2018 Judges

Click on the names below to reveal more about our Judges.

Jean Bourcereau - Ventech

JeanJean is a Managing Partner with Ventech, and has been investing in the Internet, Mobile and Communication Infrastructure sectors since 2000. He brings to the team his expertise in this area as well as knowledge of these industries’ business models and key actors. Jean serves as a board member for Crocus Technology, Ekinops (EKI), Intercloud, Ogury, and Unilend. He was instrumental in many of Ventech’s investments, including Altitude Télécoms (ILD), Arteris (QCOM), Ateme (ATEME), Musiwave (MSFT), Muzicall (RNWK), Wengo (VIV) or Withings (NOK).

Richard Brass - Berenberg


Richard Brass is the head of Wealth and Asset Management UK at Berenberg.  He joined Berenberg from Schroders Private Banking, having started his career in corporate finance after qualifying as a chartered accountant at KPMG.  He is the founder of Impact Ventures UK, a collaborative social impact fund focused on the UK.  He is the chairman of the Arts Impact Fund Investment Committee, a board director of the London Philharmonic Orchestra and the Montpelier Foundation and a member of the Institute for Family Business Advisory Council.

James Brocket - Calibre One

_W9A6605James is a co-Founder and Managing Partner of Calibre One and manages the firm’s activities in the EMEA region, based in London. With over 20 years of experience, his major focus has been on recruiting at Board and C-level for businesses headquartered in Europe. He works closely with the private equity community and is a trusted advisor to a number of funds. He has also managed a vast number of leadership assignments for US companies across the EMEA region. Outside of work he is an active angel investor in tech companies, a parent to twin boys and an avid sports enthusiast (anything, but especially golf and rugby).

George Coelho - Astanor Ventures

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George Coelho is Co-Founder of Astanor Ventures, an investment manager specialized in FoodTech venture finance.  Previously he was Chairman of Octo Telematics, Ltd. Coelho also co-founded the European arm of Benchmark Capital, now known as Balderton Capital, a leading venture capital firm. Before Benchmark, he was a founder of Intel Capital, the strategic venture capital arm of Intel Corporation.

 Coelho has wide investment experience ranging from early-stage start-ups to public companies and has been involved in more than 100 investments worldwide. Sample transactions where he has been an early investor include: Broadcom and Citrix (US), PCCW (China), Trend Micro (Japan) and Betfair, LoveFilm, ZOPA and Wonga (UK). Coelho has successfully brought companies to flotation on stock exchanges throughout the world. Today these companies represent over $50 Billion in market capitalization.

 Coelho holds a B.S. from The American University and an MBA from The George Washington University. He has been a Trustee of The George Washington University (2008-2016) and remains on the Council of the School of Business and The Corcoran School of the Arts & Design. He is on the Board of Human Rights Watch and The American Air Museum in Britain. He is also a lifetime Fellow of the RSA. In 2011 he was awarded the Polish State medal, Pro Memoria.


Kerstin Cooley - Brightly Ventures


Kerstin Cooley is Managing Partner of Brightly Ventures. Before launching Brightly Ventures, she co-founded and headed MOOR, a leading Nordic early stage investment company. At MOOR, Kerstin oversaw all the firm’s investments, and served as a board member at Acast, Attach, Buildsafe, FirstVet, Mitigram and Universal Avenue. Prior to MOOR, Kerstin worked on SEB investment teams in Sweden and the U.S., investing in start-up hedge funds and developing and selling alternative investment products for institutional clients. With 20 years of experience in the financial and IT industries, she started her career at Silicon Valley based Echelon, which was listed at Nasdaq in 1998. In the late 1990’s, Kerstin co-founded global integrated communications agency Cognito and was at Trema for eight years in diverse positions ranging from M&A transactions to leading the company’s consulting organization in the U.S. Kerstin holds a Masters from Umeå School of Business and Economics.

Sophie Dingreville - HSB Ventures

Sophie Dingreville has more than 25 years’ experience in high tech of which 16 years in the Venture Capital Industry.

Mrs. Dingreville serves as Investment Director at Munich Re/HSB Ventures. She leads the European VC activities of Munich Re Group investing in the insurance sector. Previously, Mrs. Dingreville was a Partner at Iris Capital Management for 14 years and served as a member of the Investment Committee of Capnamic in Germany. She was previously on the boards of Let It Wave (acquired by Zoran Corp), OpenTrust (acquired by Keynectis), iAdvize and Agorize. Prior to joining Iris, Sophie Dingreville had served as a consultant at McKinsey & Company. Previously she was a Project Manager at satellite digital TV platform TPS (acquired by Canal+ Group). Mrs. Sophie Dingreville started her career as an academic in Digital Image Processing working at the CISRO in Australia and at Universidad Politecnica de Madrid in Spain.

-Received the Award for Best Woman in Venture Capital from “Women In Private Equity Awards” in November 2015.

-Selected as a “Rising Star” at the Global Corporate Venturing Awards in January 2018.


James Doran - TCV

John is a General Partner in London and a founding member of TCV’s European investment efforts. He focuses on investments in the software, internet, and fintech sectors. John’s current investments include Believe, Brillen.de, NewVoiceMedia, Perfecto, The Pracuj Group, and WorldRemit. John was previously an investor at Summit Partners, where he focused on investments across software, internet, and financial technology. He started his career in investment banking at Morgan Stanley and later moved to New York.

John left his native Ireland more than 20 years ago and has lived and worked in the U.S, Asia and now Europe. Prior to joining the investment world, John competed on the men’s ATP Tennis Tour and was a member of the Irish Davis Cup team between 1996 and 2004. He is a sports fanatic and has competed in tennis, rugby, football, squash, and Gaelic football. These days, John mostly plays on the playground with his young family and enjoys watching the occasional Manchester United match.

John received his M.B.A. from the Harvard Business School and graduated with a B.A. in Economics (with honors) from Harvard College.


Lawrence Gosling – GrowthBusiness

Bio to follow


Chris Grew - Orrick

Chris Grew heads up the London technology practice at Orrick, a leading US law firm. Orrick has one of the foremost practices for emerging growth technology companies in the US, Europe and Asia.

Chris is recognised for his expertise in advising technology and emerging growth companies in venture capital transactions, IPOs and cross-border M&A and is one of the foremost authorities on European venture capital transactions having completed more than 50 venture investments in the last year alone.

Edwin Hengstemengel – Endeit

Foto: Roy Beusker

Edwin is partner at Endeit Capital, a venture capital firm with offices in Amsterdam and Hamburg. Late investments include Virtuagym (Amsterdam), Chronext (Zurich) and Tourradar (Vienna). Prior to joining Endeit, Edwin was at Cyrte Investments, a family office of John de Mol, co-founder of Endemol. Edwin’s background is in New Media, Private Equity and M&A. He studied aviation economics and holds a Masters Degree in Financial Economics and Business Administration but showed real perspiration by running the Athens marathon, 2500 years after Greek soldier Pheidippides was sent for a message. Edwin is board member at Real Impact Analytics and Quadia. Edwin is director of the LOEY foundation, a Dutch initiative to stimulate Entrepreneurship

Karen McCormick - Beringea

Karen is Chief Investment Officer at Beringea, responsible for making new investments and working with portfolio companies through to exit. Her investments include Watchfinder, Thread, Blis, Monica Vinader, and MatsSoft amongst others.

 Karen was previously with the Boston Consulting Group and ran the Watch division of Swiss Army/Wenger. She also has experience with start-ups as both a founder and advisor. Karen has lived and worked in the US, Europe, and Asia, and has an MBA from INSEAD and a BSBA from Boston University.

Manish Madhvani - GP Bullhound


Manish Madhvani is Co-Founder and Managing Partner of GP Bullhound. Manish has executed M&A and capital raising transactions since 1997, involving some of the best known global internet, software and media companies, including: Spotify, King.com, The Telegraph, WPP, Concentrix, Fjord, eCommera, Handbag, Hearst Corporation, Accenture, Newscorp and Experian. Manish who was selected as one of the top 40 dealmakers globally by M&A Advisor, started his career at Barclays Capital’s Private Equity team.

He has advised the Treasury on Entrepreneurship and graduated from Southampton University with an LLB in Law / MA in Marketing. Manish is currently Chairman of the Investor Allstars and Media Momentum judging panels and is a regular speaker / panellist at conferences including Digital Hollywood, The Global E-commerce Summit, TiE, Internet World, Red Herring, BVCA and EVCA.

Rainer Maerkle - HV Ventures

Rainer Maerkle , General Partner, HV Ventures

Rainer has been a member of the Holtzbrinck Ventures team since 2008. He was responsible for the firms investments in Zalando (IPO 2014), Quandoo (sold to Recruit in 2015), Stylight (sold to Pro7 in 2016), HelloFresh (IPO 2017), Home24 (IPO 2018) and brands4friends (sold to eBay in 2010) and led investments in Scalable Capital, Outfittery, and many others.

Before coming to Holtzbrinck Ventures, Rainer played an entrepreneurial role as Head of Business Development at 123people.com. The business was sold successfully to Pages Jaunes in 2010. Prior to that, Rainer worked for five years in the venture capital field at 3i and Siemens Acceleration, where he was involved in investments in the e-commerce sector. Rainer started his career at Siemens in 2000.

Rainer studied Electrical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich and received his MBA at INSEAD, graduating both with honors.

Hans Otterling - Northzone

Hans Cropped 3Hans Otterling is General Partner of Northzone since 2006. Prior to joining Northzone, Mr Otterling was active as an entrepreneur in Europe and USA. He founded StreamServe Inc. in 1997, (backed by Apax London) grew to become one of the largest privately held software companies in Europe before it was sold to OpenText (Nasdaq). Mr. Otterling is also the founder of Waymaker which revolutionized the field of Investor Relations in Scandinavia sold to Cision (NasdaqOMX).

Hans holds an MBA from Stockholm School of Economics and University of Massachusetts (Fulbright scholar). You are most likely to find him in London, Stockholm or Berlin.

Northzone has raised 8 funds to date, and has some €900 million under management. Portfolio includes companies like Spotify, Trustpilot, MarketInvoice, Klarna and iZettle. The fund has a team of 10 investment professionals and offices in London, Stockholm, New York and Oslo.

Alastair Peet - Shoosmiths

Alastair Peet is a corporate partner leading the national Venture and Growth Capital team at Shoosmiths. He advises founders and companies as well as institutions such as Octopus Ventures, Oxford Capital, Triple Point, Amber Digital, and Livingbridge. He has led more than 50 VC deals in the past twelve months, many involving EIS/VCT investment, from seed deals, series A, B, C, and on through to exit. He recently advised Octopus Ventures on the acquisition of Tails.com by Nestlé. In Chambers UK, clients describe Alastair as “very technically sound, commercial” and praise his ability to constructively foster collaboration and compromise.

John Rosenberg - Technology Investor and Advisor

John_Rosenberg_ 1393 Bio to follow

Lucian Schönefelder - KKR

Lucian Schönefelder - KKRLucian Schönefelder (London) is a Director at KKR. He is heading up KKR’s growth equity and internet & digital media private equity activities in Europe/Israel. Since joining KKR in 2007, Lucian has played leadership roles in KKR’s investments in Trainline, Scout24, Fotolia, BMG Rights Management, Darktrace, GetYourGuide, Optimal+, Clicktale, Arago, ProSiebenSat.1 and Duales System Deutschland. He is currently serving on the boards of Trainline, Arago, Clicktale, GetYourGuide and Optimal+.

Lucian is also the Founder of KarmaWings, a non-profit online platform, and PeStudents, an initiative that helps top students from all around the world to connect with the private equity industry. Lucian holds a MSc in Economics as well as a PhD (summa cum laude) from the University of St. Gallen (Switzerland) and UT Austin.

Alexis Scorer – GP Bullhound

Alexis is an Executive Director at GP Bullhound. He has broad experience across the technology industry and has led successful M&A transactions in sectors including software, IT services, telecoms, internet and digital media.

Prior to joining GP Bullhound, Alexis was Director of corporate development at Experian where he was responsible for deal origination and execution for the EMEA region. He previously spent more than 10 years working in the technology sector and held international Corporate Development roles at HP Enterprise Services and EDS, where he worked on numerous acquisitions and divestments across Europe.

Alexis holds a BSc Joint Hons. in International Management and Modern Languages from the University of Bath and an MBA from Imperial College Business School.

Rory Stirling - BGF Ventures

Rory StirlingRory Stirling(@rorystirling) is a founding Partner of BGF Ventures, the UK’s largest fund dedicated to backing early stage UK technology companies. Launched in 2015, BGF Ventures’ current investments include NewVoiceMedia, ROLI, Gousto and Marvel.

Before launching BGF Ventures, Rory was a partner at MMC Ventures where he invested in software companies including Masabi and Reevoo, marketplace companies including Appear Here and Love Home Swap, and consumer internet companies such as Pact and Tyres on the Drive. Before becoming an investor Rory had his own angel-backed start-up and before that, was an investment banker at Greenhill & Co.


Matthew Weigand – Accel

Matt Weigand focuses on enterprise software, consumer internet and security businesses.

Matt works closely with Accel’s investments in Cornershop, G2Crowd, MessageBird, Xero and GoFundMe. Prior to joining Accel, Matt worked with William Blair’s technology investment banking group.

Matt is from Cleveland, Ohio and graduated from Miami University.


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