top of page

PORTFOLIO SUPPORT

Mentors & Advisors

We recognise the nuanced opportunities and challenges that will arise for our portfolio companies as they scale, so we're building a network of accomplished mentors and advisors able to provide tailored assistance.

People & Teams

RoxanaDobrescu.jpg

Roxana Dobrescu

Chief  People Officer

@Commercetools

Roxana is an experienced global leader, with a laser focus on talent development and company performance. She has spent more than 20 years in HR, in FMCG, Pharma and Edtech. Roxana is currently Chief People Officer at Commercetools, a company focused on the future of commerce, that raised $140M from Accel and Insight Partners in 2021. Prior to this, Roxana spent several successful years as Chief People Officer at Labster, an innovative Edtech company with a global footprint (HQ in Denmark with a larger majority of enterprise customers in the US). Labster has raised >$150M. She scaled Labster from 120 employees to 450 employees in 12 months.

 

Roxana is an expert in building company culture, forming best practice playbooks, managing sustainable team growth during and following raises and scaling international teams.

JessicaDjeziri.jpg

Jessica Djeziri

Chief People Officer @ Bloomays  &

ex Chief People Officer

@Ornikar

Jessica has spent more than 15 years as a recruiter and HRD. She has been Chief People Officer at 3 different organisations, building teams from the ground up, forming the team architecture, designing hiring processes and forming the cultural backbone of the organisations. This work includes helping to scale Ornikar, a Brighteye portfolio company that raised >$170M. Jessica is currently Partner and Chief People Officer at Bloomays People, an organisation founded to support People teams to operate more effectively across all areas of the function. 

 

Jessica is an expert in sourcing and enticing tech talent, building international teams and scaling the People function of businesses.

International expansion

Erika Batista.jpg

Erika Batista

VP, Expansion

@OnDeck

Erika is Head of Expansion at On Deck, leading their expansion efforts and supporting their global community of Fellows. Prior to that, Erika was founding team member and director at the European accelerator The Family, where she joined as first employee back in 2013, then grew the company with the founders for 7 years. At The Family, she got to play a key role in building the French tech ecosystem. One of her main missions was to grow their international network of investors, founders and advisors (US & Europe). Erika has been working with early stage founders for nearly a decade, and her specialties include fundraising, education, and community building.

Marketing

SophiaAhrel.jpg

Sophia Ahrel

Fractional CMO with

Albion Capital, FPE Capital & Gradient Ventures

Sophia is a start-up to scale-up mentor who’s highly experienced in working with fast growth SaaS/AI ventures, ensuring value creation through developing + executing growth strategy/investment readiness/series A fundraising/mentor (£5-20M). She works with ambitious high growth leadership teams and brands where innovation is at the core. She’s also spent years in the marketing engine room designing and building marketing tech stacks to genuinely improve customer journeys and optimise marketing funnels and conversion rates driving CLV. Further, she’s built teams and supporting ecosystems of growth hackers, digital marketers and data scientists who forensically mapped data captures, as well as implemented new CRMs and analytics tools to enable true data centric capabilities not just for marketing, but cross functionally by providing data points, analytics and insight for leaders in sales, product, client success, finance, HR, IT etc. Her true passion is to deploy her commercial knowledge - customer insight coupled with market trends and analysis helping commercial leaders to sell more and assist product architects to build new innovative products and concepts with a purpose - to make difference to consumers, businesses and ultimately our society.

Product

ScottEblen.jpg

Scott Eblen

Former Head of Product,

Content Platform @Spotify

Scott is an experienced product leader, having led the product team on Spotify’s content platform, directed Twitter health’s product team, been Chief Product Officer with Nutmeg (exited to JP Morgan) and spent more than 6 years in Google’s product team.

Learning product design 

KirstenCampbellHowes.jpg

Kirsten Campbell-Howes

Former Chief Learning Officer

@Busuu

Kirsten is the former Chief Learning Officer at Busuu, where she worked for 7 years as part of the Senior Leadership Team. Busuu was acquired by Chegg for $436 million in 2022. Overall she has spent 22 years working across the edtech industry, including for startups such as EduMe and Busuu to large global businesses such as Pearson. She has spent many years consulting with various education businesses wishing to expand their digital offerings, including the University of Law, the BBC and EtonX. Her specialism is language learning and she holds an MSc in Applied Linguistics from Oxford University and has written several textbooks on language learning for Harper Collins.

Impact

JennyCoogan.jpg

Jenny Coogan

Co-founder and Chief Content Officer, Newsela, former journalist

Jenny is a startup executive with expertise in content strategy and scaling content production. She was a member of the founding team of Newsela, an instructional content platform relied upon by millions of teachers and K12 students. As Chief Content Officer she led a large team of instructional designers, editors, strategists and operations specialists to bring news and other high-engagement materials into classrooms daily. She previously worked under the tightest deadlines in the news business as a reporter for Bloomberg and Reuters specialising in finance and economic coverage and later as a content marketing consultant for a number of finance industry giants including Fidelity, Mint, Intuit and Citibank. 

 

Jenny has a master's degree from the Medill School of Journalism at Northwestern University and a bachelor’s degree from Wellesley College. She lived in Silicon Valley for 12 years and now resides outside of Boston. 

NataliaIKucirkova.jpg

Prof Natalia I Kucirkova

Founder of WiKIT AS

Natalia I. Kucirkova is a professor in early childhood with a specific focus on children’s learning with digital media. She has authored more than a hundred research publications about EdTech Evidence and won several awards, including the Emerald Impact Prize and Jacobs Foundation Research Fellowship. Natalia co-founded WiKIT to facilitate academia-industry collaborations in EdTech and connect the science of learning with technology innovation.

OlavSchewe.jpg

Olav Schewe

Learning Scientist @ WiKIT

Olav is a learning scientist and doctoral researcher at the University of Oxford. His book on effective learning, Learn Like a Pro, is an international bestseller translated into 16 languages. Before transitioning to educational research, Olav worked in financial management for six years. He holds an MBA from Oxford and a BSc in Business from the Norwegian School of Economics and UC Berkeley. Olav is a Lead Researcher at WiKIT, with experience of supporting startups as well as and established companies like Kahoot!.

Executive

SimonHay.jpg

Simon Hay

Co-founder and CEO @ Firefly

Simon is an edtech founder and CEO with experience as a non-executive director, school governor and Chair. He co-founded Firefly Learning to solve his own frustrations as a GCSE student; it creates software for schools to drive better learning outcomes through effective engagement of parents and students. At first, he built the business as a sideline throughout his Computer Science degree at Oxford, a PhD at Cambridge and a stint on the trading floor at Goldman Sachs. He helped it grow to a team of 75 experts supporting around 900 schools across the UK and in 50 countries worldwide. As CEO, Simon led it through two rounds of venture capital and the acquisition and integration of two other startups to a successful exit to a US-based edtech company, where he now helps lead the combined European business. He is also a non-executive director of HFL Education, a leading national provider of school improvement and business support services, and has volunteered as a governor and Chair at several schools and trusts across London.

Engineering

KareemZaher.jpg

Kareem Zaher

Director of Engineering

@ BettterUp

Kareem is a seasoned entrepreneur and experienced engineering leader. Successfully founded and scaled five startups spanning diverse sectors including e-commerce, b2b marketplaces, and HR systems. Additionally, he led multiple teams at BetterUp, Booking.com and Impraise focusing at scaling teams and systems at hyper growth stages.

Back to Support

bottom of page