Board of Directors (2016-2018)

  • JOHNSON Candace, President
    Sophia Business Angels, FRANCE

    Candace Johnson is the Co-founder of SES, the world’s pre-eminent satellite group and the architect of SES Global. She is also the founding President of Europe Online Investments S.A., the world’s first internet-based online service and satellite broadband network, and the Founder of Loral Cyberstar-Teleport Europe, Europe’s first independent private trans-border satellite communications network. Ms. Johnson is also a founding investor and Member of the Board of Kacific, the high-throughput Satellite Internet System for the Pacific. She is also the founding President of the VATM, the Association of Private Telecom Operators in Germany, and of the Global Telecom Women’s Network (GTWN).

    During her time as President of EBAN, she has co-founded MBAN, the Middle East and North Africa Business Angel Network and ABAN, the African Business Angel Network. Candace Johnson is also a Member of the Board at SES-ESL, Store Electronic Systems Electronic Shelf Labeling, a publicly quoted company on the EuroNext, and President of Succès Europe, a French Investment Holding with an AMF Visa, President of Johnson Paradigm Ventures (JPV), which is a principal founding shareholder with AXA, Caisse des Depots, Bayerische Landesbank, and the SPEF of Sophia Euro Lab. She is also a member of the Advisory Board of numerous European and US ventures as well as being a Member of the Board of Governors of EDHEC (France), the University of Haifa in Israel, Sabanci University in Istanbul, Turkey, and a Senior Enterprise Fellow for the University of Essex and its OECD-Leeds Program.

    Ms. Johnson has been decorated by the Government of Luxembourg with the Commander of Merit and the Officer of the Oak Leaf Crown for her work in founding and building SES to become one of the world’s largest satellite systems. She is also an Officer of the German Federal Order of Merit, bestowed on her for her work in privatizing telecommunications and media throughout Germany and Europe. Amongst many other honors, Ms. Johnson has received the “Lifetime Achievement Award” together with Vinton Cerf and Tim Berners Lee from the World Communications Awards for her work in providing universal access to telecommunications around the world. She holds Master’s Degrees with Honors from the Sorbonne and Stanford Universities, a Bachelor’s Degree from Vassar College and a high-school degree from Punahou, Honolulu Hawaii.

    ASIKAINEN Riku, Vice-President

    Riku Asikainen is an entrepreneur, angel investor and growth hacker. He started his first company while in high school, and sold it fifteen years later, after it had become Finland’s leading internet bookstore. Since then he has been a founder, active investor and board member in more than 35 companies. Riku has had several nice upswings, ten exits and one IPO, but is still looking for his first billion dollars. Riku Asikainen was one of the co-founders and Chairman of FiBAN (Finnish Business Angel network), which was awarded Europe´s Best Business Angel Network title in 2013 by EBAN. He is a proud Co-founder of Startup-foundation, the organization behind both SLUSH, Europe´s biggest tech conference and Startup sauna, a leading incubator program for the region, in which Riku currently serves as Head Coach. Riku Asikainen graduated from Aalto University School of Business (M.Sc, Helsinki) and was nominated as the Alumni of the year in 2014.

    BRAUN Peter

    Peter E. Braun has 20 years of experience as a serial entrepreneur and in various senior and top management positions in the aerospace and automotive industries. He has successfully launched two industrial companies and two finance-related enterprises, and completed two IPOs, one in the United States and one in Germany. During his career, Peter acquired profound knowledge of the capital markets and the finance sector though his activities in Germany, Switzerland, Luxembourg, Canada, USA and Asia. He is a much asked for coach for start-ups, a compelling speaker and a sought after senior advisor and board member.

    In his most recent activity as a Co-founder and CEO of the Mountain Club AG, he created a peerless e-banking solution for business angel and private equity investments in collaboration with strategic partner UBS AG.

    COLOMER Albert
    Business Angels Network Catalunya, SPAIN

    Albert Colomer has been at the forefront of the angel investor movement in Spain. In 2002, he co-founded and became Executive Director of the Business Angel Network Catalunya - BANC, the first Spanish business angel network. Additionally in 2006 he co-founded ESBAN, a private foundation dedicated to raising awareness and promoting angel investment and Business Angel Networks in Spain. Albert has been a member of the Board of EBAN since 2003. Albert has been appointed by the Parliament of Catalonia to be a member of the Advisory Board of the Catalan Institute of Finance, the public credit institution of the Government of Catalonia.

    During his career, Albert has acquired a profound knowledge of entrepreneurial skills. With more than 25 years of experience in the entrepreneurial field as a consultant, advisor, coach and business angel, he has helped thousands of start-ups and entrepreneurs to grow and prosper. He is the Co-founder (1986) and Executive Director of CPAC (Fundació Privada per a la Promoció de l’Autoocupació de Catalunya), an independent charity with a mission to help people and organizations to be entrepreneurs.

    FOKIN Konstantin
    National Business Angels Association, RUSSIA

    Konstantin is a serial entrepreneur and investor. After graduating from the MBA program at Cranfield University School of Management ( in 2003, Konstantin returned to Moscow and, together with his partner, established the first Russian classic business angel network.

    In 2005–2006, Konstantin joined the Ministry for Economic Development of Russia ( to create a network of private and state regional venture funds and business incubators. In 2007–2008, Konstantin managed Strogino Technopark in Moscow ( In 2009, he was appointed the President of Russian Tech Tour 2009 (, and, together with his small but enthusiastic team, organized a visit of the leading world venture investors to Russia, the second such event in history.

    At the end of 2009, Konstantin was elected President/CEO of a newly created Russian industrial association of business angels, seed funds and other early stage investors — NBAA ( Starting from 2011, Konstantin became the representative of the Greater Geneva-Berne area ( with authority to assist growing Russian companies interested in European (international) territories.

    In 2012, Konstantin was among the initiators of a plan for establishing the Moscow Innovation Development Centre (, which was later created by the Department of Science, Industrial Policy and Entrepreneurship ( Konstantin became the CEO of the Centre in June 2012. The main aim of the Centre’s activities is to coordinate all Moscow policies aimed at supporting the innovative development of the city and to create workplaces for qualified professionals in Moscow.

    O'CONNOR Michael

    Michael O’Connor is the CEO of CorkBIC, a private-sector led organisation, specifically set up to identify and build knowledge-intensive companies based on promising technology usually involving international growth. Michael provides an integrated process for incubating and growing high potential technology driven companies. His previous experience was in manufacturing and sales startups with Raychem Corporation, before co-founding Intepro, a venture capital backed Irish IT startup.

    Austrian Angel Investors Association, AUSTRIA

    Selma Prodanovic is an entrepreneur and philanthropist. Known as the Business Angelina or Startup-Grand-Dame, her passion lies in unleashing the untapped entrepreneurial potential of millions of creative and innovative future-makers from around the world.

    She invests in the development of entrepreneurial ecosystems. With her business developer, Brainswork, she supported over 300 startups, investors and CEOs. She is Co-founder and board member of the Austrian Angel Investors Association, board member of EBAN and member of GBAN, as well as Lead Investor in the Rising Tide Europe 1 Program. She is Founder and CEO at 1millionstartups - the first worldwide campaign and community dedicated to promoting entrepreneurial spirit and inspiring founders and investors to create the world class startups we need.

    As an inspirational speaker Selma has been on stage over 1000 times. For her innovative approach to business, and commitment to entrepreneurship and social change, Selma received numerous awards, most recently - the Vueve Clicquot Business Woman Award. She is happily married to her first love and a proud mother of two fantastic teenagers.

    SHALLAL Audra
    Nordic Female BAN, FINLAND

    Audra Shallal is an expert in Women’s Entrepreneurship and Angel Investment in the EMEA region. She promotes Entrepreneurship and Angel Investing through Programs, Mentoring, Business Plan Competitions, Business Angel Networks and Women’s Economic Empowerment within the EU and the MENA region. She consults for international organizations such as OECD, UNEP, UNIDO and the European Commission, and teaches courses on Entrepreneurship to the Grandes Ecoles such as ENSCP, X, ParisTech, CELSA. Audra has played a key role in launching the Enterprise Financing Network within the MENA-OECD Investment Programme which creates a unique platform to connect entrepreneurs, financiers, research bodies and policymakers in order to improve the conditions for financing entrepreneurship. She is used to hold the position of Vice-President of the Femmes Business Angels and currently serves on the Board of BADGE (Les Business Angels des Grandes Ecoles), the Advisory Board of Tenmou-Bahrain First Business Angel Company, and the Paris Executive Business Accelerator. She is also Chair of the Mentoring Taskforce within the American Chamber of Commerce’s Women Leadership Committee and is an accredited Mentor for the Cherie Blair Foundation for Women, the Tony Elumelu Foundation, and BiD Network. She is also a Member of the Board at NFBAN – Nordic Female Business Angel Network.

    TOMOV Daniel
    Eleven Accelerator Venture Fund, BULGARIA

    Daniel Tomov is a founding partner at the Eleven Accelerator Venture Fund, which is focused on early investments in some of the most promising and exciting tech startups throughout whole Southeastern Europe, and is supported by Google and Springboard. Daniel has been involved in startups since 2000 as an early stage investor and a funded (in some cases through bootstrapping) entrepreneur in diverse fields from software, mobile and consumer goods to renewable energy. Daniel has met and befriended some of the greatest tech entrepreneurs in the region and continues to support innovative young minds.

    BJARKBY Christine

    Christine Bjarkby is responsible for growth capital and business development within Connect Sverige. Christine has a broad experience from business development worldwide from large public global companies to small start-up companies. Christine has previously worked with investments as a representative of Invest Sweden, Entrepreneurship Network (Enterprise Network for Startup ICT) and Connect. Christine is and has been a board member of several startup companies and is herself a business angel. Christine will join the board of NBAN from autumn 2017. Connect matches growth companies with capital and crucial skills and contacts. Connect's network of more than 400 investors is spread all over Sweden. Connect works actively to develop its investment network at regional, national and international levels. Connect has a large flow of qualified growth companies seeking venture capital, arranging over 50 investment events across the country every year, as well as speed pitches and industry-oriented meeting places. As an investor, Connect Sverige members will have access to the digital marketplace GUST, where all the capital-seeking Connect companies are presented. Connect works to visualize the role of early growth capital in the ecosystem through debate articles, statistics and referral issues. Connect is a member of the Swedish Risk Capital Association and the European Business Angels Network as well as Nordic Business Angel Network.

  • ALTUNTAS Baybars, Vice-President

    Baybars Altuntas is the Founder of Deulcom lnternational, the first vocational training school in Turkey, named as one of the top 100 franchise companies in the country by the the Economist – Turkey. Deulcom lnternational became one of the fastest growing trademarks in Turkey and was praised by Eurowards.

    Mr. Altuntas is also the Founder of UFRAD – the Turkish Franchising Association and was the one to introduce the IATA Educational System in Turkey. In 2010, he was awarded the Best Businessman title. He was also one of the 150 entrepreneurs invited by US President Barack Obama to the White House Presidential Summit in Washington DC. Baybars Altuntas was the only participant who was given a personal audience with the US President before the Summit and the only delegate interviewed by CNN International live at their Washington studios.

    Mr. Altuntas is one of the dragons on the entrepreneurship TV show ‘Dragons’ Den – Turkey’. His book ‘My way to Dragons’ Den’ has achieved best-seller status in Turkey. Under his leadership, the Links Angel BAN has been acting as a business angel platform supporting start-up businesses in Turkey. Baybars Altuntas is also the President of TBAA – Business Angels Association – Turkey. He is married and has 2 children.

    JARLBÆK Jesper, Treasurer
    Danish Business Angels, DENMARK

    Jesper Jarlbæk is an angel investor and professional board member of a number of growth businesses. Jesper is currently Vice-Chairman of DVCA (Danish Venture Capital Association) and Chairman of BA Copenhagen, Denmark’s largest and most successful Business Angel Network. He is also a member of VL7. In 2009, Jesper was awarded the “Business Angel of the Year” title by DVCA.

    Jesper Jarlbæk is currently a member of the Board of Directors of Bang & Olufsen A/S, an NASDAQ OMX listed company. Jesper has previously served on the board of 3 other NASDAQ OMX listed companies in Denmark and one US listed company. He is the Chairman of CataCap, a Danish PE fund, as well as a member of the Board of Polaris Invest III fund, the second largest Danish PE fund.

    Between 1975 and 2002, Jesper Jarlbæk was employed at Arthur Andersen, ultimately holding dual positions as Managing Partner, Denmark and Nordic Managing Partner – Assurance and Business Advisory. From 2002 to 2006, Jesper was Managing Partner of Advisory Services at Deloitte and, as such, one of four members of the senior management team. In both these executive positions, Jesper had bottom line responsibility for 1000+ highly qualified professionals. He consistently delivered growth and profitability well above the market and the closest competitors. In some years, organic growth exceeded 25% p.a. One of Jesper’s key challenges was building and maintaining a strong performance and corporate culture amongst highly motivated professionals. This task required building team spirit across personal skill sets, competencies, nationalities and experience levels.

    CIEMINSKI Michal
    Platinum Seed Incubator, POLAND

    Michal Cieminski is a TMT market expert with over 20 years of experience and a wide network of contacts in the Polish TMT sector. Michal is the Founder and CEO of Platinum Seed Incubator, which focuses on providing seed capital to projects connected mainly with TMT, health and lifestyle, and renewable energy sources. Platinum Seed Incubator works toward fostering international cooperation in Europe with the purpose of decreasing the costs of starting a company by using local software developers, internationalizing Polish startups, opening the Polish market to successful ‘Western European startups’, investing in startups, and mentoring entrepreneurs.

    Michal is also a consultant to the board of one of the largest Polish CATV operators, as well as the manager of the local branch of Entrepreneur Country and the investment director at Bastion Group, a group of VC/PE funds.

    He has a proven ability to successfully re-organize projects, startups, and corporations into highly effective businesses. Namely, he ran “The City of Plus” - the first social media project with a mobile operator, which was awarded as one of the five best projects in the world in the New Media category at the 2003 Globe Award competition.

    Michal holds a Master’s degree in Administration and Capital Investments from the Private Higher School of Business and Administration (Warsaw). He also completed several programmes at INSEAD (Fontainebleau), LBS (London) and IESE Business School (Barcelona). His values and attitude focus on contributing positively to entities he helps, to society and to life itself.

    CULLIGAN Michael
    Halo Business Angel Network, IRELAND

    Michael Culligan, a specialist in international business development for early stage companies, has direct business experience in London, China, Japan, mainland Europe and North America and has used his expertise to assist many Irish companies make their mark on a global market.

    With a particularly strong track record in raising seed capital for start-ups from both public and private sources, Michael has been involved in helping over 80 companies attract over €30 million in investment funding. Michael combines his role as Dublin BIC business consultant with his position of programme manager where he ensures that the breadth of services and quality of advice offered to entrepreneurs by Dublin BIC continue to be relevant, results driven and unmatched across the market.

    Michael is the National Director of Halo Business Angels Network, the island’s umbrella organisation for angel investment. He has lectured on Business Strategy for the Michael Smurfit MBA programme at UCD, holds a degree in Applied Physics & Electronics from NUIG and is a first class MBA graduate of the UCD Smurfit School.

    HERIQUES Miguel
    Federação Nacional de Associações de Business Angels, PORTUGAL

    Miguel Henriques is President of FNABA, the Portuguese National Federation for Business Angels Clubs and Associations. He has been involved with the creation of new ventures for a long time now. From traditional industry to IT, health science, services or energy, he has always been an active part in the process of launching new companies, both as an entrepreneur and an investor. Miguel has also created a few incubators and different entrepreneurship contests, starting as early as 1996. He led a VC Fund for five years, as well as APCRI, the Portuguese Association for Venture Capital and Private Equity. Miguel developed his managerial skills as an executive and CEO of large Portuguese companies in the environmental business, energy and financial investment. His basic skills as an economist, MBA and PhD researcher underpin his vast professional experience, which has provided him with the necessary expertise to read markets and devise the appropriate strategies to deal with them. As an investor, his chief focus is the energy and environmental sectors.

    Luxembourg Business Angels Network, LUXEMBOURG

    Hedda Pahlson-Moller is a full-time Business Angel focused on impact investing at the seed capital stage through OMSINT (Omnisource International). She sits on the boards of the European Business Angel Network (EBAN), the Luxembourg Business Angel Network (LBAN) and Chameleon Invest, a venture capital fund. Ms. Pahlson-Moller is an adjunct professor of Entrepreneurship at Sacred Heart University’s Jack Welch College of Business for Executive MBAs.

    She is currently active in building a co-working space and community for entrepreneurs and social entrepreneurs called ‘the Impactory’, based in Luxembourg.

    Hedda has an MBA from Copenhagen Business School, an M.A. in Political Economics from Lund University and an undergraduate degree from Brown University. She is also currently enrolled at Nyenrode University’s executive PhD programme.

    ROURE Juan

    Juan Roure is a Professor in the Entrepreneurship Department at IESE and has been a member of its International Advisory Board (IAB) for the last ten years. He was a Visiting Professor at Stanford University, INSEAD, Harvard Business School and CEIBS (China). He holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from the Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya (UPC), an MBA from ESADE, an ISP from Harvard Business School and a PhD from Stanford University.

    He is an active private investor himself and Founder of IESE Business Angel Network and President of AEBAN - the Spanish Federation of Business Angels Networks.

    He has served in several Advisory Boards related to private investment (The Carlyle Group, Vallis Capital, ICF, …) and has consulted with the top management of leading corporations (CaixaBank, Repsol, Telefónica, Gas Natural, Deustche Bank, …)

    SIIMAR Ivar
    Estonia Business Angels Network, ESTONIA

    Ivar Siimar is an active member of Estonia’s startup and angel investor community. Ivar is the founding member and President of the Estonian Business Angel Network (EstBAN), which started its activities in late 2012.

    He is the founder and partner of the WNB Project, an investment company founded in 2007 with a focus on seed and early stage startups. Ivar spends the majority of his time on board-level mentoring in these companies.

    TSIGOS Dimitris
    StartTech Ventures, GREECE

    Dimitris Tsigos is an Athens-based serial tech entrepreneur and early stage investor, the Founding Chairman of the Hellenic Start-up Association and a Board Member at EBAN – The European Trade Association of Business Angels, Seed Funds and other Early Stage Market Players.

    Having co-founded Virtual Trip, the first student start-up in Greece, and then co-founded or invested in a dozen other high-tech companies, he currently is the CEO of StartTech Ventures, a next generation venture incubator in Athens, Greece. Dimitris is an active citizen who strongly believes in faster and deeper European integration.

President Emeritus Advisory Council

  • ANDREZ Paulo

    Paulo Andrez is an angel investor. He is Vice-President of FNABA (Portuguese Business Angels Federation), President of Cascais Business Angels, and Member of the Board of DNA Cascais (BIC). He chaired (2010-2012) the EBAN Research Committee, which produced the first EBAN Co-Investment and Tax Breaks reports, in cooperation with BDO. Paulo Andrez was the Chairman of the 2007 World Business Angels Leaders Forum (Estoril) that decided to create the World Business Angel Association. Within the scope of his involvement with FNABA, Mr. Andrez participated in the design of the first Business Angel co-investment fund in Portugal. In 2010 he also participated in the design and implementation of the first Business Angels Tax Break in Portugal.

    Paulo Andrez has experience as a serial entrepreneur and has created several companies in areas like IT software, training, real estate and industrial resins. In 2000, he participated as an entrepreneur (seller) in the IPO of Novabase (via Euronext), the largest national IT provider in Portugal, with more than 1900 employees and working in 33 countries. From this point on, Mr. Andrez became a business angel, helping entrepreneurs achieve desired results. He is an IT Engineer and has an MBA from Nova University in Lisbon.

    CLARKE Anthony

    Anthony Clarke is the co-founder and CEO of Angel Capital Group, which includes London Business Angels, where he also has the role of CEO. Anthony qualified as a Chartered Accountant and Chartered Secretary with Deloitte Haskins & Sells (now PWC) in 1980. Thereafter, he worked on a full time basis as Finance Director and Chief Executive of a number of privately owned SME companies and, since 1995, he has been a business angel investor in more than 30 start-up/early stage businesses.

    Between 2002 and 2009, Anthony was Managing Director of GLE Growth Capital and also sat on the main Board of GLE. Anthony has been involved with London Business Angels for 20 years and took on the role of its CEO when it became part of the GLE Group in 2002. London Business Angels was the UK’s most active angel group, closing 22 deals by 2013.

    Anthony is also co-founder and currently sits on the advisory Board of the UK's first £30m Enterprise Capital Fund - Seraphim Capital, which was launched in 2006. He was Chairman of the UK Business Angels Association (UKBAA) from 2004 to July 2012 and remains on its Board. Additionally, Anthony is President Emeritus of European Business Angels Network (EBAN), which he chaired from 2004-2009. He also sits on the Venture Capital Committee of the BVCA.

  • BAUMANN Brigitte

    Brigitte Baumann is the Founder and CEO of Go Beyond Investing, an active Business Angel and serves on a number of selection and investment committees in Europe including the WEF’s Tech Pioneers. She is a Member of the Präsidium of KTI, the Swiss commission for Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Brigitte is President Emeritus of EBAN, the European trade association for Business Angels and Seed Funds, previously holding the title of President for two terms. She also chairs Young Presidents Organization’s global Angel Investing interest group. Brigitte has 15 years of experience in bringing new technologies to market in the US and Europe.

    She was the CEO and Director of iWORLD Group, a VC-backed global developer of mobile content. She came to iWG from American Express Corporate Services, where she held the position of Senior Vice President and General Manager for Internet Businesses. Whilst there, she launched a variety of new internet businesses including online travel (strategic partner of, e-Procurement, online servicing of cards and online payment. Prior to that, Brigitte spent three years as President for US and Canada of GEMPLUS (now Gemalto), the world’s leader in smart card technology and applications to orchestrate the introduction of smart cards to the US.

    She moved to GEMPLUS from American Express TRS Inc., where she had spent over six years in different Vice-Presidential/General Manager positions in the UK, France and Switzerland. She also spent five years with McKinsey & Company Inc. as Senior Engagement Manager, based in New York, Paris and Tokyo. She began her career in manufacturing and sales with Rohm & Haas, a leading specialty chemicals company.

    Brigitte holds a B.Sc. in Chemical Engineering from Tufts University in Boston and an MBA in Finance from the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been the subject of a Harvard Business School case study. Born and raised in France, Brigitte and her family now live in Zurich. Click here to contact Brigitte.

    JUNGEN Peter

    Peter Jungen holds an MBA from Cologne University, Germany. Starting his career in the industry, he became CEO of Strabag AG, Köln 1987, one of the largest European Civil Engineering Groups. After a successful turnaround of Strabag AG, he founded Peter Jungen Holding GmbH in 1991, which holds investments in various industrial and service companies.

    He is a Co-Founder of or Investor in numerous start-ups in Europe and in USA, including Idealo Internet GmbH, the leading German prize comparison shopping platform from Berlin. He is a Partner at the Halo Fund, Palo Alto. Peter Jungen is the Founding President of Business Angels Netzwerk Deutschland (BAND) as well as Co-Founder and President (2001-2004) of European Business Angels Network (EBAN). He is a member of the New York Angels and founding member of the China Business Angels Network (Cban).

    He is a Member of several Advisory Boards, e.g. Deutsche Bank AG (Frankfurt / Berlin) and Foster & Partner, (London), as well as a Board Member of the New York Philharmonic.

    Mr. Jungen is a Member of the IAC, Columbia University. He is the Chairman of the MENA-OECD Enterprise Financing Network, a Member of the International Josef Schumpeter Society and of the Mont Pelerin Society. Additionally, he used to hold the position of Chairman of the Center on Capitalism and Society at Columbia University.

    In August 1999, Peter Jungen was awarded the Grand Cross of the Order of Merit of the Federal Republic of Germany by its President.

    In September 2000, the leading German business weekly “Wirtschaftswoche“ named Peter Jungen one of the most important personalities to shape the future of the „New Economy“.