HomeBoard of Directors

Board of Directors

Members of the Board (2014-2016)


President – Candace Johnson, Sophia Business Angels, FRANCE

Vice-President – Ari Korhonen, FiBAN, FINLAND

Vice-President – Baybars Altuntas, TBAA, TURKEY

Treasurer – Jesper Jarlbaek, Business Angels Copenhagen, DENMARK

Albert Colomer, Business Angels Network Catalunya, SPAIN

Aleksandar Cabrilo, Serbian Business Angels Network, SERBIA

Hedda Pahlson-Moller, Luxembourg Business Angels Network, LUXEMBOURG

Ivar Siimar, Estonia Business Angels Network, ESTONIA

Jeanette Andersson, CONNECT Sweden, SWEDEN

Juan Roure, AEBAN, SPAIN

Konstantin Fokin, National Business Angels Association, RUSSIA

Michael Culligan, Halo Business Angel Network, IRELAND

Peter Braun, Red Alpine Ventures, SWITZERLAND


Selma Prodanovic, Austrian Angel Investors Association, AUSTRIA


JOHNSON Candace, President

Sophia Business Angels, FRANCE

Candace Johnson is co-initiator of SES/ASTRA and SES Global, the world’s pre-eminent satellite group. She is also founding President of Europe Online Investments S.A., the world’s first internet-based online service and satellite broadband network, and founder of Loral Cyberstar-Teleport Europe, Europe’s first independent private trans-border satellite communications network. Ms. Johnson is also founding President of the VATM, the Association of Private Telecom Operators in Germany and founding President of the Global Telecom Women’s Network (GTWN).

Candace Johnson is also 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, Europe’s first trans-border early-stage investment company based in Sophia Antipolis. JPV is also a principal founding shareholder in London-based Ariadne Capital, “Architecting Europe.net”, one of the earliest supporters and promoters of Skype, the global VoIP phenomenon.

Candace 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. She has been a featured speaker in the OECD International Entrepreneurship Forums in Shanghai, Riga, and Cape Town. She holds Masters Degrees with Honors from the Sorbonne and Stanford Universities, a Bachelors Degree from Vassar College and her high-school degree from Punahou.

KORHONEN Ari, Vice-President


Ari is an angel investor and venture capitalist. He is the the founder of Lagoon Capital investment company. Ari has been a successful technology entrepreneur 20 years and a business angel for 10 years. He developed his company Komartek into an international success story. Komartek was bought in 2004 by WM-data (presently CGI). His position in WM-data was Vice President. As an angel investor Ari has made 77 investments to 22 companies during the last 10 years – these include SkySQL, DealDash, Paytrail, WOT, SafelyLocked, Miradore, In4mo, The Switch, 360Cities and Citysocializer. Among these companies was also Severa from which he made a very good exit.

Ari is also an investor in venture capital funds which include Seedcamp, 500 Startups and Spintop Ventures. In Spintop Ventures fund II he is also Senior Advisor and Investment Committee member. He is also a member of Seedcamp fund II investment commitee. Ari is an Investment Council member in Finnish Industry Investments.

Ari was nominated by EBAN as European Business Angel of the Year in 2009. He is a co-founder of FiBAN and Vice Chairman of the Board during 2010-2012. Ari has been EBAN board member and Vice-President since 2012. He is also a member of EstBAN. Ari has been featured in several business magazines and blogs. He holds a Master of Science degree in engineering from Lappeenranta University of Technology.

ALTUNTAS Baybars, Vice-President


Founder of Deulcom lnternational, the first vocational training school of Turkey and named by the Economist – Turkey as one of the top 100 franchise companies of Turkey.Deulcom lnternational became one of the fastest growing trademark of Turkey and was prised by Eurowards.

Founder of UFRAD – Turkish Franchise Association. lntroduced lATA Educational System to Turkey.Elected as the Best Businessman – 2010.Was one of the 150 entrepreneurs invited by US President Barack Obama to the White House Presedential Summit in Washington DC.He was the only participant who was given a personal audience by the US President before his summit. After the US President’s speech, CNN lnternational interviewed Baybars Altuntas live at its Washington studios the only delagate interviewed.One of the dragons of Dragons’ Den – Turkey, entrepreneurship TV show.

His book ‘My way to Dragons’ Den’ has been the best- seller in Turkey.LinksAngel BAN with his leadership is acting as a business angel platform supporting start-up businesses in Turkey.President of TBAA – Business Angels Association – Turkey. Married and has 2 children.

JARLBÆK Jesper, Treasurer

Business Angels Copenhagen, DENMARK

Jesper Jarlbæk is a business angel investor and professional board member of a number of growth businesses. Jesper is currently vice-chairman of DVCA (Danish Venture Capital Association). Jesper is Chairman of BA Copenhagen, Denmark’s largest and most successful Business Angel network. Jesper is a member of VL7. In 2009, Jesper was awarded “Business Angel of the Year” 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. Jesper is Chairman of CataCap, a Danish PE fund as well as member of the Board of Polaris Invest III fund, the second largest Danish PE fund.

Between 1975 and 2002, Jesper Jarlbæk was employed with 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 – Advisory services at Deloitte and as such, one of the four members of the senior management team. In both these executive positions, Jesper had bottom line responsibility for 1000+ highly qualified professionals. Jesper consistently delivered growth and profitability well above the market and the closest competitors. In some years, organic growth exceeded 25% p.a. One of the 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.



Jeanette Andersson coordinates CONNECT Sweden’s BANs with app. 350 business angels and is operational responsible for CONNECT Skane’s BAN. She works as a consultant for a Swedish VC-firm and is involved in different business angel projects on a Nordic basis. She is also active investor in three start-up companies. Jeanette is committed to improve the conditions for the early stage market in Sweden and Europe and is an appreciated voice in the debate.

Previously she has several years of operational sales & marketing experience in international automation industry and seven plus years experience in entrepreneur-ship and company development, e g Managing Director at a VC-financed start-up. She has been active as VC-investment advisor since 2009 and private investor since 2011.

Jeanette holds a MSc in BA from University of Lund and an MBA from Henley Business School, UK.


Red Alpine Ventures, SWITZERLAND

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 gathered profound knowledge of the capital markets and the finance sector with 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 the strategic partner UBS AG.

CABRILO Aleksandar 

Serbian Business Angels Network, SERBIA

Aleksandar is a co-founder and president of Serbian Business Angels Network(SBAN), one of the first and leading venture capital and entrepreneurship promotion organizations in Serbia and surrounding region. He is a member of the Board of Directors at European Business Angels Network (EBAN) since 2012.

He graduated at the Faculty for Electrotechnical engineering at University in Belgrade. With background in electronics and computer science and business development, he worked as a consultant for Dutch company Silicon Hive and formed the branch of the company in Serbia. After acquisition of Silicon Hive by Intel Corporation, this team became part of Intel as Intel’s Development Center in Belgrade.

Aleksandar is entrepreneur by passion. He founded engineering company HTEC, where he acts as a CEO, with a focus on business management, business & concept development and professional networking. He invested and is mentoring several technology start-ups. Since he truly believes in Europe without borders, he believes that enabling and supporting of “cross boarder” investing and cooperation among people and companies will yield to unified Europe on the most efficient and sustainable way.


Business Angels Network Catalunya, SPAIN

Albert 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 angel network, which he led. Additionally in 2006 he co-founded ESBAN, a private foundation to raising awareness and promoting angel investment and Business Angels Networks in Spain. Since 2003, Albert is member of the Board of EBAN.

Albert has been appointed by the Parliament of Catalonia as 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 gathered a profound knowledge of the entrepreneurship skills. As a consultant, advisor, coach or business angel, His experience in entrepreneurial field, over 25 years, has helped thousands start-ups and entrepreneurs to born and grow. He is 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.


Halo Business Angel Network, IRELAND

Michael Culligan, specialist in international business development for early stage companies, has direct business experience in London, China, Japan, mainland Europe and North America and has applied this 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 of 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 in the in 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.

FOKIN Konstantin

National Business Angels Association, RUSSIA

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

In 2005–2006 Konstantin joined Ministry for Economic Development of Russia (www.economy.gov.ru) to create a network of private-state regional venture funds and business incubators. In 2007–2008 Konstantin managed Strogino Technopark in Moscow (www.tpstrogino.ru). In 2009 was appointed the President of Russian Tech Tour 2009 (www.techtour.com), together with his small but enthusiastic team implemented the second in history visit of the leading world venture investors to Russia.

In 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 (www.rusangels.ru). Starting from 2011 Konstantin became the representative of Greater Geneva Berne area (www.ggba-switzerland.ch) with authority to assist growing Russian companies interested in European (international).

In 2012 Konstantin was among the initiators of establishing the Moscow Innovation Development Centre (www.inno.msk.ru), which was later created by the Department of Science, industrial policy and entrepreneurship (www.dnpp.mos.ru). 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 create workplaces for qualified professionals in Moscow.

LUZ Ricardo


Ricardo Luz is Founder and President of Invicta Angels – Business Angels Association of Porto. He is also Founder and Vice-President of FNABA – National Federation of Business Angels. Ricardo Luz is Founder, Partner and General Manager of Gestluz Consultores; Founder and President of SGPS and Managing Partner at IA-FCI, Creative Industries; Founder and Board Member of Fluidinova and Earboxwear; Consultant, Strategy and Business and Cities/Territories Competitiveness.

As a lead consultant, he participates in Design and coordination of European Union Regional Funds projects, implemented in Portugal and in several European Union seminars about regional cohesion policy and SME policy.

He has been involved in the Design of specific framework and public regulation and conditions shaping biddings for the projects and investments for the creative industries clusters, for the tenures that apply for European Funds; in the Design and coordination of projects like: “Talents 2012 – Creativity and Entrepreneurship Programme” for the Guimarães 2012 – European Capital of Culture, in the “Development of the Cultural and Creative Industries Cluster of Northern Portugal”, Portuguese Northern Region Operational Programme Funding Applications / Action Plans and Investment Programmes for Science&Technology Parks and Technology Based.


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 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.


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 unlashing the untapped entrepreneurial potential of millions of creative and innovative future-makers from around the world.

She invests in the development of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Vienna and CEE/SEE. With her business developer Brainswork she supported over 300 startups and co-founded the Austrian Angel Investors Association.  A fervent believer in the business potential of the Balkans she is partner at Superfounders. To empower 1 million entrepreneurs and enable easier worldwide access to her expertise and network in 2014 she founded BrainsClub.

As an inspirational speaker Selma was over 1000 times on stage. 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 proud mother of two fantastic teenagers.



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, …)


Estonia Business Angels Network, ESTONIA

An active member of the local startup and angel investor community. Ivar is the founding member and President of Estonian Business Angel Network (EstBAN) which started its activities in late 2012.

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