The Department of State’s Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI) develops and cultivates relationships among emerging European and American leaders. YTILI is an investment in the transatlantic partnership to strengthen prosperity and enhanced security on both sides of the Atlantic.

European participants come from all across the continent. In 2017, 116 young entrepreneurs will participate in this two-way exchange led by Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs and implemented by The German Marshall Fund.

Meet The 2017 Fellows

AUSTIN, TX

Arturs Burnins
Arturs Burnins

Country: Latavia
Company: Qfer.me
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/aburnins
Arturs Burnins is CEO and Co-Founder of Qfer – mobile marketing platform for restaurants and fast-food chains (www.qfer.me). During last 18 months company attracted more than 300 merchants. Working with brands like Subway, KFC, Hesburger, Pizza Hut, Circle K and others. As a result Qfer is among TOP 10 most popular apps on the AppStore and GooglePlay in Latvia. Currently team is expanding their presence in other European countries. Arturs is also a Board member of Latvian Startup association (Startin). It is a non-profit organization with the aim to promote Latvian startup scene and represent its interests. Some of the project Startin is working on: Latvian Startup Law, Latvian Startup List, StartinLatvia Welcome Pack and much more to come.

Maria del Rocio Bueno Corral
Maria del Rocio Bueno Corral

Country: Spain
Company: Easy Stay
Twitter: @rbuenocorral / @easystaytech
Ms. Rocío Bueno is the Founder and CEO of Easy Stay, a start-up that provides technological solutions for enhancing guest experience while traveling. As CEO, Ms. Bueno’s duties include strategy planning, team management, marketing and internationalization. She has an extensive expertise in economics and business administration and worked as International Trade Advisor at the Spain-US Chamber of Commerce. She strives to expand its network and build business relationships with international clients.
She is also alumni at Plug & Play Accelerator and IMPACT Accelerator. She plans to continue collaborating with universities and accelerators, helping entrepreneurs building successful businesses.

Eril Ezerel
Eril Ezerel

Country: Turkey
Company: Tellbout.com

Eril Ezerel was born in 1991, İzmir – Turkey and graduated from Bilkent University, Industrial Engineering in 2016. With his 2 flat-mates, in the third year of college, Eril co-founded UniversiteliAnlatsin.com, a platform for university students to share their experiences for high-school students and helped more than a million young people to make better university choices. Later, the project got pivoted into Anlatsin.com, an experience sharing platform on careers, to help people make better career choices. To amplify the project’s effect on young generations, in Jan. 2017, Eril started a global version, Tellbout.com and now works on it 7/24. As a hobby, Eril loves absorbing new information on various fields and debating on deep topics.

Andrei Fratu
Andrei Fratu

Country: Spain
Company: Prior

I studied electrical engineering, with a focus on systems and control, but have always been passionate about software engineering above anything else. That is why even before graduating college I started working as a freelance web developer and eventually joined the development team at a small Romanian company, not long after that becoming the lead of my team. I then joined MachTeam Soft, a Romanian internet company with an important portfolio of websites, being an important member of the various teams developing the company’s most innovative new projects. Joining Tuenti a bit under 2 years later was the next challenge I undertook, and I started right off as a member of the team responsible for developing Tuenti’s new communication platform, centered around an MVNO, with a focus on data and VoIP. Over the 5 years at Tuenti I was involved with various teams and projects, ranging from frontend/backend development for the MVNO, to mobile development for the company’s apps. I am now the CTO of a company I founded two years ago with a former colleague from Tuenti, with the goal of providing restaurants with a mobile app solution for receiving and managing takeaway/delivery orders from their customers.

Eugeniu Girla
Eugeniu Girla

Country: Moldova
Company: GAUS

2015 – present: Startup Entrepreneur – creating easy-to-use recruitment tools built using latest advances in Artificial Intelligence that transforms applicant CVs into comparable features. 2005 – present: Trainer – Delivery of Training Programs: Sales, Communication, Time Management, Leadership, TeamBuilding in order to develop and fulfill employee’s potential. 2005 – present: HR Consultant – Managing Career Fair Events and Human Resources Consultancy Projects – in order to enable HUMAN resources to become the most resource in any organization.

Kinga Jentetics
Kinga Jentetics

Country: Hungary
Company: PublishDrive

Kinga Jentetics is the CEO and co-founder of PublishDrive, the most intelligent ebook publishing platform powered by artificial intelligence and business intelligence. Kinga gained international experience in studying in Switzerland and working at Zurich Financial Services, but she saw an opportunity in the publishing industry with her co-founders after publishing her master thesis in ebook version. Kinga applied her experiences about digital transition in the music industry to book publishing to let content reach its global audience in an intelligent way. PublishDrive’s goal to increase ebook sales globally with a simple to use interface powered to let publishers focus on their most important job: creating beautiful content. Kinga lived in the UK, shortly in Estonia and the US to make PublishDrive a truly global company. She pursues a PhD about how migration may drive disruptive innovation in the publishing industry. Kinga is an advocate for women entrepreneurship by encouraging young girls and women to make a difference. Kinga was selected to Next Generation Women leaders by McKinsey, 100 Female Founders by The Hundert mentioned on forbes.com and she was recently featured for Forbes 30 under 30 Europe list.

Andreas Kartakoullis
Andreas Kartakoullis

Country: Cyprus
Company: AgriVeritas

Andreas is a Research Scientist and holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry (2015) from the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) that he completed under a Marie Curie Early Stage Fellowship. He has cofounded AgriVeritas at 2015 with the motivation to turn his scientific expertise into innovation that will be inextricably linked with the green economy of the future.

Nilufar Masimova
Nilufar Masimova

Country: Azerbaijan
Company: PDP ( Personnel Development Platform)
Ms. Nilufar Masimova is a co-founder and CEO of PDP located in Baku Azerbaijan. PDP is a Personnel Development Platform dedicated to achieve excellence at workplaces by the help of effective human resources management practices. The main products of the venture are building HR literature in native language based on cultural background of the region and country, providing trainings, coaching and consultation in HRM field, organizing networking events to bring both HR scholars, professionals and leaders together for further discussions on the opportunities for the development and creation of the value added HRM. Founded in 2015 PDP organized different HRM trainings and Human Resources Forum in Baku. As a co-founder and CEO her role is to raise funds, build partnerships and engage clients and customers. She has extensive knowledge and expertise in HRM, as she holds an MSc in HRM and has a work experience as a human resources professional and lecturer. Ms. Masimova hopes to develop a plan for expanding her venture to play a role of regional knowledge, certification and networking body. She believes in the power of effective people management and its positive influence on business and society.

Darya Matsiavina
Darya Matsiavina

Country: Belarus
Company: Exponenta

Publisher and entrepreneur from Minsk, Belarus. Founder of two media projects: KYKY.ORG, one the most popular lifestyle magazines in the country; RFRM.IO (Reformation project), an interactive spot for social activism. Founder and CEO of Exponenta.io, AI publishing engine that predicts virality of unpublished texts and recommends how to increase its quality (clickbait/fake news alerts) and shareablity. Exponenta.io is the winner of TechMinsk (local pre-acceleration program sponsored by USAID) and the finalist of Finnish Startup Sauna.

Sladana Mladenovic
Sladana Mladenovic

Country: Slovenia
Company: Clotify

Slađana Mlađenović is a type of person who sees opportunity in everything she does. She is the VP Business Development at PhotoBloom AR startup and CEO and co-founder of Blonde Flamingo that makes fashion available to every woman. Before that she was the CEO of the Clotify LLC that created a fashion app and has spent 3 months with her team in Silicon Valley (from April to July 2017), testing the US market.

Slađana is also founding leader and executer of an International Business Summer School Ljubljana project in Slovenia, which she created to empower and help young entrepreneurial potentials to start working on their own ideas and make them become a reality. She learned a lot while working as an Event manager at the Ypsilon Institute for almost two years, where she organised great number of various and dynamic events, from smaller to bigger scale, with important and interesting guests including CEO’s of big Slovenian and foreign companies and also government representatives.

Slađana holds a degree in Business Administration from Faculty of Administration, Ljubljana. She was also studying at Faculty of Economic in Prague, Czech Republic and attended Shanghai Summer School in 2014 where she learned about culture, people and business opportunities in China.

Zoran Nasteski
Zoran Nasteski

Country: Macedonia
Company: Inception Enterprises
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/zokifu
Twitter: @ZokiFu
Zoran graduated from Film University with a degree in film editing, production and marketing and over the last ten years he acquired extensive experience in digital production, management and talent acquisition. His international work experience includes United States, Canada, Australia and Germany where he worked on digital projects as Executive Producer. In 2014 he co-founded InnerMotion Studios, audiovisual production company in Sydney, Australia. As an entrepreneur, Zoran has executed over thirty high-end production digital projects, from branding to software, web and audiovisual projects. In addition to business and digital production, he has been involved in the charity and not-for-profit sector as Founder and President of “Youth for Love”, an organization that has developed and realized over fifty youth and humanitarian projects in the area of health and poverty. Currently, Mr. Nasteski is the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Inception Enterprises, where his work is focused on talent management, international partnerships and digital innovation, in order to help young professionals achieve their highest potential.

Uve Poom
Uve Poom

Country: Estonia
Company: Beetroot Academy

I manage strategic partnerships and fundraising opportunities at Beetroot Academy, a social enterprise that helps people start careers in IT. My responsibilities also touch upon product vision, overall strategy, financial management and donor compliance. Simultaneously, I am also CEO & Co-founder at an early stage startup BudgetMatador.com. We are building a web app that simplifies how small organizations manage their budgets, cash flows and financial reports in the cloud. Before going to graduate school at Stanford, I spent 5 years as CEO of the Unitas Foundation, an educational charity founded by 2x Estonian Prime Minister Mart Laar. Before that I worked as a Business Advisor at Civitta, a leading independent management consulting firm in the Baltics. I have studied adult education management, business administration, and political science.

Anastasiia Zahorodniuk
Anastasiia Zahorodniuk

Country: Ukraine
Company: VRnet.io

I have around 5 years of experience in starting and managing projects – social and professional ones. I dealt with: project management (planning and tracking), resources allocation, communication with clients, analysis of customers’ needs, usability mockups creating, recruiting and searching for volunteers, raising money, social media marketing, contacting with mass media, processes development, knowledge transfer, and team building.

Maciej Zakowski
Maciej Zakowski

Country: Poland
Company: Planoía/Restaurant Week Polska

A strategist and entrepreneur with strong sociological academic background, awarded among others the “50 TOP CREATIVE PEOPLE IN BUSINESS 2016” title. After a successful career in big-brand consultancy and advertising (TBWA\, Leo Burnett Group, Saatchi&Saatchi) left to found and lead a brand and business advisory hotshop Planoía. The agency gained expertise recognition in highly competitive market categories (FMCG, Culture, Real Estate, Publishing, Retail) and started to work within the fast developing restaurant business in Poland. The strategic and creative methodologies led to a series of successful restaurant concept-brands implementations that allowed further professional acknowledgement. The agency works with chosen clients, solving complex market and communication issues, as well as well as creating brand, product and innovation strategies for contemporary markets. In 2014 the first nationwide Polish restaurant festival company was launched (brands: Restaurant Week Poland, Fine Dining Week, Asia Restaurant Week, Italian Restaurant Week, Kids Restaurant Week). The fast pace of growth allowed a strong e-commerce platform development, that served more than 700 restaurants till today and will serve up to 250,000 guests in 2017, making it not only the most popular Polish restaurant/culinary event, but also the largest Polish regular ticketed event. Other relevant accomplishments: – Multiple brand positioning and strategies implemented for both global and local major players. – A variety of sociological translations, lecturing sociology and “Popcultural Gadgets” academic book published. Languages: Polish, English, Spanish, French.

BOSTON, MA

Christina Athanasopoulou
Christina Athanasopoulou

Country: Finland
Company:‘Health for All: Science at its Simplest’
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/chatha
Twitter: @tina_turku
Hi! I am Christina Athanasopoulou, also known as “Tina Turku”, a researcher, an educator and an occupational therapist by profession, and an artist at heart. I live between Finland and Greece, and currently I am planning my post doc research and developing my business plan. After two years working as a college lecturer and occupational therapist in Athens, Greece, I decided to go back to Turku, Finland, the place where I got my master’s degree in Education, and this time pursue a PhD in Health Sciences. My PhD was about eHealth and mental illness, which combined two of my passions; mental health and technology. Although the PhD “journey” was demanding and challenging at times, it was interesting and rewarding as well. I was able to ensure funding for my 6-year project, publish 7 peer-reviewed scientific articles, make 17 presentations in international and national conferences, teach university students on- and offline, participate in 2 competitions, and win 2 awards. My artistic side is expressed mostly through photographs and videos. I like to share my experience of living in Finland, via my YouTube, Instagram and Facebook accounts (as “Tina Turku”). Lately, I created my own website “tinaturku.com” in order to communicate not only my academic projects, but also share my ideas, life experiences and mission. My mission is to promote peoples’ mental health and wellbeing, fight against mental illness stigma, and empower people to follow their dreams. I love people. It gives me purpose to know I can contribute positively to someone’s life. During the last years, I have been involved in various entrepreneurship events and communities because I wanted to explore how to support people’s mental health and wellbeing, not only through academic activities but also in the society.

George Jibladze
George Jibladze

Country: Georgia
Company: Educare Georgia
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/george-jibladze-23923b17
Twitter: @gjibla

Since 2014 a co-founder of an educational organization Educare Georgia, a nonprofit on a mission to bring access to world class education through the internet and technologies, for the children of Georgia. Co-Founder of the project giveinternet.org – Online funding platform, where donors donate second-hand computers and fund monthly internet bills for extremely poor children in a convenient and easy way. 10 Years of experience in a telecom sector of Georgia. Served as the Director of Product Marketing and Product Development in the leading telecom operator of Georgia- Silknet.com In 2010 co-founded one of the leading e-commerce website in Georgia – swoop.ge.

Ivan Kayima
Ivan Kayima

Country: United Kingdom
Company: Spiela

Ivan Kayima has a keen interest in entrepreneurship and social awareness. His passion stems from his drive to better his own circumstances following a challenging childhood. NEF provided him with connections, gave him confidence and opened doors that helped him get ready for starting impactful businesses. His placement at Plentific, the online homes services marketplace, taught him about the many facets of running a business and how to execute. After his NEF year, Ivan launched Spiela, a collaborative online network that helps young people from diverse backgrounds learn and engage with influential people in their fields of interest. He is a go-getter who believes in the power of business to help people from all walks of life.

Oksana Krykun
Oksana Krykun

Country: Ukraine
Company: Speak2me

About 2 years of experience as CMO and Product Manager in Ukrainian startup Smooglee.com which now pivoted and launched on UAE market. I was responsible for the strategy definition, product shaping and market launch; 3 year of experience as a Business Analyst, Project/Product manager in IT outsourcing companies: Relevant Software and Eleks – mainly working with startups and product management; 5 years of TEDx organization in Ukraine: mainly speaker’s preparation; 1.5 years of own venture – Speak2me.co – speakers’ preparation project.

Madina Salamova
Madina Salamova

Country: Norway
Company: Maria Amelie/Consulting/Publishing

Maria Amelie is the bestselling author of three books on immigration and freedom of speech. For the last 5 years, she has been writing about tech and entrepreneurship, and got an award as Best Startup Journalist in Norway. Her newest book is about great Norwegian tech-founders and their best advice to young entrepreneurs. She is planning a new book with her Icelandic co-author Thorunn Jonsdottir, YTILI Alumni. They are writing about successful Nordic tech-founders. Their goal is to show huge innovation potential in the Nordics and inspire people to become entrepreneurs.

Shalva Shalashvili
Shalva Shalashvili

Country: Georgia
Company: Education, Science and Technological Development TS Foundation for Tomorrow’s Success
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/shalva.shalashvili
Chief Business Development Officer, TS Foundation. Having more than 3 years working experience in venture capital and equity investment companies on analysis, evaluation and business development positions. Graduate of Universidad Carlos III de Madrid with the Master in Business and Quantitative Methods. Currently overseeing business growth processes at TS Foundation and seeking for potential business prospects for project companies in the fields like: aviation, agriculture, healthcare, and education. Moreover, I build relationships in industry, by identifying opportunities and completing business deals. Further tasks include managing activities like: measuring the progress and performance of underlying investment and ensuring the transparency & accountability of social and environmental impact.

Anna Toth
Anna Toth

Country: Hungary
Company: 6:20ChiliNights
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tothanna90
Twitter: @AnnaToth90

Anna Toth is a startup marketer with a dream – let’s create an entrepreneurial community in Hungary to raise living standards and improve security. Anna has been always looking for ways to improve herself and her community. She gained practical marketing experience as a Recruiting and Marketing Assistant at The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and as a Brand Management Trainee at Procter and Gamble (P&G). After earning a Bachelor’s Degree in Economics and Business Management, and a Master’s Degree in Marketing, Anna was awarded with the Hungarian-American Enterprise Scholarship Fund’s (HAESF) scholarship, and she was an intern at The Creative Coast startup hub in Savannah, GA in the USA. After returning to Hungary, she has co-founded an event series called 620ChiliNights to support entrepreneurs by creating new connections and solving business challenges real-time.

Rebecca Weicht
Rebecca Weicht

Country: Belgium
Company: Bantani Education
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/rebeccaweicht
Twitter: @rebweicht

Rebecca Weicht is Co-Founder and Head of Operations at Bantani Education asbl, a non-profit in Belgium working collaboratively to drive entrepreneurial and creative learning. Rebecca is a trained communicator and project manager with extensive expertise in developing communication and dissemination strategies. Formerly a journalist, she worked in capacity building in the sustainability field with business leaders in Europe and Asia to improve working conditions in global supply chain. Rebecca is also a World Economic Forum Global Shaper with the Brussels hub and part of the Executive Committee of Professional Women International Brussels.

Christian van der Woude
Christian van der Woude

Country: Netherlands
Company: iForesee CityLab & The West Wing

Christian van der Woude is the co-founder of iForesee CityLab The Hague and The West Wing, two initiatives aimed at enabling students and young professionals to engage in entrepreneurship (the CityLab) and foreign policy (The West Wing). Graduating from the University of Amsterdam and Leiden University in public policy, economics and entrepreneurship, Christian aspires to continue working on enabling entrepreneurs to thrive by creating the best policies and conditions for ecosystems to develop, attract investments and connect internationally. Aside from working towards these goals at the Dutch StartupDelta initiative, the U.S. Small Business Administration and Leiden University, he co-initiated the CityLab and West Wing initiatives to give a boost in entrepreneurship by enabling and engaging students and/or young professionals to apply their skills in a practical context. The iForesee CityLab enables them to create their own job by hosting their startup, offering a makerspace and creating an entrepreneurial community so they can prototype and launch their ventures. The West Wing connects students and young professionals with diplomats of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs to advise voluntarily and upon request on foreign policy issues and pursue public diplomacy activities (like a “DiploHack” in Colombia on press freedom); acting like intrapreneurs in government.

Sandra Zlotrg
Sandra Zlotrg

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Company: Association for Language and Culture “Linguists”

Sandra Zlotrg is a co-founder and the CEO of the Association for Language and Culture “Linguists”. The Asssociation offers langugage courses and organizes a host of langugage-related cultural activities in Sarajevo, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Under the motto “Teach with (com)passion”, Linguists provide language instruction for both locals and foreigners with the hope of improving not just their language skills, but also infusing their worldview with tolerance, understanding and compassion. Sandra Zlotrg has been a key figure in promoting gender-sensitive language and fighting xenophobia, nationalism and sexism perpetrated through language. Led by her conviction that knowledge should be the right of all and not the privilage of the few, Zlotrg plans to create an online platform for her organization in order to make Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian language courses widely available.

CHARLOTTE, NC

Jean Chaoui
Jean Chaoui

Country: France
Company: IMASCAP

Jean Chaoui was born in 1983. He received his Biomedical Engineering degree from Damascus University in 2006 and obtained his Master of Science and PhD in computer-assisted surgery in 2011. In 2009, he founded IMASCAP, an innovative startup in the field of computer assisted orthopedic surgery. He leads the company in various fields such as R&D, IP, financing, marketing, international business and quality management for medical devices. He is co-inventor of more than 10 patents and author of more than 30 scientific and clinical papers. He received the Biomedical Engineering Society award in 2012 for best innovative PhD, the MIT Technical Review award for best 10 Innovators less than 35 yo in Paris 2014, and he is nominated for the Medical Innovative Technologies award (Paris, May 2017).

Irena Chaushevska
Irena Chaushevska

Country: Macedonia
Company: NewMan’s Academy and Accelerator
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/irenachaushevska
15+ years of experience in strategic, managerial and leadership positions in IT, telecommunication, international recruitment, education and entrepreneurship; Experience in finance, investments, aerospace, marketing and investment law; Founder and CEO of the first and only fully independent and private Accelerator in Macedonia – NewMan’s Business Accelerator (newmansba.com); Winner of full Google scholarship for attending Global Solutions Program by Singularity University 2016 at NASA Ames Research Park in California. Speaker at Stanford Design School on “How to build aerospace startup” and at Stanford Engineering School on “European Innovation and Entrepreneurship” Strong relations with companies, individual investors, venture funds, accelerators, entrepreneurs, startups from Europe, USA (California), Latin America and Asia (China, India, Singapore, Vietnam); Lead of the biggest hackathon in the world NASA Space Apps Challenge (the NASA Incubator Innovation Program) for Silicon Valley, New York and Skopje and coordinator of the event in many European countries; 6+ years experience in development of curricula and deployment of educational projects and programs for digital and future skills including IT, high-tech, exponential tech, innovation and entrepreneurship for the Macedonian youth and corporates; Speaker, panelist, mentor and judge on various innovation, entrepreneurship and leadership events, conferences and programs in Europe and US; Cofounder of US based startup – Applied Robotix that works on development of a brain for autonomous (space) vehicles; US patent holder for innovative body-fit modular space suit “SpaceAuroras”; Strongly motivated to help Macedonia and the region to transform their societies from within and create modern and functional economies; Strong interest in talent and potential management; wealth creation and various investment and income streams models for corporates, startups and individuals. Global Winner for Big Data Innovation at NASA Space Apps Challenge 2015 Selected as Women Entrepreneurial Leader (ICSB-WEL) for 2014 by the International Council for Small Businesses with HQ in Washington.

Matteo Forte
Matteo Forte

Country: Italy
Company: ADPM Drones

He is one of the Partners and the Strategic Partnership Builder at ADPM Drones. ADPM Drones design and build super-light smart UAVs, fixed-wing aircrafts and multi-rotors which enable professionals and enterprises to provide cutting-edge services in vertical markets (surveillance and security, land and infrastructure mapping, precision agriculture) characterized by a strong service request. During the experience as Partnership Builder in ADPM Drones he led the efforts in winning a number of calls for tender and awards and in building high impact strategic research and technological partnerships with Universities and companies. He knows how to evaluate technology, identify trends and engage in future casting. In ADPM Drones he works in close contact with the R&D and Sales Team to design useful future-oriented and pioneering solutions. He wants to learn more about the culture and attitude of U.S. startups in order to contribute to the growth of the Italian ecosystem.

Elena Andreea Gabor
Elena Andreea Gabor

Country: Romania
Company: UP – The Business Accelerator
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/andreeagabor
Facebook: @upthebusinessaccelerator

Senior marketing professional with over 10 years experience in strategic and innovative retail marketing projects (fashion and banking). – Best Marketing Director awarded by BIZ Magazine in the „Top 100 Marketing Directors from Romania” (2015 edition); the top selects the marketing directors from the local market analizing their professional experience, the brands and company they are working with, total turnover and the total marketing budget. – Awarded in the annual international Citi Marketing 2011 competition with “Romania Perceptual Scale” project. In the contest all the marketing strategies and campaigns from 160 countries are evaluated and ranked by effectiveness and originality. If you have a great product and a great company, and now you need to shout from the rooftops then I am the right person to help you grow your business! There’s a million opportunities in marketing, and the challenge for me is to choose the right rooftops to shout from, and make sure we’re all shouting the same thing at the same time.

Khachik Gevorgyan
Khachik Gevorgyan

Country: Armenia
Company: ARMACAD
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/khachikgevorgyan
Twitter: @khGev

Khachik Gevorgyan is the founder and CEO of ARMACAD, a company which develops tools to help people to find scholarships, research and study opportunities. He leads ARMACAD to its next level as a service provider for universities and research centres to distribute their academic opportunities internationally to a targeted readership. Previously Khachik has successfully led Yevista – Armenian version Yelp. Khachik is also one of the founders of the U.S. Alumni Association of Armenia and has served as its first Executive Director. He has a solid academic background in Middle Eastern Studies, with a PhD from Yerevan State University and research positions at Harvard and Stanford Universities. While representing ARMACAD he was the winner of HyeTech and HiveFund pitch competition at Berkeley University in April 2016.

Bardh Kadiu
Bardh Kadiu

Country: Kosovo
Company: Tech: Park Prishtina
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/bkadiu
Twitter: @BKadiu

A dedicated and enthusiastic manager with a technological background, who is able to motivate teams to perform at their highest-levels, in providing excellent service and developing profitable client relationships. Specialized in service-exports and international business development, hence experienced in working with diverse environments and cultures. Currently, serving as a Deputy Executive Director at STIKK, Conference Director at KosICT.com and leading the development of the Tech:Park Prishtina, a high-quality support institution towards entrepreneurs by enabling conversion of new business ideas into successful and competitive entrepreneurship in international markets and by providing infrastructure, professional services and adequate promotion towards established businesses.

Vasiliki Ntampasi
Vasiliki Ntampasi

Country: Greece
Company: Tesibit
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/vntampasi
Twitter: @tesibit
Facebook: @vasia.ntampasi

Vasiliki Ntampasi, Co-founder & CEO of Tesibit: Vasiliki has over 7 years of experience in Advanced Automation Control, Optimization Techniques, and Neural Networks. In November 2011 she received her Engineering Diploma in Electrical and Computer Engineering from the Democritus University of Thrace in Greece, and her MSc Degree in Automation Control from the same department. Ηer research focus lies in automation, control, model predictive and robust predictive control techniques, bioprocess control, and swarm formation of UAVs, with an emphasis on the renewables energy industry.

Andreas Antoin Rabenseifner
Andreas Antoin Rabenseifner

Country: Hungary
Company: Plenuum and hipteam
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/andreas-rabenseifner
Twitter: @andreas_raben

Andreas is a Research Scientist and holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry (2015) from the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) that he completed under a Marie Curie Early Stage Fellowship. He has cofounded AgriVeritas at 2015 with the motivation to turn his scientific expertise into innovation that will be inextricably linked with the green economy of the future.

Vojtech Rinik
Vojtech Rinik

Country: Slovakia
Company: Median.tech
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/vojto
Twitter: @_vojto

I graduated from Technical University of Kosice in Computer Science. During university, I interned every summer in a different US-based company, most recently Twitter. After graduating I worked for New York based finance startup where I helped build their main product. I always had a weekend project – during school I started building productivity software, and that became my full-time job in early 2016. Later in that year I started Median.tech, to build data analytics software for Mac, which is what I’m working now in present.

Szelim Simandi
Szelim Simandi

Country: Hungary
Company: X Communications Centre
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/simandiszelim

Szelim Simándi, 28 currently works with X Communications Center, a Budapest based strategic communications agency with a focus on social causes. Since its founding in 2012, XKK has contributed to the solution of numerous social causes with its own campaigns and by supporting representatives of civil society. The team also worked with several satisfied corporate clients. In a consultant role Mr. Simándi is responsible for planning and execution of PR, social media, advocacy and fundraising campaigns of NGOs and social enterprises. Previously he gained experience in a London based advocacy firm and the European Parliament and also worked on the advocacy strategy of Hungarian industrial parks. Mr. Simándi is a member of the Financial and Audit Committee of the Municipality of Budaörs since 2010. He gained experience in regulatory processes of the local economy, planning and auditing of the budget of the Municipality, and understanding and implementing the long term economic strategy of one of the most successful municipalities in Hungary.

Ana-Maria Stancu
Ana-Maria Stancu

Country: Romania
Company: Socially HR

2001 – 2009 – Pro Democracy Association, Bucharest Romania, largest civic organization in Romania at the time – started as a volunteer, worked my way up to local coordinator, regional coordinator, program coordinator and Executive Director 2009 – present – President E-Civis Association – promoting democracy mostly through new technology. Created two online games to teach teenagers civic education. 2009- present – working for a social enterprise – NGO for disabled persons 2016 – co-founder of Digital Citizens Romania – think tank on the impact of technology.

Javier Villaseca
Javier Villaseca

Country: Spain
Company: SociosInversores
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/javiervillasecasanchez
Twitter: @JavierVillaseca

Andreas is a Research Scientist and holds a PhD in Physical Chemistry (2015) from the Foundation for Research and Technology – Hellas (FORTH) that he completed under a Marie Curie Early Stage Fellowship. He has cofounded AgriVeritas at 2015 with the motivation to turn his scientific expertise into innovation that will be inextricably linked with the green economy of the future.

DENVER, CO

Blerina Ago
Blerina Ago

Country: Albania
Company: Albanian Adventure Resort

Blerina Ago, is the General Secretary of the Albanian Federation and the executive director of the Albanian Adventure Resort. Blerina is a lawyer by profession that has dedicated her time in the sustainable development of tourism in Albania. She has founded the Albania Rafting Group and since has been actively involved in advocating and promoting tourism activities within international standards. At the young age of 14 years old, she became the first girl to practice rafting in Albania. She is also known in Albania as a spokesperson and the organizer of many events for the preservation of the Albanian river’s ecosystem, canyons and mountains flora and fauna. As part of the Albanian Rafting Federation Blerina, has received the “Act Now” award on her work in civic engagement in the field of tourism and white water ecosystem preservation by the Embassy of the United States in Tirana. She has been selected as a Success Story by USAID Albania for her entrepreneurial initiative and contribution in the development of adventure tourism in Albania. Blerina has been working intensively to create and launch the Albanian Adventure Resort, a social enterprise focusing on Adventure Tourism development through more than 15 outdoor sports, training and local community engagement. She has recently signed an agreement with all adventure sports federations in Albania to standardize and certify guides that offer adventure sports as part of a tourism activity and has worked on the recent Albanian Tourism Law to enhance the legislation regarding adventure tourism practices. Recently, she has been a speaker in the first regional adventure tourism conference AdventureNext_Balkans, Ohrid, Macedonia and a delegate in Adventure Travel World Summit, Anchorage, Alaska. Blerina owns international qualifications related to regional development, adherence to EU structural funds and tourism management.

Gergana Daneva
Gergana Daneva

Country: Bulgaria
Company: Lion heart
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/gergana-daneva-b6628041
Facebook: @gergana.daneva.10
Gergana Daneva is a Science culture graduate, who loves humanitarian disciplines. She obtained her master degree in Public management towards the EU institutions, from the University of Management in Liege, Belgium (HEC). She has been working as a freelancer on projects linked with culture and sports. For a certain time she has been part of the EU Commission, where she was evaluating projects in the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA).

Kirill Konev
Kirill Konev

Country: Russia
Company: Selectium Research Center LLC
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kirill-konev-b110b360
Kirill graduated from National Research University – Higher School of Economics in Moscow as a Master of Business Informatics. His career began as an IT-engineer in the nuclear industry. Kirill was the one to bring the best practices of the Cost Engineering technologies to Russian nuclear industry, as a team member of a major project of creating a generic design of a new nuclear power plant as a member of the cost management team. Later on, being a chief IT-architect in the nuclear design start-up company, Kirill managed to integrate the practices of CAD and cost engineering technologies to tailor the industry-first BIM solution in the nuclear sphere. Working as a head of the cost engineering department, he adapted the cost engineering practices, process models and software for the proper use on the industry-wide basis, which were later used for the cost management of the several nuclear power plants construction projects. In 2016, Kirill founded a company, which combines innovation, technological and the cost engineering expertise to implement a totally new approach to the innovation in the nuclear industry, aiming to increase the competitiveness of the Russian technology products on a worldwide market.

Margherita Pagani
Margherita Pagani

Country: Italy
Company: Impacton.org

I’m Italian, I’m 28 years old and I have a hybrid background spanning Professional Volleyball, Fine Arts and Entrepreneurship. I’ve started working with digital technologies and design in 2011, and since then I’ve set-up and led international projects across Europe, US and Latin America focused on co-creation, entrepreneurship and impact investing, bringing together people and organisations to shape sustainable and effective solutions to social challenges. Today, my role merges a strong expertise in strategy and user-centered design methodologies, with a strong passion for investigating broader applications of design tools and data-driven frameworks, to accelerate systemic change and generate social cohesion. For this reason, in 2015 I have decided to get involved in the Refugee Crisis and the humanitarian response across Southern Europe. My experience in Greece and at the border with Macedonia (Idomeni) have inspired the creation of my latest project, Impacton. The goal was to find a way to reduce overhead costs of implementation of solutions focused on sustainable development and humanitarian crisis, also reducing the risk of investments by governments or private investors. Today, with Impacton we collect proven social impact projects from all over the world and makes them accessible to anyone, everywhere. Each project is framed using specific behavioural design triggers that reduce social violence aside working on a specific social cause.

Kostapanos Miliaressis
Kostapanos Miliaressis

Country: Greece
Company: Ethelon
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kostapanosm
Twitter: @kostapanosM
Kostapanos Miliaressis is a young professional who is characterised by his passion for volunteering, events & projects and entrepreneurship. He is enthusiastic and multipotentialite, addicted to innovative ideas and traveling with a backpack on his shoulders. Having grown and matured by AIESEC and TEDx Events along with his degree in Business Administration from AUEB, Kostapanos aims to utilize his creativity and perseverance in order to change the world for the better. He is currently General Manager and Co-founder of ethelon an organization promoting volunteering in the Greek society and creating the adequate framework for cooperation between volunteers, NGOs and companies, aiming for a more active and equal society. Through his work in ethelon, he has received international recognition from the Ashoka Foundation as a Global Changemaker and recognised in the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, in the category of Social Entrepreneurs.

Javad-ul-Mutayyab Mushtaq
Javad-ul-Mutayyab Mushtaq

Country: Norway
Company: MAK

Javad Mushtaq (28) is a multi-award winning Young Professional, Serial-Entrepreneur, and Author-in-progress from Norway. Javad’s parents immigrated from Pakistan in the early 70s, and he was born and raised in the east-coast of Norway in a small town called Halden in 1988. He started his first venture at age 13 selling mobile phones, and at age 15, he launched multiple online ventures focusing on disrupting mobile content business providers. Facing difficulties and racism at young age, Javad decided to focus on his education to prove that everyone could succeed, regardless of their background and ethnical roots. He moved to Oslo at age 18 to pursue a degree in Business, and in 2010 he became the first non-Western to become Business Student of the Year across all schools in Norway, the highest ranking award for a business student in the country. He was part of the group that won the Harvard Business School MOC award by Michael E. Porter in 2011 competing against 100 schools globally, and later also won Best Master’s Thesis award across all schools in Oslo. During this time he also launched two ventures, where both of them ended up failing. He graduated MSc (Honors) in Business and Economics from BI Norwegian Business school, and has background from Corporate Strategy and M&A. He has worked and studied in 4 continents and travelled to over 50 countries. Javad is the founder of MAK, a social organization working to increase the competitive advantage of Norway through focusing on young people, talents, innovation, entrepreneurship and diversity. Through this organization, he is actively participating in shaping the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Norway. He is also the founder of MinMentor, a social organization focusing on reducing the dropout rates from high schools in Norway. Javad is passionate about diversity, innovation, entrepreneurship, technology and youth.

Ana Marija Popovic
Ana Marija Popovic

Country: Serbia
Company: Ino Agency
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ana-marija-popovic
Twitter: @AnaMarijaPop
Founder and director of INO Agency, Balkan regional education agency which works as an agent for 200 universities and language schools from 30 countries, and runs 4 websites on education and mobility. Graduated in Sorbonne Paris 1 (France) with scholarship of European Union and Republic of Serbia. Based in Belgrade.

Flutura Sadiku
Flutura Sadiku

Country: Kosovo
Company: Love & Crafts
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/fluturasadiku
Twitter: @FluturaSadiku
Facebook: FluturaSadiku
Ms. Flutura Sadiku is the co-founder of Love & Crafts, a small startup that helps families, groups or individuals from different communities through creating, recycling and selling handmade products. Her daily job as Network Engineer in the largest internet service provider in Kosovo does not stop her from being involved in personal projects. She studied Computer Science and Engineering, and is very passionate about science, technology, and books. In the last couple of years she has been working with several local and international organizations, and since last year, she is a member of Youth Council of the U.S. Embassy in Kosovo. Last year, Flutura and her partner built their first remotely controlled airplane, TARDIS, which inspired her start “Build and Fly” project within the Youth Council.

Christian Vanizette
Christian Vanizette

Country: France
Company: MakeSense

Christian Vanizette is a Social Entrepreneur originally from Tahiti, a French Island in the Pacific ocean. In 2012 he started the international nonprofit makesense.org which focuses on global citizen engagement to resolve the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN. MakeSense is an online and on-the-field network of 30 000 citizens in 100 cities and 45 countries tackling together the sustainable development goals. Social Entrepreneurs, working on specific issues, can post challenges on our platform and individuals can volunteer for causes they are interested in. Afterwards, the best solutions are integrated by our teams in public and private organizations to create large scale impact around the globe. Since our beginning we have expanded to 30,000 citizens, partnered with Nobel Prize Winners such as Muhammad Yunus, collaborated with the French President, got the support of Google.org and received personal recognition from Forbes 30under30. Beside his involvement in MakeSense, Christian is also sitting on the board of the EDF foundation. EDF is the largest electricity producer on the planet.

Franziska von Kempis
Franziska von Kempis

Country: Germany
Company: MESH Collective
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/franzivonkempis
A trained TV journalist with a history degree who developed into a self-taught YouTube editor: That’s me, Franzi von Kempis, born in 1985. My professional highlights include multiple online shitstorms and working in a job, that did not yet exist when I finished university in 2010. Which is why I had to find my journalistic roots elsewhere, in my case at Radio Vatican and Sueddeutsche Online. Whereas the Vatican provided me with the inspiration for a minor in theology at university, my time at the SZ Online newsdesk helped me discover a passion for everything online. I was lucky enough to receive a spot as an editorial trainee at the german TV show Galileo (ProSieben) in Munich, where I majored from “ total TV Noob with a bit of online experience” (which led me to produce nothing but Facebook content and online christmas pieces for the first six months) to actual TV reporting. Back in Germany I turned my back on TV in 2013 to join a media initiative co-founded by the Robert Bosch foundation and German TV and movie producer UFA in Berlin, called MESH Collective. MESH produces social media campaigns on political and societal topics targeted at teenagers and young adults. We connect young viewers, like-minded peers and educational institutions. As Editor-in-Chief, it is my job to create campaigns that enable young adults to think for themselves. Building on these experiences, in 2015, I launched “The worried citizen”, a web-video series on Facebook addressing topics such as populism, conspiracy theories as well as social media phenomenons such as hate speech.

DETROIT, MI

Egor Fedorov
Egor Fedorov

Country: Russia
Company: Indriver LLC
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/egor-fedorov-33a97822
Twitter: @yegorf
Facebook: @egorfedorov
Begin as a journalist when our news website Kursor.Ru was acquired by larger IT-holding Sinet group. Year after I became a project manager, started work with all new company projects. In 2011-2012 was engaged in the development of the portal Ykt.Ru network in the Russian Federation, in 2011 created and headed the product development division, which was transformed into the development department of the Sinet group, including the product and marketing management. In 2013 became the Chief Development Officer. By this time Ykt.Ru became the leading regional portal in the Russian Federation in terms of the ratio of attendance to the population. Since 2015 has concentrated on the development of inDriver as a CDO & CMO.

Katarzyna Kolodziejczyk
Katarzyna Kolodziejczyk

Country: Luxembourg
Company: BRAVE YOUTH
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/kasiakolo
Twitter: @kaskolo
Katarzyna Kolodziejczyk co-founder of #BRAVEYOUTH Luxembourg – whiropool of visionary vibes, network of brave talents who connects disconnected with meaningful campaigns. As a student of Business English in Poland, she took part in student exchange program and went to US during summer time ” It was my first experience abroad that made a vast positive impact for the rest of my life”. She also lived in Slovakia and Austria working for a logistic corporation and since 2011 she has lived in multinational and multicultural Luxembourg which she considers her home. In 2013 she ” just did it ” changed her life and moved from corporate workplace to entrepreneurial adventure. Since mid-2013 her life has been filled with lots of market & technology experiments and exciting tasks building tech startup, founding innovative organisations, communities and conferences to keep meeting and connecting courageous and inspiring people from all over the world who make things happen!

Branko Vasiljevic
Branko Vasiljevic

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Company: DVC Solutions
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/branko-vasiljevic-ab512696
Twitter: @DVCsolutions
I find myself as a hardworking and very innovative person, ambitious and always in the good mood. My academic titles are Bachelor of Economics (Management and Entrepreneurship) and also Bachelor of IT (Business IT), and I am currently enrolled in master studies at Faculty of Economics in Banja Luka. My carrer started in an international retail company where I worked as an IT referent, than as a Chief of IT sector and at the end as Chief Accountant, after which I changed my working environment and the entire sector to IT. I am working in IT for several years now, where I was CEO of one small company from Banja Luka and now I am business developer at DVC Solutions, international IT company from Banja Luka also. I found it very interesting doing busines in IT sector, ie. in this sector I see my future, since it is very dynamic, proactive, live. Won many prizes for entrepreneurship ideas and innovation on regional and national level which I am proud of. Active basketball player since 2014, played for Bosnian U19 national team in 2009. Speaking English on professional level and German on basic level.

NEW ORLEANS, LA

Lenka Kucerova
Lenka Kucerova

Country: Czech Republic
Company: StarLift.org

Lenka Kučerová is the Co-Founder and CEO of StarLift.org – a nonprofit organisation striving to encourage entrepreneurial spirit and global ambition of young Czech and Slovak software engineers, thereby contributing to the rise of a future generation of strong technology professionals, entrepreneurs and highly innovative companies in Czechia and Slovakia. StarLift’s main vehicle is facilitation of 6-18 month internships in vetted Silicon Valley and East Coast startups to provide full immersion in some of the world’s most entrepreneurial ecosystems. It is also in the process of developing an online and offline platform providing access to quality information, expertise, inspiration, projects, mentoring, solid work experience not only in the USA but also in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, thereby becoming a professional coach for young engineers. As CEO, Lenka is responsible for execution, strategy planning, team management and partners relations. Her passion for the support of entrepreneurship began in 2009 when she was posted to Silicon Valley as Director of West Coast Operations at CzechInvest. She initiated a government sponsored programme CzechAcelerator, run several accelerators in Prague and has become one of the key players in developing the CEE startup ecosystem.

Elizaveta Mamaliga
Elizaveta Mamaliga

Country: Moldova
Company: Dulce Plai

I grew up in the village Todiresti in Moldova, I lived for 10 years in Chisinau,the capital city, I studied Finance and Banking at the Academy of Economic Studies from Moldova. When I was a student I volunteered in AIESEC. After graduation, in 2011, I started to work on the idea of developing a social enterprise, and with the support of The Do School in Germany, where I had a fellowship, I started Dulce Plai 5 years ago. I am also collaborating with EcoVisio NGO in Moldova, developing and coordinating educational programs for youth in rural area and working also on the topic of sustainable development and social entrepreneurship.

Iryna Minkovska
Iryna Minkovska

Country: Ukraine
Company: EdCamp Ukraine

Since June 2015 – until now I am a member of the organizing committee of educational start-up – Public organization “EdCamp Ukraine”, Kharkiv, Ukraine (www.edcamp.org.ua). Here I am responsible for educational projects management, team management, negotiating, PR-running, financial management, writing and literary editing texts, fundraising, web-site layout and principles of gender equality implementing. Since September 2013 – until January 2017 I used to be expert, coach, project manager in the Gender center for information and analytics “KRONA”, Kharkiv, Ukraine (http://krona.org.ua). In this organization I worked in projects at a junction of education and gender policy, realized projects devoted to the women in politics, co-created the first inter-factional deputy association in Kharkiv city council and conducted gender audit in the G. Scovoroda Kharkiv National Pedagogical University and 8 schools of Kharkiv region. I have two higher educations. The first one is specialty “Management of European projects in the financial perspective 2014-2020”, Wyższą Szkołą Informatyki i Umiejętności w Łodzi, Poland – Theme of diploma “Innovations in Professional Development of School Teachers”. The second one is Economical Cybernetics and Applied Economics department, V. Karazin Kharkiv National University, Ukraine – Theme of diploma “Modeling the Correlation between Social Indicators and Indicators of Economic Development”. Now I am a Member of the Working Group for de-bureaucratization of school activity under the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine and member of Kharkiv Hub of the Global Shapers Community. Also with Ukrainian linguistics I am developing gender-sensitive language and Ukrainian-Latin transliteration standard. My mother tongue is Ukrainian and I know English (C 1) and Russian (C 2). I have excellent active listening, verbal and non-verbal communication skills, full of friendliness, empathy, respect and open-mindedness. I am responsible, honest, disciplined, I can work in any circumstances and love to get my job done well and on time.

Jaqueline Silva
Jaqueline Silva

Country: Portugal
Company: FemLab81

I am a passionate entrepreneur and an advocate for female entrepreneurship. I consider myself a citizen of the world and both my academic and professional experiences reflect that. My academic background includes doing an AFS exchange program in the USA to conclude high school and Erasmus program in Spain. I have a master degree in Business and am currently doing my PhD program on the impact of Technology on Female Entrepreneurship with UT Austin in Texas and Nova University in Lisbon. Regarding my professional experience, I have been involved in training for more than 10 years, currently teaching at a Portuguese university. As part of my skill set I have done consulting for various companies both at national and international level. My focus has been the organizations digital media and communication plans. I have also been investing on using the digital platform to give more visibility to the women on these organizations, helping them positioning themselves. In the past I have owned two ventures, one in the event management business and the food and beverage industry which was a very interesting and rewarding experience as I was able to manage and control all aspects of these organizations. Since one of my biggest passions is writing I wrote a book about unemployment in Portugal and also contributed with tips on a national TV show in order to help more people achieving their dream job. Also due to this endeavors I was requested as a speaker in various conferences in Portugal.

Kaja Travnik
Kaja Travnik

Country: Slovenia
Company: Moveo activate

Kaja studied Law as an undergraduate at European Faculty of Law. She continued her studies and became a Master of Law at European Faculty of Law. She upgraded her studies with Jean Monnet Certificate, which gave her deeper understanding of how European Union functions, its history and knowledge about the most important cases from European Court of Justice and European Court of Human Rights. Kaja was a part of many summer schools and conferences abroad, where she was developing her knowledge about European and International Law. She worked for European Commission in Brussels and for International Law Firm in Italy, where she strengthened her theoretical knowledge in practice. She also worked as an assistant researcher at Harvard University in Boston, where she was researching transitional justice. She continued her career at the Supreme Court in Slovenia. Besides that she was always interested in entrepreneurship and how she could help people. She found her purpose also in start up Moveo, which is helping kids to be more active and fights obesity. Kaja is responsible for all the legal matters for European and U.S. market in Moveo, which is very important role because she is researching new legal issues in augmented reality, which is completely new field still in development. She is also leading the marketing department, which is mostly focused on promoting Moveo’s brand to city officials and parents, where she needs to emphasizes that Moveo product is making an impact in kids well-being.

PHILADELPHIA, PA

Temelko Dechev
Temelko Dechev

Country: Bulgaria
Company: The Business Storm

Currently as Management Consultant at FRENUS (a German-based consulting company) and having lived and worked in 5 different countries, with extensive entrepreneurial background and 10+ years of professional experience in various business sectors and industries some of which include Management Consulting, Real Estate, IT, International Trade & Commerce, Tourism & Hospitality, NGO, Event Management, Sales and others, I have got a wide grasp and solid expertise of the business world overcoming challenges and building great projects. Previously worked as Branch Manager for one of the biggest real estate companies in UK, Martin & Co Group. For 2 years the stock portfolio of the London Bridge office he managed increased to circa £35m. I was also a Senior Sales & Business Development Manager at a SaaS StartUp that has recently raised circa $500k worth of investment. Before that as a Sales & Marketing Manager, me and my talented team of professionals ran various business projects at an IT company with operations in Europe, USA and Australia. I was also involved in Sales, Business & Strategic Development projects with OSM International Group at LatAm and EMEA markets, been a delegate at the 15th World Business Dialogue, TEDx speaker, Founding & Board member of JCI – Worldwide Federation of Young Leaders & Entrepreneurs. I have delivered various business trainings, workshops & masterclasses in UK, Portugal, Spain, Bulgaria, Turkey and Austria. Love to play tennis, to swim, sail and travel as well as to enjoy fresh mojitos with friends.

PHEONIX, AZ

Arda Coskunol
Arda Coskunol

Country: Turkey
Company: Ege Life Sciences

Arda Coskunol is the Co-founder and head coordinator of Ege Life Sciences. Ege Life Sciences is currently running 5 R&D projects that are being supported by several Turkish government bodies and agencies and 1 R&D project that is being supported by the EU. Arda Coskunol is primarily responsible for managing the project teams and the company finances. One of the projects that he is involved in, is to create a drug diagnostic kit that is cheaper and highly adaptive to the rapidly changing drug profiles in the world. He is also responsible for coordinating the production of Traditional Herbal Medicine products. In addition, he is organizing both national and international sales of the company’s current products.

Angelos Kassianos
Angelos Kassianos

Country: Cyprus
Company: StayInTrack

Angelos P. Kassianos has a BSc in Psychology from Pantion University of Social and Political Sciences in Athens (2007) and an MSc (2008) and PhD (2013) in Health Psychology from the University of Surrey in the UK. During his PhD studies, he had a consultancy post in 2013 working at the University of Southampton developing an e-health intervention to manage the distress of prostate cancer patients in Active Surveillance. He also held a 4-month internship in 2012 working at the World Health Organization (WHO) in Geneva collating and managing national alcohol-related policy information. He has worked as an Associate Lecturer at the University of Chichester, a Research Design Services Consultant at Imperial College London, a Research Associate at the University of Cambridge and he taught at the Medical School and Department of Psychology of the University of Cyprus. He has managed large-scale research programmes in the areas of cancer early diagnosis, e-health and healthcare provision quality evaluation. In early 2015, he received a 4-month Fulbright Visiting Research Scholarship and worked at the Harvard Medical School (Dana Farber Cancer Institute) in the area of cancer palliative care. He is currently researching and teaching at UCL, Department of Applied Health Research in London in the areas of medical education and public health. His main research interests lie within the area of cancer management, prevention, early diagnosis and palliative care, patient-reported outcomes’ assessment and patients’ medication adherence. At the same time, he supervises eight students in seven European countries on developing and validating a smartphone application measuring quality of life in real-time (MyQoL app). He is also passionate with using technology to optimize health outcomes and that is how the ‘StayinTrack’ start-up began with a team of psychologists and app developers.

Urska Madzarac
Urska Madzarac

Country: Austria
Company: My Little Polyglot

I’m an university-trained conference interpreter and translator with native Slovenian and near-native German. As a freelancer I have worked with several interesting companies, mostly startups from different fields, which gave me a broad experience from business development, market expansion, lead development to marketing and sales. I have always been drawn to entrepreneurship and therefore I decided to not only offer my freelance services to other companies, but also start my own project that originates in one of my biggest passions: learning languages. In 2016 I started working on My Little Polyglot that is an online community for parents, who want to teach their young children foreign languages at home even if the don’t actually speak the language themselves. I aim to help as many children as I can to become multilingual and experience the many benefits of it.  I firmly believe in the idea that the entrepreneurs most important motivation has to be helping other people and improve their lives, so this is the path I want to pursue in my career.

Victoria Novac-Hincu
Victoria Novac-Hincu

Country: Moldova
Company: EDUJOC LTD

Over the course of 10 years I have participated in and organized the work of 5 NGO’s, and in 2008 I was recognized as the most active volunteer of the year in Moldova. My educational training in Business Administration from UBB Cluj-Napoca and Master Degree in Management and Communication from SNSPA Bucharest helped me to acquire knowledge in the field of marketing, management, E-business and accounting, information that made me self-confident when i started my entrepreneurial journey. As a student, I was involved in European Alternatives NGO as the event manager; we organized EA events including Transeuropa Festival. Also in my second year of University I was selected for a student exchange program in Greece. In my third year of studies I was selected for an internship in finance and accountability at the multinational Office Depot and for an internship at Business Center Transilvania in e-Marketing. I had opportunity to coordinate and to be trainer at Entrepreneur Incubator organized by American Resource Center in Chisinau, developed by Smithsonian Institute USA; also in 2016 I became a One Young World ambassador. Since I took part in international social entrepreneurship project “Change Laboratory” in Riga, I started to generate ideas and to seize opportunities, so I began Edujoc, a Company that has become the market leader in terms of production and trade of educational toys and teaching materials in Moldova, and the new services we created are enjoying great success! We have delivered educational solutions in Moldova for the past 5 years. Since 2012, I have participated and won Entrepreneurs Factory, Entrepreneurs 2.0, National Contest of Business Plans, Creative Business Cup, thanks to which I developed the business, opened a production workshop and expanded the business to a total of three stores. We deliver free time, happiness and education through playing.

PITTSBURGH, PA

Jovana Bobic
Jovana Bobic

Country: Serbia
Company: FEED

You can see from my CV that I have studied at Academy of Fine Arts in Belgrade and later at Politecnico di Milano- Exhibition Design. I am founder and director of international student art festival Š.U.N.D. and Š.U.N.D. studio that specializes in exhibition design and events creation. Besides that, I worked in art gallery in Milano and theatre company in Copenhagen. I am also an actress in theatre company “Kvaka” and I play rhythm guitar. My hobby is swimming and I compete in marathon swimming. I’ve won prestigious award in Serbia- Belgrade City Award, for my work with Š.U.N.D.

Stylianos Kampakis
Stylianos Kampakis

Country: United Kingdom
Company: ADAN

Dr. Stylianos (Stelios) Kampakis is an expert data scientist, statistician and startup consultant living and working in London. A natural polymath, with degrees in Psychology, Artificial Intelligence, Statistics, Economics and a PhD in Computer Science he loves using his broad skillset to solve difficult problems.

Luka Mohoric
Luka Mohoric

Country: Slovenia
Company: Animacel biotechnology d.o.o.

During my student years, I have been working for House of experiments, a hands-on science museum. There I have learned how to present complicated scientific facts in a manner that is accessible to broader public. To bring that idea to the larger settings like companies and academic institution I have co-founded an Academy for the Curious, a non-profit that engages in bridging the gap between science and broader public. At the same time, I have started to work for Founders of Animacel biotechnology, a spin-out company of Veterinarian Faculty University of Ljubljana that offers stem cell treatments for until now incurable joint and ligament problems of animals. There I have performed a research for my diploma thesis and in 2014 assumed a position as Head of laboratory. In that time, we have developed a service that enabled veterinarians around European Union to offer stem cell treatment safe and efficiently. As a first author, I have co-authored a scientific study showing effects of stem cell therapy in canine patients. With the need of the company to grow fast I have played a crucial role in restructuring the company and its ownership with a goal set to seek venture capital funding. In 2015 I have been voted in a position of CEO and became a partial owner of the company. Until now we have treated more than 350 animals in cooperation with more than 30 clinics in United Kingdom, Germany, Austria, Slovenia, Croatia and Romania.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT

Paola Belingheri
Paola Belingheri

Country: Italy
Company: LIVE Glacier

Paola Belingheri is a Management Engineer with a PhD in Open Innovation Management and Entrepreneurship from LUISS University. Her professional experience includes working for the European Space Agency (ESA) Human Spaceflight program in Toulouse, France, and the ESA Corporate Controlling Office in Noordwijk, The Netherlands. She is a co-founder of the IceCREAM social entrepreneurship venture, a multiside platform for scientific research and sustainable tourism on glaciers, winner of the 2016 Galactic Impact Award at the NASA International Space Apps Challenge. She volunteers as Director of Membership at Women in Aerospace-Europe. She speaks English, Italian, French Dutch and German. Her hobbies include playing the piano, hiking and running.

Lucia Gallíková
Lucia Gallíková

Country: Slovakia
Company: Chargebrella
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/luciagallikova
Twitter: @Chargebrella
Facebook: @lucia.gallikova
I have been consulting and managing projects in non-profit, public and private – startup sector since 2007 having experience from working in three Central European countries – Slovakia, Czech Republic and Austria. I focus on project development, management and communication. Currently I am working at the Startup centre of Technical university in Kosice where I am responsible for development and coordination of acceleration programme for startups and organisation of a startup competition. At the same time I am a member of startup Chargebrella which I joined in 2015 as a project and communication manager. Last year I was responsible for carrying out an award winning application for Business Idea 2016 competition run by Tatra banka Foundation in Slovakia. My previous experience includes working as project coordinator and manager in several organisations across Central Europe. Projects which I was responsible for included management of a national NGO Fair in Prague, development of international activities for youth leaders from 25+ countries, preparation of methodology for 6 series of educational programme which was implemented on national level and many others. From 2010 to 2015 I was running a non-profit organization called NO LABEL PROJECT which I also co-founded. I was in charge of managing all its activities – mainly developing international educational projects for non-profit professionals, youth workers and young people active as volunteers. In 2015 I succesfully passed exams at the National Institute of Lifelong Learning and I have become a certified Adult Learning Manager. Besides my full-time job and my work in Chargebrella I am also active as a pro-bono consultant for non-profits based in Slovakia.

Johan Juul Jensen
Johan Juul Jensen

Country: Denmark
Company: Mobilized Construction

Johan believes that entrepreneurship is the key to drive social change and empower individuals worldwide. Most recently he has founded Mobilized Construction to build this vision at a societal level. The scalability provided in technology and the sustainability with a commercial business model is a must given the financing gap within international development. Mobilized Construction creates software for organizations to use manual labor for dirt repair roads, reducing the cost by up to 90% while creating jobs and providing transparency to reduce corruption. Johan has previously founded Play it On, an organization that has reached over 15,000 children in Uganda to foster cultural exchanges by bringing people together around sports. He was a researcher at the Danish Institute for International Studies focusing on public-private-partnerships and natural resources management. Johan has been recognized by the Halcyon Incubator, the Danish Innovation Fund, the Resolution Project, and Humanity in Action for his work to bridge cultural divides and work in international development in Uganda. Johan graduated from the Hertie School of Governance and Georgetown University with a Master of Public Policy, focusing on social innovation and international development. Despite growing up in Denmark, Johan is a passionate NFL fan rooting for the Patriots since living in Maine for 1 year.

Luis Alonso Silva Marquez
Luis Alonso Silva Marquez

Country: Cyprus
Company: Twosumm
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/louis-alonso-silva-marquez-33166474
Twitter: @TwosummOfficial
Facebook: @twosumm
Completing a B.Sc. in Finance from the University of Cyprus. Since the beginning of my studies I have worked in multiple companies and roles such as waiter, account’s assistant and sales account manager. In 2014 attended the Erasmus program and lived one year in Barcelona. While in Barcelona, worked for a Berlin-based startup called Roundhere as a Team Leader ambassador with multiple responsibilities. After that experience, my enthusiasm for entrepreneurship grew even bigger and that was the time when decided to found Twosumm. Twosumm was founded by me and my two co-Founders in August 2015. Since then, we attended together and completed the Founder Institute Cyprus Chapter, won 2 national startup competitions, signed an MOU with the University of Cyprus and Louis became the first active student of the university to sign an MOU between the university and his company. Later on, in September 2016 we were invited by the most important startup incubator in Cyprus, IDEA (Founded by the Bank of Cyprus), to join the program, and by October 2016 we launched Twosumm after 3 months of development and acquired over 1000 users with no funds within 2 months.

Gediminas Mazrimas
Gediminas Mazrimas

Country: Lithuania
Company: COMOBA
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/gediminasm
Facebook: @gediminas.m
Working in a fast changing new product development environment mostly in the mobile ecosystem. Currently fully involved in developing COMOBA startup and been involved in a number of other startups as a technical advisor for Nextury Ventures VC fund. Yet currently still remain responsible for GetJar app store – the worlds first and biggest open appstore, where I have been managing daily routines and developing and researching new mobile business models for the past 4 years. Previously gathered experience in a number of companies and countries: product development companies in Vilnius (Lithuania) and Copenhagen (Denmark), scientific research center CERN in Geneva (Switzerland) and Barclays Bank in London (UK).

Dmytro Podoliev
Dmytro Podoliev

Country: Ukraine
Company: iHUB
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/andreas-rabenseifner
Twitter: @podoliev
Mr. Podoliev is founder and CEO of iHUB – the first and only not-for-profit network of centres for innovation and entrepreneurship in Eastern Europe. iHUBs provide education, training, mentorship support, and aid in raising investments as well as high-quality infrastructure to innovative and technology based SMEs. We are developing an ecosystem of innovative startups, raising the quality of skills of young entrepreneurs in order to strengthen the social and economic potential of Ukraine. Over the past 2 years we have supported over 300 SMEs, 500+ entrepreneurs, trained over 10,000 persons across 6 iHUB centers. We strongly believe that via the development of the SME sector we will be able to build a strong and diversified economy, which will form as a sound foundation for an efficient and sustainable democracy in Ukraine in the long-run, and EU (both public and private partners) will play a crucial role along each step of this way.

SEATTLE, WA

Murat Aydemir
Murat Aydemir

Country: United Kingdom
Company: Popilicity

Murat Aydemir is an entrepreneur, generally dreams for an unimaginable solution with feasible, rational and sustainable way for people’s problems. His biggest aim is to create a value for people and make a positive change on their lives. He was the 17th student over 1.5 million candidates in the university entrance exam in Turkey and graduated the top university, Bogazici University, on management and business administration. He is the founder of the first digital parliament or political social network of the world: Democratus, which was honored as one of the five most brilliant start-ups in Turkey in 2012 by Start-up Weekend and Kaufman Foundation, and took seed capital from SV. He was a member of debating society, arts society, and the founder of the student magazine: Hisar, which published more than 4 countries and 20 different universities. He worked as a volunteer in many international organizations and took a part on building up many intergovernmental platforms and events like Academy 20 (a sub-chapter of G-20 formal meetings), and Turk-Arab Youth Congresses. He also worked as the academic assistant to one of the board members of The Central Bank of Turkish Republic between 2014-2016. He has graduated from MSc. Innovation and Entrepreneurship program in University of Warwick and awarded for the prestigious scholarship of British Government: Chevening, in which, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office selects young leaders all over the world and reimburses their education costs. Nowadays he is focusing on his new venture, which is the location based popularity app or a new kind of a search engine: Popilicity.

Andreas Hadjisofocleous
Andreas Hadjisofocleous

Country: Cyprus
Company: HJS Insurance
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/andreashadjisofocleous
Twitter: @andreasHjs
Andreas Hadjisofocleous is the Director of HJS Insurance, an Independent Insurance Agency and Consultancy in Cyprus offering a full line of insurance products. Andreas has an entrepreneurial spirit having built 3 startups to date, including a Crowdfunding Platform and an Online Food Ordering Platform. He has pitched in several startup competitions including Startup Weekend, Digital Champion and has received 5 awards for his entrepreneurial activities. Andreas is a member of the World Economic Forum Global Shapers Community and a co-founder of the Global Shapers Community Nicosia, a community of young people who undertake projects to improve the state of their community. He also has served as the President of Toastmasters Nicosia Club, a Public Speaking and Leadership Club which is part of the global network of Toastmasters International. Moreover, Andreas served as a coordinator of the Toastmasters Youth Leadership Program, an informal course in the arts of Public Speaking and leadership, at schools in Nicosia and has been nominated as a co-organizer of the Startup Europe Week Nicosia 2016-17. Andreas regularly speaks about Entrepreneurship and Leadership at conferences and events including Startup Europe Week, Shape Europe Conference, Rotary RYLA Trainings and Toastmasters Leadership Institute.

Ivan Jelusic
Ivan Jelusic

Country: Croatia
Company: Reaktor Hardware Innovation Lab

Ivan Jelusic is entrepreneur and business development expert in consumer electronics, IoT, startups and VC industry. Electrical engineer by education, businessman by experience. Currently serving as executive and board member in startup companies and VC fund. When just 22, his company u:Plug raised investment at 1.5mil$ valuation and later on sold products on 15 markets. Highly interested in future of IoT, telecommunications and finance. His dream is to raise his own VC fund and invest in startups globally.

Berend Jan Kleute
Berend Jan Kleute

Country: Netherlands
Company: Bluerise
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/berendjankleute
Twitter: @BerendJanKleute
Berend Jan Kleute is CTO and co-founder of Bluerise, a technology provider and project developer in the Ocean Thermal Energy market. He holds a BSc in Mechanical Engineering and MSc in Offshore Engineering from the Delft University of Technology. Through his involvement in various international offshore renewable energy projects, in collaboration with industry, he found his passion and works hard to accelerate the implementation. At Bluerise he led the development of a room size advanced Ocean Thermal Energy power plant, built in cooperation with the TU Delft. Currently he is working on scaling the technology to projects in the Caribbean and in Southeast Asia. Parallel to his work at Bluerise, Berend Jan helps lead the Ocean Energy Platform at Delft University of Technology.

Johnathan Koppert
Johnathan Koppert

Country: Netherlands
Company: Bestico B. V.
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/jonathan-koppert-90630a18
Twitter: @jkoppert
Contributing to a more sustainable food chain. Jonathan Koppert is a co-founder of Bestico BV, a firm devoted to transforming excess biomass into valuable feed ingredients by using insects. Addressing two important issues facing the World today; shortage of protein and excess waste generation. Before devoting his work fulltime to Bestico, Jonathan worked as project manager for Koppert Biological Systems. Koppert is a family owned company serving growers and farmers world-wide in their need for biological products to control pests and promote plant health. Despite his shift to Bestico Jonathan still advocates his life’s mission of ‘Eliminating Harmful Chemicals in Agriculture’. In addition to his work at Bestico Jonathan functions as secretary for the national association of insect producers in The Netherlands (Venik). He also is an Executive Committee Member of the International Platform of Insects for Food and Feed (IPIFF) which functions as the voice of the insect sector towards the European Union. Jonathan studied to be a lawyer and graduated for his master in Corporate Law at the University of Utrecht. But after two years in the office he swiftly decided the specialist career was not suited for him. To further complement his skillset Jonathan enrolled in 2016 for the Executive MBA program of RSM, Rotterdam School of Management.

Benjamin Lillandt
Benjamin Lillandt

Country: Sweden
Company: Devkittens AB
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/benjamin-lillandt-4b76b535
Twitter: @benjaminlilland
Benjamin Lillandt is a social eco-entrepreneur & interaction designer. CEO of Devkittens & co-founder of the ZeroAtlas initiative. Benjamin’s vision is to gamify real needs the world has and influence people to become more environmentally friendly. Climate change is a global challenge, but we can still fight it locally by making clean and renewable choices, learning about waste management, as well as showing others where to find them. The trend is that global CO2 emissions and mean temperatures continue to rise, and that EU emission cuts alone cannot stop climate change, but if it can serve as a role model to other regions and show that a low-carbon economy is feasible, then the 2020 plan has partially achieved success. You can picture ZeroAtlas like a 2020 plan, but instead of creating a sustainable growth strategy, ZeroAtlas intends to be a role model to give discoverability to these innovations and make those businesses in the low-carbon sector more competitive on the web. If we can get people to use these solutions regularly and make them understand the impact they have on the environment, then ZeroAtlas can help the EU reach the 2020 goals and beyond. As the green economy model continues to grow in the EU and the US, there will be a need to show them all in one place and that is where ZeroAtlas steps in. Today there is simply not a green discovery service that is trustworthy, fun or easy to use. That’s why I am building ZeroAtlas, because I believe everyone should be able to become a climate-smart citizen.

Tivadar Limbachet
Tivadar Limbachet

Country: Hungary
Company: Ma este Szinhaz!
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/tivadarlimbacher
Twitter: @tivadar83
I started my first business at the age of 16: during summer school break at early dawn I went to the flower market, bought 50 decorative houseplants, learned all their names, put them in a banana box and hit the office buildings in Budapest to sell them at 200% margin. Fast forward two university degrees as I started working with the European Commission as an Internal Communication Specialist. I learned a lot during my time in Brussels, but soon I felt I could do much more good than just be part of an international hierarchy. The compensation was tempting, but I returned to Budapest where I launched three startups. The first one was supposed to be an online marketplace for outsourced graphic design and photo retouching jobs – it failed miserably. My second attempt was to create an eyetracking research lab in Hungary for usability and marketing projects – it was alright as it broke even. My next bootstrapped startup was called “Ma este Szinhaz!” which means “Theatre Tonight!” in English. We sell last minute theatre tickets online at half price at www.maesteszinhaz.hu as we provide high-quality and affordable cultural entertainment for our 100 000 daily users in Hungary. It became successful not only commercially but won several professional awards and gained lot of popularity too. Through my whole career my motivation was to make my own innovative ideas reality and to offer a unique service and bring value to people.

Nina Nikolikj
Nina Nikolikj

Country: Macedonia
Company: Swiss EP/StartUpSelfie/Letz.Do

Storytelling for startups. Swiss EP Eco-system Facilitator in Macedonia. Community Leader. As an E-business graduate I have been working as a social media, digital marketing & communications consultant at international organizations and NGOs. Passionate about social innovation and business development of startups with experience in that field (from idea to implementation/ launch to growth stage). Selected to be the first & only startup scout for the Macedonian startup community (for an international media outlet as freelance storyteller). I have been part of and have organized and moderated numerous startup events & conferences. My specialties are in the field of: storytelling, growth hacking, business development and pitching.

Olly Paulovich
Olly Paulovich

Country: United Kingdom
Company: Snapify Ltd. (Snaptivity)
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/ollypaulovich
Twitter: @sunpavlyk
Highly motivated and passionate entrepreneur with diploma with honours in Marketing in E-commerce from Belarusian State University of Informatics and Radioelectronics. Main focus is on the digital marketing, psychology/ sociology, marketing strategy, emotional marketing and sports. Co-Founder and Chief Marketing Officer of Snaptivity – innovative smart-stadium solution for driving fan engagement. Responsible for digital marketing and business development, I’m the one staying at the front of company’s growth and expansion. Strong leadership is essential to managing the team and defining the strategy of the business. Snaptivity has signed 3 year deal with Edgbaston Cricket Ground, signed sales partnership with leading sports marketing agencies, coming to two Premier League clubs shortly and recieved requests from clubs and venues around the UK, Europe, Russia and the USA. With more than 5 years in advertising and events, as well as game development, I have variety of skills and experiences from basics of Web Development all the way to Market Research, HR, Marketing Strategy, Communications and Digital Marketing. Entrepreneurial experience in co-founding 3 other start-ups, with 1 reached profitability, 1 with successful exit and 1 raised investment round. My first start-up was in advertising and events industry, with the main focus on low-budget creative campaigns. The startup reached the profitability. We were proud to be working with companies like Dannon, Coca-Cola and Samsung for the BTL and digital campaigns in Belarus. I believe in the power of continuous education. I’m constant learner in my field of knowledge and experience. Pursued online courses during busy entrepreneurial journey. Recently, completed a course in Sport & Entertainment Marketing from Yonsey University.

Janko Pavlovic
Janko Pavlovic

Country: Serbia
Company: Digital worx DOO

Janko Pavlovic is an engineer, entrepreneur and innovator, interested in making this world a better place. He was born and raised in Serbia where he finished the faculty of electrical engineering, University of Belgrade. Janko is now a proud owner of MSc. of power engineering title. During his studies he developed 2 inventions from the fields of IoT and smart city. Janko is co-founder and CEO of “digital worx Serbia”, start-up devoted to Industrial IoT and “industry 4.0”.

Joanna Srednicka
Joanna Srednicka

Country: Poland
Company: Competence Game
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/in/joanna-srednicka-3332342
Twitter: @sredasia
Facebook: @joanna.srednicka.7
Entrepreneur, game design and organization studies expert and consultant. Joanna specializes in change impact analysis and HR processes, conducts studies on organizational culture. She has completed over 1000 hours of development interventions for teams and leaders from multinationals, public institutions, and international NGOs. A pacifist with a high ratio of feminism, who seeks inspiration in connections and contrasts at the interface between cultures, disciplines, sectors, science and practice. She studied in Poland (Warsaw University graduate) and France (Lille), for a while in Switzerland (Neuchâtel), one foot was already in San Francisco, but PGS kept her in Poland. A sociologist, PHD candidate in management, visiting lecturer at Polish and international universities. She has gained her experience conducting training projects for various environments – businesses, international organizations and local governments (UNDP, Global Compact Poland, variety of EU programs), social organizations (The Responsible Business Forum, Foundation for Social and Economic Initiatives), schools.

Matthias Vanoni
Matthias Vanoni

Country: Switzerland
Company: BIOWATCH SA

Prior to being the CEO and co-founder of Biowatch SA, Matthias Vanoni (31) was a PhD student at EPFL and IDIAP Research Institute, specialised in biometric authentication and a former captain in French Gendarmerie. His Life is now dedicated to entrepreneurship, his wife and their new born baby.

Ivan Veresie
Ivan Veresie

Country: Cyprus
Company: Medical Travel in Cyprus

Dr. Ivan Veresie was born in 1983 in Sofia.He studied medicine at the Medical University of Sofia (Bulgaria). He is holder of the specialty of Neurology since 2013. In 2016 he completed his master degree in Business Administration at the University of the West of England. Currently he works at Veresies Clinic – Neurological and Psychiatric Center in Larnaca (Cyprus) and as a neurologist consultant in various private hospitals and retirement homes in Cyprus. He is a lecturer at the Institute of Hotel Management and has been engaged with volunteer work through Prevention Centers ‘‘Mesogeios’’. In 2016 initiated a start-up “Medical Travel in Cyprus” aiming to provide accessible holidays with 24/7 Medical Support in Cyprus.

Tomasz Waclawski
Tomasz Waclawski

Country: Poland
Company: Flyhacks.com

Experience and knowledge on E-commerce environment and conducting business online as well as managing teams and individuals gained throughout journey with Groupon Poland as an analyst first and Head of Travel afterwards followed by co-founding online travel agency Flyhacks.com and managing its daily business as a COO.

WASHINGTON, DC

Patricia Corral Alava
Patricia Corral Alava

Country: Spain
Company: MediaBank

Patricia Corral Alava is a marketing professional and an enthusiast of technology, media and innovation. Currently based in Barcelona, she works as a Marketing Manager for the tech start-up MediaBank and the software company VSN, where she is in charge of B2B communications, developing business and marketing strategy, attracting new visitors, leads and customers, and increasing brand awareness through both digital and traditional communication channels. Before devoting herself fully to Digital Marketing, Patricia has worked as a journalist for EFE news agency and Eitb Media Group, as a Marketing Assistant for the company Pier 2 Marketing in San Francisco (US) and more recently, as an International Trade Advisor for the Economic and Commercial Office of the Spanish Embassy in Moscow (Russia). All these experiences have helped her gain an international approach and perspective to business development and strategy, as well as to keep always an open-minded attitude, willing to look for new professional challenges. Patricia holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications from the University of Navarra and a Master’s Degree in International Business Administration from the International University Menéndez Pelayo and the public institution ICEX – Spain Trade and Investment.

Ana Alexieva
Ana Alexieva

Country: Bulgaria
Company: Fine Acts

Ana Alexieva is a cultural entrepreneur and documentary film producer. She obtained MA degrees in Media and Gender Studies from the Ruhr-University in Bochum, Germany, and in New Media and Digital Culture from the Utrecht University in the Netherlands. Ana is the artist lead of Fine Acts (https://fineacts.co/), an international organization bridging artists and activists to work on collaborative art projects to achieve social change. She started her career working with acclaimed production company AGITPROP and managing Balkan Documentary Center, a non-profit network supporting the documentary scene in the Balkans. In 2015 she was the Bulgarian selection in the EMERGING PRODUCERS initiative of Jihlava International Documentary Film Festival in the Czech Republic. Since 2015 Ana serves as a tutor at the Civil Society Pitch at One World Film Festival in Romania. Fellow of the Friedrich-Ebert-Foundation in Germany. Global Shaper at Sofia Hub of the World Economic Forum. Mother of Philip. Passionate about meaningful art and the power of communities.

George Danielidze
George Danielidze

Country: Georgia
Company: Sushi Room

I made my Bachelor’s Degree in Economic and Social Geography in Tbilisi, Georgia (2004). Afterwards, I made my Master’s Degree in European Studies in Hamburg, Germany(2006). As a last level of my studies, I have acquired my PHD Degree in Political Science at the University of Magdeburg, Germany(2009). Sushi was always an interesting topic for me, and I have learned how to make sushi while living in Germany. I have worked as a sushi cook in several sushi restaurants in Hamburg. In the beginning of the year 2009, I successfully tried to start with my own sushi business in Freiburg, Germany. After finishing my studies in 2010, I came back to Georgia in order to play my role in developing my home country. For the beginning I started with the Sushi Room, which seemed to me to be the best choice at that moment. It was a great opportunity for me to offer Tbilisi quality sushi, which I have learned in Germany. At present, we are the only chain of sushi bars in Tbilisi; we have seven locations in the city; we import sushi products from Europe; we give jobs to twenty seven employees, we pay taxes. This is the way how we contribute to Georgia’s development.

Jelena Filipovic
Jelena Filipovic

Country: Montenegro
Company: Piper’s Green
Ms. Jelena Filipovic Chief Executive Director Piper’s Green Ms. Jelena Filipovic formed Piper’s Green in July 2014, as the first vegetarian and vegan food facility in Montenegro. She obtained her BA degree in Communication Sciences at the University of Bari, Italy in 2005. Following this initial stay abroad, Ms. Filipovic decided to digress from her original academic current toward practical education in the area of food production, which sparked her interest in the social, economic and health aspects of food production. Ms. Filipovic was a participant of the six-month Erasmus program for Young Entrepreneurs in 2016. The aim of the program was to acquaint the participants with the business models and operations of the host companies. Within the scope of the program, she interned at two fine dining new-Nordic restaurants at the heart of Copenhagen, Denmark. These internships were a platform for getting acquainted with urban gardening, foraging, seasonal cooking, educational programs for school pupils in the area of agriculture, as well as business management. As a young entrepreneur, she is currently attending seminars and trainings organized by European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the UN quarters in Montenegro, dedicated to the development and economic strengthening of women entrepreneurs in the country, and the growth of SMEs. The critical topics of these trainings are leadership, team management, business and market analysis, strategic planning, and marketing, essential for personal and professional development.

Lejla Hasanovic
Lejla Hasanovic

Country: Bosnia and Herzegovina
Company: Shush Shop

Lejla Hasanović is a lawyer from Bosnia and Herzegovina who has an MSc degree in International Public Policy and 8 years professional experience in legal advising and policy issues. Besides that she created a private business, the online platform Shush-Mush.com, in which topics such as fashion, lifestyle, food, motherhood and fatherhood are featured. Founded in 2014, Shush-Mush has gained around 10.300 followers on Facebook and 8.000 followers on Instagram. Throughout the years she met a lot of wonderful designers, artists and creative people who had wonderful products they could sell, but always lacked the financial means to open their own shop, or they lacked the knowledge how to present their product in order to boost sales. This is where the idea of an online shop was created, a place where selected artists would be able to sell their products with professional support by the online platform. Trainings on how to brand, market and communicate to their preferred audiences would be organized for them in order to strengthen their capacities and promote their creativeness. Lejla is also a Fulbright Research Scholar on Comparative Legal Studies, a marathon runner and photographer.

Boris Kiknadze
Boris Kiknadze

Country: Georgia
Company: PawwwN

Boris Kiknadze is young self made Entrepreneur and Philanthropist. He is well known leader and entrepreneur in Georgia, who was working in various fields, and despite the young age have a huge experience. Boris was born in Uzbekistan but raised in Georgia. He was working in Non-Governmental Organisations, Private Companies, Government, Charity, Startup Fields. While student Boris established www.wehelp.ge the innovative charity fund to save people lives, which latter became one of the most successful startups in region. Boris also was founder of MusicPro, BeActive, PawwwN.com. Boris was Regional President of Kairos Society, as well as Head of Regional Committee in Georgian Youth Parliament. Despite the young age Boris was given the position: Head of CSR in biggest company in country-Bank of Georgia. Boris is also an active opinion leader, teacher-lecturer, and philanthropist, known in Georgia.

Kornel Koronowski
Kornel Koronowski

Country: Poland
Company: Impact CEE

Lawyer and entrepreneur. Head of Content/Program Director at Impact CEE – key event in the region dedicated to innovations, development and Economy 4.0 (5000 attendees, 250 speakers from 30 countries). Director at Boryszew Energy – branch of the largest (EUR 1.3bn revenues in 2015) Polish private and listed industrial group. Triple major graduate of the University of Warsaw, studied also at Sciences Po Paris and Warsaw School of Economics. Scholar of i.a. Goldman Sachs Foundation and Aspen Institute. Co-founded social projects with biggest Polish newspapers, coordinated 1st edition of New Europe 100 list (with Google, FT) which aims to raise the profile of innovation that is taking place in the region. Finished several marathons.

Andrey Kulagin
Andrey Kulagin

Country: Russia
Company: Deworkacy

Andrey Kulagin Business development officer, Deworkacy Andrey started his professional career as compatriots collaboration manager at Rusnano (leading state investment company in Russia). Since 2012 Andrey had been working as a startup community manager at RVC (Russian venture capital company, the largest government fund of funds and development institution in Russia) and was in charge of fundraising and partnership development of GenerationS (the largest startup accelerator in Russia). Now Andrey is working as a business development officer at Deworkacy. DWY is a network of technology hubs for entrepreneurs. He is in charge of sales, profit management and new branches of business development.

Eva Michelsen
Eva Michelsen

Country: Iceland
Company: Michelsen Confections/Michelsen Konfekt

Eva Michelsen moved to Reykjavik, the capital of Iceland, from a small fishing village in the south. She studied Business Administration at Reykjavik University and later finished her MSc in Strategic Management from the University of Iceland. She is also happens to be a certified guide in Iceland and loves to show people her beautiful country. During her studies, she worked for Hey Iceland (formerly known as Icelandic Farm Holidays) in the tourism sector and experienced the massive growth after the financial crisis and the volcanic eruption in 2010. After her studies, she moved on to the entrepreneurial sector and started working for the Iceland Ocean Cluster and worked side by side with the Founder and Owner, building up the company for the next five years. Eva has always been passionate about baking and creating delicious treats and finally in 2015, after many encouraging words from friends and family, she established her own business, Michelsen Confections. Eva loves to travel and takes every chance she gets to travel the world. She is currently on her journey around the world, a journey lasting just under 6 months.

Eman Mifsud
Eman Mifsud

Country: Malta
Company: THAT Solution Limited

Eman is the Co-Founder and Managing Director of THATSpace. THATSpace is a platform that acts as a directory of productive spaces, such as cafeterias and restaurants, that can be utilized for mobile working, business meetings, social meetings or any productive activity. Spaces that are vacant or idle during the day could be utilized with more effectiveness by the independent workforce. Eman is a Life Science graduate with a strong passion for anything to do with IT and entrepreneurship. He has held a keen interest in the business world, and became actively involved in a variety of initiatives during his years as a student. After graduating, Eman furthered his studies by completing a Master in Knowledge-based Entrepreneurship, allowing him to develop his business and IT skills. Being also the President of the Local Business Chapter of Junior Chamber International (JCI) Malta, he is contributing to the community by fostering an entrepreneurial outlook and instilling good business ethics within the Maltese young professionals.

Aynura Piriyeva
Aynura Piriyeva

Country: Azerbaijan
Company: Easytrans

My name is Aynura Piriyeva. I am 28 years old. I am an expert with more than 8 years of a solid work experience in Business Development, Banking, Sales and Marketing and Project Management- worked for local and multinational companies. I have wide professional network connections in the field of commercial, business and social development. My areas of experience and expertise: banking, marketing and sales, business development, management consultancy,corporate communications and project management. For last two years, I worked as a management consultant to start-ups and local companies in trade, logistics and construction sectors. Since 2015, I established and currently manage own start-up in transportation business, predominantly airport transfers.

Erjon Shuaipi
Erjon Shuaipi

Country: Albania
Company: Fruit Juice 4 U
Erjon Shuaipi is the co-founder of the start up Fruit Juice 4U (local and bio food) since November 2015. His major is an environmental engineer and for more than six years he has been engaged in several projects founded by the EU Delegation in Albania, Italian cooperation, as: i)Engineer and coordinator for the project “Construction of the Sewage Systems in Golem, Durrës and Lezha, Albania Lot 1 – Sewage System in Përroi Agait – Golem and Discharge to the Kavaja WWTP”; ii) Technical analysis and responsible for the preparation of the detailed reports and respective update during the surveillance and physical security period for some of the objects stored by the company; iii) Engineer and coordinator for the project “Water Production and Storage Rehabilitation” part of “Water and Waste Water Sector of Tirana City program”; iv) Technical consultant for the energy efficiency in the sector of sanitary water. He is awarded with the Certificate for preparation of EIA (Environmental Impact Assessment) reports, environmental auditing reports and environmental expertise.

Emil Vadana
Emil Vadana

Country: Romania
Company: ENGAGER
LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/emilvadana/
Emil Vadana is Co-Founder at Engager. Previously, he built and run for 4 years a local digital marketing agency, which he exited before starting working full-time at Engager. Before that, he worked in a performance management consulting company and as a PM for a global HR project at Alcatel-Lucent (now NOKIA) in Paris, France.

Congratulations to the 2017 YTILI Fellows!

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About YTILI Professional Fellows Program Application

Applications are considered by the German Marshall Fund of the United States, the implementing partner for the Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative Fellowship Program. YTILI is sponsored by the U.S. Department of State, Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs.

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  • All Fired Up Jul 7, 2017
    Photo by Ame IgharoBy Acumen Fellow Ame IgharoWhen you see Violet Mokaya zipping the forklift across the factory floor of BURN Manufacturing, you’d never believe she was shy and unsure of herself when she joined the Acumen investee, a company providing clean, energy-efficient cookstoves for Kenya’s poor. Today, the 27-year-old Nairobi native is seen by her colleagues […]
    Acumen
  • Ce que Vint Cerf m’a appris à propos du business et de l’échec Sep 20, 2016
    Du 1er au 25 juin 2016, j’ai eu la chance de vivre une extraordinaire aventure humaine et entrepreneuriale. J’ai été sélectionnée par l’Ambassade des États-Unis en France pour participer au programme Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI), une initiative du Meridian International Center avec le support du Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs du U.S. […]
    Mariame Tighanimine
  • Ce qu’un « eurocrate » m’a appris sur les rapports entre politique et business Sep 20, 2016
    Du 1er au 25 juin 2016, j’ai eu la chance de vivre une extraordinaire aventure humaine et entrepreneuriale. J’ai été sélectionnée par l’Ambassade des États-Unis en France pour participer au programme Young Transatlantic Innovation Leaders Initiative (YTILI), une initiative du Meridian International Center avec le support du Bureau of European and Eurasian Affairs du U.S. […]
    Mariame Tighanimine
  • #YTILI — Lifetime experience part 2 (Chicago). Jul 20, 2016
    After the great start of YTILI fellowship in Washington, DC part of us flew to Chicago to spend the main part of the program — 2 weeks professional placement.1st line from left to right: UK, Austria, Hungary; 2nd line Bulgaria, France, 3rd line: Germany, MacedoniaWe we warmly welcomed by “World Chicago” team at their headquarters.All of us […]
    Ina Paunova
  • Meet GES Delegate: Blagica Petreski Jun 17, 2016
    Meet GES Delegate: Blagica PetreskiBlagica Petreski, CEOName: Blagica PetreskiTwitter handle: @FinanceThinkMkCountry of Origin: MacedoniaOrganization Name: Finance Think — Economic Research & Policy Institute, SkopjeOrganization Website: www.financethink.mkBrief Description of Organization: Finance Think is an Economic Research & Policy Institute based in Skopje, Macedonia. Our Vision is to steer economic thinking for increased well-being tomorrow. Our Mission is to alleviate poverty, […]
    Blagica Petreski
  • Meet GES Delegate: Ina Paunova Jun 16, 2016
    mExhibiting at the chocolate festival, Sofia, Bulgaria — March 2016.Twitter Handle: Ina Paunova (@ina_paunova)Country of Origin: BulgariaOrganization Name: Rosey’s markOrganization Website: www.roseysmark.comDescription of Organization: At ROSEY’S MARK we create innovative specialty natural and organic foods from roses like jam, tea and chocolate. We provide delight for all the senses, supply people with joy, love, and youth as oil-bearing roses are […]
    Ina Paunova

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