Mentors & Jury members

Mentor & Jury Bio

Please meet your mentors and jury members!

All of them are voluntarily supporting the EIT Alumni Startup Days and will provide valuable feedback to the teams and their ideas.

Chris Monaghan (Jury Member in Amsterdam) 

Chris Monaghan grew up near New York City with a passion for invention and education. He has an academic background in international politics and environmental policy. Today, he serves as the COO of Metabolic, a cleantech development and systems consulting firm based in Amsterdam. He spends most of his time on people, partnerships, and long-term projects.

Chris began his Dutch entrepreneuring by coordinating a student association during his Masters program and hosting two TEDx events focused on sustainability and a circular economy. Through these and other experiences working with startups and social businesses, Chris came to believe in the fulfillment and effectiveness of approaching systems change through science and technology rather than through politics and policy. 

chris mona

Anjo de Heus (Jury Member in Amsterdam)

Anjo is an information technology industry veteran with a long and successful track record in developing business. He has been in senior corporate and business development roles and has lived and operated in a number of countries. His last tenure brought him to Silicon Valley where he has lived and operated from for several years.

A thought leader. perceptive listener and articulate communicator with the ability to create powerful propositions. Throughout his career he has been involved with a number of companies as an active investor. He is currently involved in several startup companies either as an adviser and/or investor. A very driven sales & marketing executive and experienced partner ecosystem strategist, distribution and new business/corporate development expert, highly skilled in developing and executing growth strategies.

Anjo de Heus

Maria Peeva (Mentor in Amsterdam)

Maria is passionate about climate entrepreneurship and food innovations and she enjoys bringing people together and she does this best as a Community Manager for Climate KIC. Unlike many she also enjoys working with complex formulas and excel sheets and is always curious to see how the financials of a startup look like. Prior to working for Climate KIC Maria has been dedicated to numbers as a financial analyst for many international institutions. Extreme sports and innovative ways of thinking energizes her. Looking forward to having a look into  your business plans!


Sanderine van Odijk (Mentor in Amsterdam)

Sanderine is CFO and sustainability consultant at Metabolic, a systems consulting and cleantech development firm based in Amsterdam. She holds a MSc degree in Environmental Science. She has in-depth knowledge about the circular economy and sustainable urban development through her applied work as project manager for several (inter)national projects. Before joining Metabolic she was a project manager for sustainability at Waternet, Amsterdam’s public water utility and solar energy consultant in Burkina Faso. Her passion for entrepreneurship was sparked by Climate-KICs educational programs and in 2013 she was the chair of the Climate-KIC alumni association, a fast growing European network of impact-entrepreneurs.


Christoph Räthke (Jury Member in Berlin) 

Berlin Startup Academy (BSA) founder (2012) Christoph Räthke started his career in a digital agency in 1996, tried and failed to build his first startup in 1999/2000 and has been working with the Berlin digital industry ever since.

From 2006, he freelanced as innovation advisor and interim manager for big and small companies. From 2008 to 2012, he co-founded and hosted Mobile Monday Berlin, running quarterly events for the Mobile Internet community. In 2010/11, Christoph ran two semesters of The Founder Institute and in 2012, he started mentoring at Startupbootcamp Berlin and Deutsche Telekom’s “Hubraum”.

Since 2015, BSA works as an independent part of German Tech Entrepreneurship Center (GTEC), Germany’s most powerful initiative to unite high-growth innovation with industry, “Mittelstand”, capital, science, and academics. Moreover, he writes his well known Business Punk column and organizes the talk show Startup Grind Berlin.


Daniel Hires (Jury Member in Berlin)

Daniel Hires creates projects and movements that challenge the status quo. Most recently, he developed a green fintech spin-off for an environmental non-profit and raised € 1.4 million in financing. Currently, he is developing MakeSense Germany as a social business and launching the SenseCube social startup acceleration programme in Berlin.
Daniel is passionate about building communities that empower people to take collaborative action on their ideas for a better world. He initiated MakeSense hotspots in Berlin and Busan (South Korea), co-created the SenseCamp unconference format, co-founded the Silent Climate Parade Berlin, co-authored a book on kickstarting projects, and frequently travels the world to speak, mentor and coach teams.

Scott Bolden (Jury Member in Berlin) 

Scott Bolden is a designer, artist and engineer who started commuting between Berlin and  Brooklyn, in 2002. He designed and engineered a series of award winning of products and installations while at Smart Design.  He served 2 years as the chairman of the Environmental Responsibility Section of the IDSA (Industrial Designer’s Society of America), and was a guest lecturer at New York University.

Scott later formed Skizum Studios, an interdisciplinary design consultancy focused on social art and design projects and events.  Currently, he is keeping busy as the founder of Das Baumhaus Berlin, a social startup hub for exploring the various dimensions of sustainable development with his PEACES (personal, ecologic, aesthetic, cultural, economic, social) framework.  He is also the founder of the Emergent Berlin Festival.

Sebastian Groh (Jury Member in Berlin)

Sebastian is living and working in Bangladesh as the director of two newly founded companies, ME SOLshare Ltd. and ME Fosera BD Ltd.. He is further project manager at MicroEnergy International (MEI) since 2009, a Berlin based consulting company focusing on the linkage between microfinance and sustainable energy supply. Along his professional work, Sebastian is currently pursuing his PhD on the role of energy in development processes, energy poverty and technical innovations.

Sebastian holds a Bachelor in “Economics” as well as a Masters in “International Economics”. Moreover, he received an executive training on strategic leadership for microfinance from Harvard Business School and is a Stanford (Graduate School of Business) Ignite Fellow of 2013.


Christoph Baier (Mentor in Berlin)

Christoph matches startups and innovative companies for cooperation and open innovation. As Co-Founder and CEO of he is responsible for the domains of B2B sales and partnering.

Prior, as Climate KIC student, he studied “Innovation management and Entrepreneurship” and wrote his master thesis on the Learning capability of B2B startups and the cooperation with external partners. He is passionate about linking innovation and entrepreneurship, especially in the fields of internet of things, big data, advanced manufacturing and clean tech.


Carla Brigitte Bormann (Mentor in Berlin) 

Carla is passionate about change, the environment and our human impact to society and nature. As founder of “ufill- change the way you treat your bottle”, she fights waste in general and the unnecessary usage of plastic bottles in particular.

Carla is a successful Climate KIC student, who next to her Master Program in  “Urban and Regional Planning”, voluntarily teaches languages to refugees.

Putting all her energy into “ufill“, Carla and her team are currently in the Climate KIC pre-incubator and can help teams to make the first steps towards “sustainable development”.


Ben George Kaippallil (Mentor in Berlin)

Ben holds a Bachelor in “Machinenbau”  and currently finishes his Master in “Energietechnik” at TU Berlin. Born in India, he worked as a machine designer for 5 years in Germany. He loves building machines and tinkering with stuff. All of it, he strives to use, to improve life back at home.

As an successful Climate KIC student, he and his colleague Jonas Eimermacher work in the green garage on the issue of compressing wind. With their startup, they intend to store wind energy in the form of compressed air with their innovative-hydro-pneumatic-WindCatcher(T) drive train.


Brigit Lack (Mentor in Berlin)

Birgit Lack holds a degree in “European Business” and a Master’s degree in “European Administrative Management”. In the past she worked for a wide range of companies- many in the creative Industry as for EMI – which became Universal Music group. Birgit also worked in small companies as Hahn- Film or in music publishing.  Moreover, she coached Gaming start-ups in terms of European Funding as a freelancer. Later on, she worked in the sector of economic development and gives “Silicon Valley Pitch Training”.

Since 2013 she is Business Developer at EIT Digital, fostering digital technology innovation and entrepreneurial talent for economic growth and quality of life in Europe.
In her free time she is a beekeeper and loves watching the bees


Daniela Schiffer (Mentor in Berlin)

Daniela Schiffer co-founded the startup in 2011 in Berlin. She has a background in digital media arts and has worked in communications agencies where she was closely involved with high-tech companies, specifically in the field of green energy and photovoltaics.

Having always been passionate on how the usage of media changes our society, she collaborated on different media art projects, contributing to projects such as and giving lectures in the Hochschule für Gestaltung und Kunst in Zurich as well as workshops at Radio B92 in Belgrade. She works as a mentor at Startup Bootcamp, Berlin Geekettes, Berlin Startup Academy and ITU.


Leon Reiner (Mentor in Berlin)

Leon is co-founder of the Impact Hub Berlin. He holds a masters degree with distinction in “International Development & Economics” from the University of Vienna. He previously worked for iq consult, a German consultancy in the social entrepreneurship sector, and was part of the team developing the first incubation program for Social Entrepreneurs in Germany, Social Impact Start. Leon went on to build his teaching competencies developing SE courses for different universities and founded the Social Entrepreneurship Education Network to connect educators in the field. With his extensive network and passion for innovation and society, Leon is currently developing public and private partnerships for Impact Hub Berlin.

The Impact Hub is an innovation lab, a business incubator and a social enterprise community center that offers its members a unique ecosystem of resources, inspiration and collaboration opportunities to grow the positive impact of their work.


Mark Möbius (Mentor in Berlin) 

Mark is a self-employed coach, consultant and innovator from Berlin. Since 2013, he has been working together with Climate KIC, mentoring various “Journeys” (5 week summer school) and organizing the Climate KIC Acceleration Program. Moreover, Mark founded “Startup Match” (2011) and was the CEO of the Bauhaus Weimar University startup incubator (2001-2007).


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