Advisory Board

Prof. Abraham Bernstein

Professor of Informatics at University of Zürich

Abraham Bernstein is a Full Professor of Informatics (Computer Science) at the University of Zurich, where he conducts research on AI, HCI, and Web-Scale Systems (eg., the Semantic Web and Linked Data). Before coming to Zurich, Abraham was on the faculty at NYU and a researcher at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Abraham also worked in the financial industry as a scientist as well as project manager and has advised numerous companies on matters of IT strategy and cutting-edge technology. Currently, he is involved with two early-stage Startups.

David Butler

Since 2010, David has been known as the “go to guy” for entrepreneurs and investors in Switzerland, has worked with many young firms, and has led many startup related efforts including Startup Grind, Zuripreneur Meetup, Failcon, Startup Bootcamp and FintechDay, as well as jury, mentor and coach at MassChallenge, Startup Weekend, Founder institute.

Having an international background, he is also connected to the wider entrepreneurial ecosystem, particularly in Silicon Valley and throughout the rest of Europe.

As a serial networker and social media aficionado, his love for testing beta versions of new products coming out of Zurich’s many startups and strong social presence has made him a sought-after advisor in many industries.

As Zurich Director of Startup Grind, he is building bridges between local and global entrepreneurs, experts, and executives.

Having worked on social and humanitarian projects for over 15 years in more than half a dozen countries, on four continents, David has acquired a first-hand understanding of global issues and the importance of human interaction. These experiences have given him a wealth of knowledge and insights that allow him to bring a global perspective to the vision and initiatives of the companies and individuals he consults.

Susanne Chishti

CEO of FINTECH Circle (London, UK)

Susanne Chishti is the CEO of FINTECH Circle, Europe’s 1st Angel Network focused on fintech opportunities and the FINTECH Tours, Chairman of FINTECH Circle Innovate and Co-Editor of “The FINTECH Book” . Recognised in the European Digital Financial Services ‘Power 50’ 2015, an independent ranking of the most influential people in digital financial services in Europe. Selected as one of the 100 leading Women in FINTECH and top 15 FINTECH UK twitter influencers.

She is an entrepreneur and investor with strong Fintech expertise. Mentor, Judge & Coach at Fintech events and competitions such as SWIFT Innotribe, Cambridge Judge Business School Accelerator, Fintech Startup Bootcamp and Barclays Techstars Accelerators. More than 14 years’ experience across Deutsche Bank, Lloyds Banking Group, Morgan Stanley and Accenture in London and Hong Kong.

Roger Darin

Principal at inacta, Zug

With his first IT startup founded at age 17, Roger Darin has always been enthusiastic about entrepreneurship. While he then pursued a more traditional career in investment banking  which offered the opportunity to work in several major financial centers across Europe and Asia, he continued to nurture his interests in technology.

It is this background in international banking, trading and risk management that he now blends with his affection for technology and an inherent streak of creativity, leading to several speaking and writing engagements about the intersection of those. Roger further combines those passions in his work as a product manager at a Zurich area fintech company and as active contributor in several organisations, including the Swiss Bitcoin Association (BAS), the Swiss Finance & Technology Association (SFTA), and is leveraging his expertise to help grow SICTIC and its Fintech Angels vertical.

Jan Fülscher

Advisor, Inventor of SICTIC Investor Day Event Format

Jan Fülscher is an entrepreneur, start-up activist and member of the board in several start-ups. He works with start-ups helping them making the first steps from prototype to commercial product offer. He’s also member of the board, juror or expert in several start-up support organizations.

Jan is a lecturer at the Universities of Zürich and Bern and several universities of applied sciences. He’s also speaker for start-up financing topics and has a good network to business angels and venture capitalists in Switzerland. Jan holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Zurich.

Antonio Gambardella

Director at Fongit

Antonio joined Fongit in 2014 as director. He is also Expert for the Swiss Innovation Agency (Innosuisse) and sits on the board of directors of different startups. He was previously general partner of a venture capital fund investing in technology, with headquarters in Switzerland, Italy and California.

During this experience, he managed incubator activities for seed projects. Later, he made direct investments in innovative small-medium companies in Europe, with active roles in management and board of directors (sectors including telecom, software, cleantech, optics and luxury). Antonio holds a master’s degree in Economics at Bocconi University in Milan (Italy) and he is an alumnus of Singularity University in California.

Jessica Gut

Jessica helps the SICTIC team as an advisor with startup related affairs.

Boaz Heller

Journalist at pressetext.schweiz; independent consultant for cyber-physical safety systems; organisational developer

Jonathan Isenring

HackZurich co-founder

Jonathan Isenring studied Business Administration at University of Zurich. He has a strong passion for innovation and entrepreneurship. In 2014 he co-founded and grew HackZurich, Europe’s largest Hackathon event that brings together more than 500 international tech talents and promotes innovation within large corporations.

In 2016 Jonathan Isenring among others called Digital Festival into action in order to unite the major players of the tech- and digital-scene in Zurich. Since 2012, he is a member of the board of the Pioneers’ Club PCU, one of the largest entrepreneurial communities in Switzerland. He also gained work experience as an assistant at the Chair of Auditing & Internal Control at University of Zurich and serves as an advisor for innovation topics in selected Switzerland based companies.

Ilona Kirienko

Advisor, Investment readiness coach

In her role as an investment readiness and pitching coach Ilona is helping startups to make their business propositions appealing to investors and develop skills to present them.

Ilona is a business development and marketing expert, who started her careers as a consultant at McKinsey & Co in Moscow.

Subsequently after getting her MBA from Harvard Business School she held a range of leadership positions in companies like J. Walter Thompson, BBVA and Credit Suisse in the areas of strategic branding, business development, marketing and procurement. Over the last 20 years she lived and worked in Russia, US, Argentina, Spain and Switzerland.

Since 2015 she is acting as an independent consultant, advising clients, among others startups and entrepreneurs on business development, branding, communication and “go to market” matters. She also took active roles in business development and operations in technology and crowd solving start ups.

Alysa Kodisch

Entrepreneur and Advisor

Alysa has been investing in start-ups for 20 years both financially and by bringing in strategic and operational proficiencies. Working predominantly with entrepreneurial companies in finance and technology, she takes on senior roles in operational areas such as Communications, Marketing, HR and Business Development.

Alysa also leads activities in Switzerland for 100 Women in Finance, a global organization supporting women in the finance and alternative investment industries and a SICTIC Diversity Partner. She is a graduate of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Economics and is active in the alumni community. Alysa is passionate about working with young companies especially those using exponential technologies to take on the world’s great problems and create the world’s greatest opportunities.

Jean-Philippe Lallement

Managing Director, Fondation EPFL Innovation Park

Jean-Philippe Lallement has extensive experience in entrepreneurship and general management in the ICT sector. He is chairman of two scale-ups and advisors of many startups / scale-ups, and an Innosuisse startup coach.

Jean-Philippe initially worked for McKinsey & Co, then joined a boutique M&A advisory, and later moved into strategy and general management at SITA, the global leader of IT services to the air-transport industry. He was instrumental in the set-up of the spin-off Equant that reached several $ billion in revenues and valuation, then had responsibility over a $200 million business line. From 2001, Jean-Philippe focused on co-founding and supporting startups.
Jean-Philippe holds master degrees in IT / Telecoms from Ecole Polytechnique and Telecom ParisTech in France, and an MBA from INSEAD.

Ariel Lüdi

Former CEO of Hybris Software and active smart-money investor

As a major shareholder and CEO, Ariel Lüdi was for eleven years the driving force of the Swiss unicorn startup “hybris software”, the global leader in Omni commerce software. After growing it to more than 700 employees and yearly revenues of USD 150 millions, it got acquired by SAP in August 2013 for more than 1 billion USD.

Since then he ran for two years all of SAP’s business related to Customer Engagement and Commerce. Prior to joining hybris, Ariel was Senior Vice President of European sales at and built up the enterprise sales organization for Europe from scratch. He has has also worked at Oracle as Head of Sales and Product Marketing in Switzerland and at IBM. He has invested as business angel in more than a dozen startups.

Pascal Mathis

Co-Founder GetYourGuide

Pascal is co-founder and former COO of GetYourGuide. In 2013 he joined Google as an Industry Manager. Since 2016 he is partner at Wingman AG, a startup coaching company based in Zurich. He is an active angel investor and serves as a board member in startups. He holds a MSc in Electrical Engineering from the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology ETH.

Sal Matteis

Fusion CEO & Managing Partner

An eight year veteran of Yahoo! Inc. (2004-2012), Sal has held roles in the various departments of Marketing, Business Operations & Strategy, Business Development, Platform & Product management. All of his roles were regional (EMEA) or global giving him extensive experience across EMEA and the United States in his career at the company.

As CPO and non-executive director Sal has headed product at a health-tech startup Boddy – bringing tele-medicine to patients across Europe.
Sal is MD at Startupbootcamp – the largest european early stage accelerator operating a network of 13 vertical accelerators in the fields of Health Tech, e-commerce, Smart Materials, Smart City and Fin Tech across Europe, Asia and the US.

Fulvia Montresor

Fulvia currently heads the Technology Pioneers community at the World Economic Forum, which recognizes around 30 early-stage technology companies globally every year and incorporates them into the Forum’s activities.

She held several roles in growing digital (SaaS and e-commerce) companies in over a decade in San Francisco. Her functional expertise includes product management, strategic planning, and business development.

She is interested in new technologies and how they will shape our world, supporting the entrepreneurs that will bring these technologies to market, and connect them with the innovation ecosystem so they can thrive.

Emanuele Pizzatti

SICTIC Ticino event organizer (since 2016)

Emanuele is based in Zürich and Lugano. He gained experience in Private Equity as Business Consultant, Financial Analyst and in Due Diligence in various industries. Emanuele has experience in direct investment in startups and in assisting entrepreneurs on market strategy, management and corporate finance. He cooperated with various financial service firms active in the Swiss start-up ecosystem and is currently running his advisory company. Emanuele has helped SICTIC to expand and develop the investor community in Canton Tessin.

Matteo Rezzonico

COO, Rezzonico Editore SA / Advisor SICTIC Ticino

After graduating in International Relations and then in Management, Matteo Rezzonico started his career in the media industry, specialising in the digital transformation of traditional print media. He currently manages his family’s publishing firm in the Italian part of Switzerland and a joint venture with Ringier AG. Building on his experience and passion for the digital world, he also became an angel investor focused on the ICT sector.

Martin Scherrer

Entrepreneur, investor, consultant

Martin Scherrer supports various startup businesses both financially and with his long-standing entrepreneurial experience. Depending on the development stage of a business he gets involved either on an operational or a strategic level. As co-owner, CFO and deputy CEO Martin was material to making one of the biggest Internet success stories in Switzerland.

His profound private equity and M&A experience stems from his time as investment professional at Swiss Re Capital Partners in Zurich and London. Martin holds a Master of Arts degree from the University of Zurich.

David L. Shrier

Innovation Catalyst

David Shrier is a seasoned innovation catalyst. He is founder and CEO of Distilled Analytics, an advanced credit risk solutions company derived from MIT research providing step-function improvement to credit prediction. He also serves as Managing Director of MIT Connection Science and Engineering, and leads creation and launch of other new initiatives for the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

David is on the advisory board of WorldQuant University, a program offering a totally-free, accredited, online Master’s degree in analytics. David recently advised the European Commission on commercializing innovation with a focus on digital technology. He specializes in building new revenue on established platforms, having developed $8.5 billion of growth opportunities with companies including GE/NBC Universal, Dun & Bradstreet, Wolters Kluwer, Disney, Ernst & Young, AOL Verizon, and Starwood, as well as leading private equity and VC funds. He has started and/or led a number of private equity and venture capital-backed companies as CEO, CFO or COO. David teaches courses and workshops for MIT such as “Future Commerce”, “Data Academy”, “Big Data and Social Analytics”, and “Future Health”. David Shrier was granted an Sc.B. from Brown University in Biology and Theatre. He and Sandy Pentland’s books include Frontiers of Financial Technology, New Solutions in Cybersecurity, and (with Thomas Hardjono) Trust::Data.

Hayel Sinnoqrot

Founder at Helvetium & Zurich AI. Adviser Impactful Tech Investments & Growth

Hayel has been working in disruptive technologies, international business and partnerships since 1998, with ventures in Europe, East Asia, North America and the Middle East, stretching from tech startups, social enterprises, family offices and investment companies, governmental institutions, and Fortune 500.

His portfolio of ICT, investment and advisory services include increasing a capital to CHF 200m for an industrial and agricultural fund. In 2018, Hayel performed due diligence, data analytics, and growth advisory on behalf of investment companies and family offices for CHF 250m portfolio in hi-tech startups (FinTech, HealthTech with AI/ML/Robotics, Automation, and IoT). One of the startups became a unicorn and heading for an IPO.

He is the founder of Helvetium, a data analytics venture, with focus on impactful technologies, a mentor in Seedstars World Summit, and a Cyber Security Adviser for Kickstart Accelerator in Zurich. He founded Zurich AI and inaugurated in ETH Zurich, to foster applied Artificial Intelligence in Zurich as part of the global AI community City AI that is active in over 60 cities worldwide.

A visionary, world shaper, and active volunteer since 1996 for children with cancer, social economic development, education, humanitarian aid in conflict zones and sea rescue missions.

He received education from Harvard University (International Affairs), Warwick University (Programme & Project Management – Risk Management) and National Technical University of Ukraine (Systems Engineering – Cyber Security).

Worked in and travelled to over 60 countries and lived in 9 of them.

Multilingual: English, Arabic, Russian, Ukrainian, German and Chinese.

Christopher Tucci

Dean of College of Management of Technology at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

Prof. Dr. Christopher L. Tucci is Dean of the College of Management of Technology at the Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL), where he holds the Chair in Corporate Strategy & Innovation. He received the degrees of Ph.D. from the Sloan School of Management, MIT; SM from MIT; and BS, AB, and MS from Stanford University.

Before returning for his PhD, he was an industrial computer scientist involved in developing Internet protocols and applying artificial intelligence tools to industrial problems. Professor Tucci joined EPFL in 2003 where he teaches courses in Entrepreneurship, Technology and Innovation Management (TIM), Information Technology Strategy, Design Thinking, and Research Methods. His primary areas of interest are business models, open innovation, crowdsourcing, and dynamic capabilities. He is also studying how the popularization of the Internet affects firms in different industries.  In 2010, he was elected to the leadership track of the SMS’ Strategy & Entrepreneurship Division.  In 2013, he was elected to the Academy of Management’s Board of Governors.

Maayke van der Pluijm

Performance and Business Coach, Entrepreneur

Maayke acted in a variety of corporate and consulting roles before starting her own business in Change & Performance Management in 2007. She also participated in startups as mentor and COO. Her focus is on supporting others to achieve high performance, whether it is for startups, corporate teams, individuals or even athletes.

Throughout the years she has coached individuals and (multicultural) teams, often spread over different locations and time zones, accelerating team and stakeholder engagement, high performance and effective collaboration. Maayke holds an MSc in Social and Organisational Psychology and Bachelor certificates in Economics. She is a certified NLP Practitioner and Mental Game Coach (IMGCA) and is pursuing continued education in the field of high performance and sports psychology (UNIL/EPFL) and as professional coach with the International Coach Federation (ICF).