business associations, clusters, chambers of commerce etc.), 2) introduce new mechanisms for a national-level PPD and 3) work on the review and improving of the national public consultation platform ENER to strengthen an inclusive and transparent approach in the regulatory legislation process. As Senior Advisor, he continued his work in the field of PPD, Sustainable business, CSR as General Manager of the Center for Development Policies IDEAS DePo Skopje.
In the past years he continued his activity as expert lecturer, speaker, presenter at different conference and events focusing on Access to finance and financial management as well as a mentor for SME’s and large businesses in obtaining financial assets and sustainable liquidity to overcome cash-flow challenges. In his capacity as executive director of the Alliance of Microfinance organizations and Director of the USAID Microfinance Innovation and financial inclusion Project, focusing on access to finance for SME’s and financial literacy, procurement of new IT platforms for the leading microfinance organizations, development of Fintech solutions, compliance and trainings of personnel of non-banking microfinance institutions as well as PPD, in the field of lobbying and advocacy, working with the regulators and the civil sector to improve existent legislation and introduce new policies. Goran specializes in Management, Access to finance; Traditional and alternate Financial instruments and financial literacy of businesses; PPD, Policy creation, lobbying, advocacy, Business enabling environment, Regulatory Impact Assessment/Inclusive Legislation drafting, CSR/Sustainable business, legal reforms, public-private partnerships, industrial policy, Regulatory Guillotine and E-Society and E-Government solutions in different areas as well as Access to finance and mechanisms to financial inclusion.
CEO, deVere E-Money
Dimitris Litsikakis holds a BSc in Information Technology from Piraeus University and a MSc in Project Management from Lancaster University. He worked at IBM UK as a Project Manager delivering large scale IT projects. He then joined Edenred Greece as Digital Transformation Manager where he led the entire digitalization of the company’s solution offering, issuing hundreds of thousands of prepaid cards to beneficiaries. In 2018 he was appointed Country Manager Greece, Cyprus & Malta for Revolut the fastest growing FinTech in Europe with a $1.7B valuation, delivering 400% client growth. He’s now spearheading the digital transformation of deVere Group, a financial consultancy with global presence, delivering cutting edge FinTech solutions. Since 2014, he also acts as Athens Chapter Director for Startup Grind, the largest independent startup community, actively educating, inspiring, and connecting entrepreneurs.
CEO and Founder, La Bolsa Social
José Moncada is CEO and founder of Bolsa Social, a community of impact investors and social enterprises built around a crowdequity platform created in 2015
in Madrid. Bolsa Social was the first platform authorised in Spain by the CNMV and the first that provided positive social and financial returns to the investors. Bolsa Social counts with a community of 7,500 impact investors and has channeled 5M to 25 social enterprises.
As from October 2019 José leads Bolsa Social Impacto, a €20M impact Fund. In his previous life, José worked in financial policy at the Public Treasury (Madrid), the European Commission (Brussels) and the European Securities and Markets Authority (ESMA, Paris). José teaches Financial Markets at the University of
La Sorbonne, in Paris.
Advisor, Gestionare Capital Pentru Dezvoltare
Artur Munteanu, is an entrepreneur, finance executive and enterprise development consultant with more than 20 years of experience in the financial and MSMEs-development sectors. Currently Advisor, Artur has developed his expertise through his role as a CEO and Board Member of Microinvest, a leading non-bank financial institution in Moldova. He was and is a Board Member and Advisor in several important companies from the agro-food, finance and ICT sectors. Artur holds an MBA from University of Hull, the UK, while his experience derives from his involvement with projects in Moldova, Romania, Latvia, Greece, Spain, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan. He structured and fundraised more than 100 million Euros in different transactions. He is an active promoter of new financing instruments like micro equity and revenue participation loans for job creation. Artur Munteanu graduated from Academy of Economic Studies, Moldova, in 1998 – economist by education. He holds an MBA in Finance from the University of Hull, the UK.
International Relations Manager, Qredits
Evelyne Oprel is International Relations Manager for Qredits and has been with the organization for nine years. She maintains close relations with international peer and network organizations and was actively involved in setting up Qredits locations in the Caribbean Netherlands over the past few years. Prior to her joining Qredits, she worked for several non-profit organizations in Central and Eastern Europe and lived and worked in the US for 15 years. She has a background in International Business & Languages and Communication.
Network Services, Product Manager, SIA S.p.A.
Mattia Ozzello is an industrial engineer with a Master in Business Administration and a Master of Science in Digital currency.
Covering the PM position in SIA, Mattia has been committed to grow the services based on SIAchain, which is the private infrastructure developed by SIA, enabling to create innovative blockchain applications. SIAchain aims to support mission critical business applications targeted to Financial Institutions, Corporate and Public Administrations, ensuring high level of transparency, confidentiality and security. To date, 104 banks connect daily to a private network hosted on SIAchain to reconcile their mutual interbank accounts.
CEO & Founder, a-Quant
Thomas Papapolyzos is CEO & founder of a-Quant, an AI & machine learning based algorithmic trading company. A serial entrepreneur, having founded companies in the fields of Internet, Financial Services, Consulting, SW development. Thomas received his Bachelor of Science in Physics from Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, Greece (1985-1990) and his Master of Science in Electrical Engineering from the New York University (NYU) Tandon School of Engineering, USA (1990 – 1992). Being a trader for more than 25 years and an owner of a Brokerage firm for more than 3 years, he has assembled a first class team with experts in trading, investments & machine learning in order to develop powerful tools for institutional and individual professional traders & investors. The first suite of tools for traders & investors based on machine learning for Stocks, Cryptos, Indices, Commodities & Currencies markets is available to use by downloading the a-quant mobile app from Appstore and GooglePlay. The “a-quant” app is among the 5 most downloadable trading apps in AppStore.
Christian Ruehmer is the Co-Founder of Q-Lana, a digitization platform that implements knowledge-based credit risk management and digitization of the lending and investment process for banks and funds. Christian has 30 years of experience in banking and has worked in several large international banks, primarily in the areas or Risk Management, Treasury, Credit Portfolio Management, and Investment Management. Christian has worked in various countries including the US, Germany, Mexico, and Spain.
Since 2001, Christian also worked as consultant for Risk Management and Efficiency Management where he advised over 100 FIs as well as several international organizations. Samples of recent projects include development of risk management frameworks, development and upgrade of SME lending processes, restructuring of SME focused portfolios and individual companies. He also worked on the development of a credit guarantee program for SME loans. He is also the Chief Investment Officer for Bamboo Capital Partners, an Asset Manager for debt and equity investments in the impact space.
He graduated from Hochschule für Bankwirtschaft in Frankfurt, Germany with a Diploma in Banking and Finance is also a Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA) and a Financial Risk Manager (FRM).
Project Manager & Communication Officer, Goteo
Chiara Rutolo is Project manager and Communication officer with a high level of proficiency in multiple languages, experience working in diverse cultural contexts, and a burning ambition towards a sustainable and collaborative future. She is currently involved in Mediterranean wide projects in the field of sustainable development, cultural innovation and exchanges, integration, social inclusion and education. Thanks to her experience travelling, working and studying in different countries around the Mediterranean, she developed a proactive mindset that made her capable of successfully working across cultural differences and merging communities. Her academic background is in EU-Southern Mediterranean relations, languages, history, literature, intercultural communication, human development, migration studies and decentralized cooperation. Currently is the person in charge of the Blue Crowdfunding project for Goteo. She is also specializing in the field of training on crowdfunding and alternative financing through the innovative participatory methodologies that distinguish the organization.
Head of Business Development, PaySpot
Aleksandra Šćepanović is acting as the Head of Business Development by PaySpot doo Novi Sad in Serbia. Having almost twenty years of experience in the financial sector, mostly in banking, her main activities were related to business development and project management. In the past 5 years, Aleksandra has been focused on digital products and service development, e-money and e-commerce, aiming at establishing an e-money Institute, while also developing e-commerce solutions for marketplaces, business loans, and managing activities of new payment products development, with special emphasis on digital services.
Prior to that, Aleksandra had a successful track record in developing products/services for private individuals and micro clients, in developing employees training and life-long learning, inititiating marketing strategies, and was being involved in local projects, related to new lending processes for PI and Micro clients, SFE Project, Viber payments and Instrument of Small Payment value, MicroProject, etc.
Professor, Munich Business School, Co-founder, European Center for Social Finance
Dr. Barbara Scheck is the Professor for Entrepreneurship at Munich Business School and co-founder of the European Center for Social Finance. Her research focuses on the financing of social enterprises, impact and mission-related investing and impact assessment. Prior to joining MBS, Barbara was assistant professor for social investment at Hamburg University. During her Ph.D. she has developed the Social Reporting Standard, guidelines for impact-oriented reporting. Other significant experiences include consulting for a social venture capital fund and projects for development cooperation agencies on social entrepreneurship. She was a Visiting Fellow at the Asia Centre for Social Entrepreneurship & Philanthropy at NUS National University of Singapore and is a co-founder of the digital mentoring platform Volunteer Vision. Barbara was a member of the EU’s GECES subgroup on impact measurement in social enterprise and the Impact Measurement Working Group of the Social Impact Investment Task Force established by the G8. She is member of the investment committee at GLS Treuhand.
Barbara holds a Diplôme de Grande Ecole and MSc from the European School of Management where she studied International Business Administration in Paris, Oxford and Berlin and a PhD from Technical University Munich.
Project Manager, CFO, KEPA
Neoklis Stamkos is an Economist holding an MBA in Business Administration. Neoklis acts as Chief Financial Officer at the Business and Cultural Development Centre (KEPA) and Head of Microcredit Department at KEPA. Neoklis is an experienced professional in financial management and services. He is a Certified Expert in Microfinance, by Frankfurt School of Finance and Management, from which he received Microfinance Center award of Financial Inclusion Ambassador for his efforts to stimulate microfinance in Greece, being one of the leaders of alternative financing of MSMEs, including micro-lending in Greece.
He has been working with KEPA for more than 10 years, acting as the Head of KEPA’s office in Brussels between 2011–2015, and as supervisor of the Department for International & European Projects. Additionally, he performed as an evaluator of investment projects of ROP / CSF III, responsible of the department of inspections for ongoing projects of NSFR 2007-2013 “1st call for Strengthening of Micro and Small Enterprises”.
Executive Director, INATBA – International Association for Trusted Blockchain Applications
Marc Taverner is the Executive Director of the International Association for Trusted
Blockchain Applications (inatba.org), the pre-eminent nonprofit organisation supporting the growth of DLT & blockchain technologies. INATBA does this by engaging public and private audiences to address and reduce frictions that inhibit market growth. As executive director, Marc works with INATBA’s Members to host bilateral conversations between governments (including the European Commission) and companies to inform policies and regulations and advance the international adoption of blockchain. Most recently, INATBA, under Marc’s leadership, has been working to respond to the European Commission’s proposed Digital Finance Package, engaging with members and governments worldwide to discuss the future of blockchain and crypto-asset regulation.
Marc has been active in the global blockchain ecosystem for more than six years, working across 20 countries, engaging with organisations from governments and financial institutions, to large corporates and industry associations. Prior to joining INATBA, he was the Global Ambassador and head of Business Development for the Bitfury Group, one of Europe’s largest blockchain unicorns. To INATBA he brings a unique set of experiences gained from a career in start-ups and industry-leading companies. The founder of a successful modem distribution company, Nuvo, Marc has held leadership roles with many top technology companies, including Genesys Conferencing, the world’s largest provider of unified communications services, and Promethean, a market leader in educational technology solutions.
Deputy Minister for Development & Investments, Hellenic Republic
Yannis Tsakiris holds a BSc and an MSc in Mining Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens and an MBA degree from the Management School of the Imperial College in London.
He started his career in 1995 in S&B Industrial Minerals, a European major industrial minerals producer where he spent 5 years in production, marketing and sales in charge of new products. From 2000 to 2006, he was Partner in Vectis Capital, a venture capital fund based in Athens with an investment focus in Greece and the Balkans.
He joined Europe Investment Fund in 2006 as a Principal involved in certain European venture capital markets that were under development phase. Then he continued as Head of Region in the Regional Business Development Division, responsible for South-Eastern Europe and Head of Unit for Special Programmes in the Institutional Business Development Division. He was appointed Head of Division for South-eastern Europe and EU Neighbouring Countries in the Mandate Management Department and he continued as Head of Division for Business Development. He has set-up and developed several investment and SME financing initiatives and platforms such as Equifund for Greece, Western Balkan Enterprise Development & Innovation Facility, JEREMIE for Greece and Cyprus, Portuguese Venture Capital Initiative for Portugal, the Grater Anatolia Guarantee Facility for Turkey, DCFTA Guarantee Facility for Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, etc.
From January 2015 until July 2019, he was Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Global Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Fund (“GEEREF”) which is an innovative public-private Venture Capital fund of funds catalysing equity capital into clean energy projects in developing countries and economies in transition. He is also an adjunct professor in Venture Capital in the Luxembourg School of Finance of the University of Luxembourg.
Senior Policy Officer, Directorate of Innovation & Entrepreneurship, Region of Central Macedonia
Vassilis Tsanidis is senior policy officer at the Directorate of Innovation and Entrepreneurship of the Region of Central Macedonia, Greece dealing with the designing of policies (especially in the context of the smart specialization strategy) and the carrying out of EU funded projects. In this capacity he coordinates inter-alia the Blue Crowdfunding Interreg MED project and its respective pilot action that foresees a civic crowdfunding campaign in the Region of Central Macedonia supported and promoted by the public sector. He is TAIEX expert on Innovation and lecturer on the same dossier at the European Institute for Public Administration and at the National Training School for Public Administration. He designed also a certified training-course on Innovation Procurement that is offered by the Greek National Training School for Public Administration to the Greek public officers. He published scientific articles on Innovation Procurement and he is also EC expert in this field.
Vassilis has worked for many years as policy officer on the Innovation Procurement dossier in the European Commission/DG CNECT. In this capacity, he contributed to the development of programs, initiatives, policy papers and legal documents that aimed at mainstreaming Innovation Procurement as an alternative way of financing R&D and Innovation in the EU Funded Programs (H2020, Horizon Europe, ESIF) as well as in the respective (national/regional etc.) policies of the EU Member States. Vassilis has worked also in the past as policy and legal officer in organizations at European and Greek public sector levels dealing with the designing of policies and the implementation of EU funded projects. He studied Law and Social Sciences. He holds a PhD in European Business Law, a Master’s Degree in the same area and a Bachelor of Laws. He is also holder of a Bachelor and a Master’s Degree in the field of Social Sciences.
Head of Account Management, meniga
Eleni Vlami has over than 18 years working experience mainly in financial services & fintech. She is currently Head of Account Management in Meniga, an Icelandic software provider, where she joined in 2012 as a Sales Director. Her main responsibility is fostering relationships with financial institutions, strategic partnerships & existing customers. The team is overseeing and maintaining an on-going collaboration with existing customers in more than 35 countries across the globe.
Prior to that, Eleni was working in Citi & Piraeus Bank, supporting digital banking projects in Greece. Eleni was named in “Women in Fintech PowerList” and shortlisted in “Greek International Women Awards”. She is also a Mentor in ‘’Women in Banking & Finance’’ (WIBF) and ‘’Reload Greece’’ organisations. She holds a BSc Degree in Economics from National and Kapodistrian University of Athens.
CEO & Co-founder, WOLI Fintech
Vasilis Zoupas is the co-founder & CEO of WOLI, the smart Money App for modern families. An experienced executive in business and product development, he has been key part of both established tech companies (Viva Wallet, OKTO, Vermantia) as well as early-stage tech ventures (Wepolitics). Vasilis holds an MBA from INSEAD and an MSc in Structural Engineering. He is constantly excited by innovation and creative ideas that can move the world one step forward.