Gulbenkian Foundation

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Rick Klausner is an award-winning scientist, former executive director of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and an entrepreneur. Cell and molecular biologist Klausner was also director of the US National Cancer Institute from 1999-2001 and currently serves as CEO at biotech Lyell Immunopharma working with cell-based technology. He has also co-founded three US healthcare startups to date, Juno Therapeutics in 2013, MindStrong Health in 2014 and GRAIL in 2015. In 2021, he participated as an investor in the $48m Series A round of Dutch cell-based meat startup Meatable which leverages pluripotent stem cells for the first time in foodtech.

Since its founding in 1972, American venture capital firm Sequoia Capital has partnered with the founders of companies that now have an aggregate, public market value of over $1.4tn. Sequoia Capital acquired Indian venture capital firm Westbridge Capital Partners in 2006, and later became the foundation for Sequoia Capital India. Sequoia Capital India focuses primarily in India and Southeast Asia. It has invested in many major tech companies in the region, including Indian edtech firm Byju’s, budget accommodation network OYO, and Indonesian ride-hailing unicorn Gojek. In 2019, it launched Surge, an accelerator program for early-stage startups in Southeast Asia and India.

Established in 1995 by Sean O'Sullivan, SOSV is a venture capital firm with six attached accelerator programs. Upon receiving investment from SOSV, portfolio companies join one of the accelerator programs that best suits their products. The accelerators are: Chinaccelerator, focused on the Chinese market; Indie Bio, supporting biotechnology and life sciences companies; Food-X, for food-tech and agriculture-focused companies; dlab, which supports startups exploring blockchain and decentralized tech; HAX, for IoT, robotics and other hardware-focused startups; and MOX, an accelerator specializing in mobile platforms and technologies. SOSV, along with the O'Sullivan Foundation, has also provided support for education initiatives such as Khan Academy and CoderDojo (which teaches coding skills to youth).

Portuguese serial entrepreneur and angel investor, Carlos Oliveira is formerly the Secretary of State for Entrepreneurship, Competitiveness and Innovation in Portugal. He is also one of the 15 members of the European Commission's high-level group of innovators tasked with the creation of the European Innovation Council.In 2000, Oliveira founded a mobile services startup MobiComp and worked as its CEO until 2008 when he sold the company to Microsoft. He has also founded and invested in several startups, including StudentFinance fintech's €1.15m seed round. He is currently the executive president of the José Neves Foundation, set up by Farfetch founder José Neves to invest and transform Portugal into a knowledge economy.

Rodolfo Lomascolo is a serial entrepreneur with a strong technical foundation in the software, e-commerce and energy sector.  He has more than 25 years of experience in C-level positions and is one of the pioneers who fostered the early growth of the tech ecosystem in Spain. For over 14 years, Lomascolo was CEO of the Internet Publishing Services Certification Authority (ipsCA) that was eventually acquired by the STS Group, of which he was subsequently vice-president of International Business Development, growing the company's revenue from zero to €30m in three years. In 2015, he became co-founder and CEO of Pervasive Technologies, a company that deploys big data, machine learning and IoT for digital innovation.  

New Energy Nexus is a US-based investor and startup support organization that focuses on the clean energy sector. The company was originally known as the California Clean Energy Fund (CalCEF) and has invested in SolarCentury and Tesla Motors. Since 2015, New Energy Nexus has been working with international partners like GIZ (the German agency for international development) and IKEA Foundation to promote renewables and smart energy worldwide. In 2018, New Energy Nexus launched its Southeast Asian operations by establishing offices in Indonesia and Thailand.New Energy Nexus supports startups through incubator and accelerator programs, hackathons, public talks, grants and equity investments. So far, it has invested in four Indonesian startups, including B2B rooftop solar service provider Xurya and solar equipment marketplace BLUE, and distributed nearly $50,000 in grants.

Sarah Hordern is a co-founder, CFO and Group Development Leader at UK-based Modulous, the first end-to-end generative design and delivery solution for affordable, sustainable and modulized housing, where she has worked since 2019. She is simultaneously a non-executive director at Oxford University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and at lenders Newbury Building Society. She was previously executive advisor at the Cambridge Code 2018-19, the first digital tool that measures subconscious drivers of behavior, and spent two years as COO at residential management company Meyrick Estate Management. From 1999 to 2014, she was a joint managing director in the area of property and finance at Newbury Racecourse, one of the UK’s largest horse-racing establishments, where she was responsible for the design and commercial negotiations for a new community of 1,500 homes. Prior to this, Hordern spent five years at PwC in corporate tax management. She holds a Bachelor’s degree from Oxford University in Politics, Philosophy and Economics.

Gianpaolo Rando is CTO and co-founder at Swiss biotech SwissDeCode, which applies DNA testing to food traceability. He has worked there full-time since April 2016. Prior to this, Rando gained significant experience working in the field of genomics. He spent three years prior to SwissDeCode’s foundation trialing his DNA food testing technology in his startup BeerDeCoded and assisted in the launch of a compact DNA laboratory at Bento Bio in London. He previously spent almost three years at the University of Geneva in research, co-inventing a technology for ink to change color in response to a specific DNA sequence. His earlier position at the University of Lausanne as a post-doctoral fellow in genomics saw him lead a nine-man team for three and a half years, discovering the hormone that prepares newborns to lactate. Rando’s first post was at Trangenic Operative Products, leading animal research there. Italian-born Rando holds a PhD in biotechnology and pharmacology from the University of Milan as well as a qualification in data science. 

Founded in 2003, Bezos Expeditions is a family investment office based in Mercer Island in the US. The firm was originally set up to manage the personal investments of Amazon founder, Jeff Bezos.The Bezos fund owns the Washington Post, Blue Origin space projects and the Bezos family foundation. The fund has also backed early tech startups like Twitter, Airbnb and Uber. Today, Bezos Expeditions also supports non-profit projects. In 2013, it helped to recover parts of two engines from the Atlantic Ocean that were later identified as belonging to Apollo 11, the first space mission that successfully landed humans on the moon in 1969. The crew of the ship Seabed Worker spent three weeks at sea pulling up pieces of the Apollo F1 engines.

Daniel Rico Aldaz is the Spanish COO and co-founder at 3D printing food tech and cell-based meat startup Cocuus, where he has worked since he co-founded it in 2017. Before Cocuus, Rico founded an industrial design company, Rico Ingenio, which was established in 2009, where he continues to be a founding partner.His last full-time position before Cocuus was at systems automation company Kaizen for less than a year, where he headed up the technical office. Prior to that, Rico briefly led the computer-to-plate (CTP) and quality control departments at printers Estellaprint. For 15 years, until 2016, Rico was founder at his own industrial design company El Seis Y El Cuatro.Rico’s varied career has also seen him as head designer of children's parks and gyms at Mader Play, as an IT teacher at a worker’s foundation and as both a graphic and an artistic designer in two communication agencies and a lighting company. During his career,  Rico has had experience with design and manufacturing in 3D processes, which he used to innovate in Cocuus.  Rico did not attend university. He studied music and design at high school.

Daan Luining is the Dutch co-founder and CTO at cell-based meat startup Meatable, the first to claim a highly scalable culture technology, where he has worked since 2018.  He is also a research director at the Cellular Agriculture Society in Leiden, a joint initiative for cell-based startups to share knowledge and to collaborate on projects to further scale the sector. Luining is also on the board of directors at the not-for-profit Cultured Meat Foundation that promotes sector innovation. His past posts have all been in the area of research, either as a researcher or a technician, and at the same time as completing studies. His last job was as a research strategist at New York-based New Harvest, a callular food rsearch funding body, where he worked for a year and met Dr. Kotter, the inventor of Meatable’s cellular technology. His research positions from 2009–15 were in the area of cell culture,  mass spectrometry and DNA sequencing at the Maastricht University, University Medical Center Amsterdam, Utrecht University and Leiden University. Luining holds a master’s in biological sciences from Leiden University in the Netherlands. 

Russell J. Howard has been co-founder and chairman of the board at NovoNutrients, a San Francisco biotech manufacturer of alt-protein produced using fermentation and CO2, and the research company Oakbio, since the latter’s foundation in 2009.  During this period, for a year,  Howard also worked as head of commercial strategy at Genome.One, a genetics startup. Howard is also on the board of executives of two Australian pharma companies, Immutep and NeuClone. Previously, between 1997 and 2009, he was CEO at California-based Maxygen, dedicated to the commercialization of molecular breeding and gene shuffling in protein. The year before that, Howard was president and scientific director at global pharma giant GSK in Santa Clara, and between 1994 and 1996, he held the same position at AFFYMAX Research Institute, working on new drugs research. Howard also held long-term research positions, heading up the laboratory at Palo Alto’s DNAX Research Institute of Molecular & Cellular Biology for six years, and earlier spent nine years at Bethesda’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) working on identifying new malarial pathogens. The doctor of biochemistry from the University of Melbourne has over 140 peer-reviewed publications. Following his studies, Howard spent three years undertaking postdoctoral research at Australia’s WEHI (formerly the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research). 

Dutch-born Rosa Goslinga has spent most of her career working in Africa and speaks five languages, including Swahili. She graduated in business, economics and international development at the University of Amsterdam in 2004. She also completed a master’s in political economy of development at the School for Oriental and African Studies (SOAS) in London in 2005.In 2006, she worked as an economist at the Ministry of Agriculture and Animal Resources in Rwanda where she realized there was an urgent need for small-scale farming insurance to protect the local farmers’ livelihoods against natural hazards.In 2008, she joined Syngenta Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture (SFSA) in Kenya, where she initiated a pilot Kilimo Salama in Nairobi as program director. The program was a success, starting with 185 farmers taking up index insurance and growing to be the largest in Africa with over 185,000 participants. Goslinga also met and started working with Thomas Njeru, the lead actuary for UAP Insurance for the Kilimo project.In 2013, with investors backing her project, she developed and patented a system and method for providing a site-related weather insurance contract. She left SFSA in 2014 and went on to set up Kenya’s pioneering insurtech Pula with Njeru as co-founder in 2015.Both are now co-CEOs of the Nairobi-based startup, education and helping over 4m small-scale farmers to protect their livelihoods from environmental hazards with tailor-made micro-finance and insurance products.

Mathieu Carlier is CEO and co-founder of Everimpact, a GHG monitoring company that uses satellites, ground sensors, AI and machine learning to deliver more accurate and immediate carbon emissions data to public bodies, municipalities, and businesses. He has over 20 years of experience as an advisor to governments, public institutions at the likes of the UN, the European Commission and EU Agencies, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and large corporations in international development. Prior to Everimpact, much of Carlier’s career was spent in complex data systems projects for government elections or for health ministries in war-torn or post-conflict developing countries. This included delivering multimillion-dollar biometric and big data projects in the run-up to 50 presidential elections in countries like Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, the Congo and Benin. Carlier is based in Copenhagen, Denmark and holds an MSc in Business Administration from the Burgundy School of Business.

Argentinian native Nicolas Araujo Müller is co-CEO and co-founder at Psquared, Spain’s first flexible workplace management and design company for hybrid workspaces. He has worked there since its foundation in April 2018, originally as part of startup hub CoBuilder, and is now its CFO.  He is also a part-time advisor and investor at startup development agency We Are Grit, since its launch in 2020.Earlier, Araujo was CFO and co-founder at digital talent agency Bandit, for two years, until 2017. Before that, he held the same roles at his previous Barcelona-based startup, Nubelo, another tech recruitment agency for freelancers, between 2012 and 2016, when it was acquired by  In 2016, Araujo was a visiting professor at the Autonomous University of Barcelona on digital economy.His first startup was Work At Home in Argentina, where he was a co-founder for two years from 2011–13, for which he won local innovation prizes. Prior to this, Araujo held various management consultancy roles, working in business analysis and research at Ernst & Young, Standard & Poor’s and Accenture, from 2008–2012, and completed a stint at the US embassy in Buenos Aires. He is also a founding member of Argentina’s entrepreneur organization, ASEA, established in 2013. Araujo holds a degree in economics from CEMA University, Buenos Aires and a qualification from Harvard University in negotiation. In 2017 and 2013, Araujo was named in Forbes Argentina’s 30 Promesas list of young entrepreneurs. 

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