About

SEIF supports and promotes impact driven entrepreneurs – individuals or teams – with innovative business ideas to solve current social and/or environmental challenges. With a main focus on TECH FOR IMPACT, we provide targeted support for impact entrepreneurs to grow, improve their business performance and scale their impact.

Together with our corporate partners, we lead the TECH FOR IMPACT Awards, a Europe-wide business plan competition for impact driven tech entrepreneurs. Twice a year we run the IMPACT ACADEMY which is linked to our Angel network Impact Investors Circle. We are the only organization in Switzerland certified to run Innosuisse trainings for Social Entrepreneurs, in collaboration with ZHAW and EPFL.

We currently develop additional impact investing opportunities, to support Tech for Impact entrepreneurs and utilize the significant business opportunities associated with the UN Sustainable Development Goals.

Team

Prof. Mariana Christen Jakob

Founder & Managing Partner EmailLinkedIn

With over 20 years experience in social innovation, CSR and impact entrepreneurship Mariana is an expert within impact investing as well as non-financial support for social entrepreneurs. She founded SEIF in 2011 with the aim to professionalize the social entrepreneurship sector and provide impact startups with the necessary support to grow and scale successfully. Today, Mariana leads the way in early stage Tech for Impact investing, finding solutions for the issues involved in initiating the first financing rounds.

Mandates

First Ventures, Gebert Ruf Foundation, Jury Member
The programme promotes UAS students with an innovative business idea with financial contribution as well as tailored coaching

BRIDGE, jointly offered by the Swiss National Science Foundation (SNSF) and Innosuisse, Member Steering Committee
The programme offers funding opportunities at the intersection of basic and science-based innovation for young and experienced researchers

RaiseNow, Advisory Board Member

Aimée van der Wolde

Managing Partner EmailLinkedIn

As Managing Partner, Aimée leads the implementation of SEIF’s Tech for Impact programs and new developments. She has a strong background in deal sourcing for impact angels and is in charge of the Impact Investors Circle, SEIF’s network of impact driven business angels. In prior roles, Aimée managed social innovation and impact programs for public and private institutions, consulted entrepreneurs and public institutions on impact and worked with Social Impact Bonds. At SEIF, she thrives in her role, supporting impact startups to become impact investment ready.

Mandates

WSA National Expert & Jury Member

Climate-KIC Switzerland Jury Member 2019

Yunus&Youth Jury Member 2019

Sarah Linder

Managing Partner EmailLinkedIn

As Managing Partner and SEIF’s impact management expert, Sarah leads strategic projects within impact management in the context of impact investment. She is in charge of the educational programs SEIF Impact Academy and Innosuisse trainings for impact entrepreneurs. Sarah is experienced within impact driven entrepreneurship, having worked with impact entrepreneurs in Switzerland and Brazil. She has an academic background in business and sustainability, holds a PGC in social innovation management and absolved EVPA and Acumen trainings in social impact management and measurement as well as lean data approaches to measure social impact.

Mandates

Venture Jury

Maria Ljung

Program Lead & Communication EmailLinkedIn

Maria manages the Europe-wide startup competition SEIF Tech for Impact Awards. In her role, she looks for European impact entrepreneurs who develop or make innovative use of technologies to tackle the most pressing global social and/or environmental challenges. She has a strong belief in fostering the positive potential of technology to achieve sustainable and scalable impact. Before joining SEIF, she primarily worked within business, culture and trade promotion in the public and non-profit sectors in Europe. Her academic background is in economics, international relations and journalism.

Mandates

WSA National Expert

Dino Darmonski

Project Manager EmailLinkedIn

Dino is part of the development and implementation of new projects and takes responsibility for sub-projects, where he supports the rest of the team. He is convinced that the use of technology can contribute to the improvement of ecological and social challenges. Before joining SEIF, Dino worked as a Marketing Project Manager both in companies and as self-employed. He has a Bachelor’s degree in Economics, a CAS in Design Management and will soon finish a Master in Business Innovation at the University of St.Gallen (HSG). 

Dr. Jaap E. Borger

Technology Advisor EmailLinkedIn

Jaap E. Borger is a scientist with a background in sustainable chemistry. He moved to work and live in Switzerland after obtaining his doctoral degree in the Netherlands at the end of 2016. He has experience as a research associate in the pharmaceutical industry and as a postdoctoral researcher at the ETH in Zürich. His latest projects involved the development of new strategies to sustainably produce bulk and specialty chemicals, as well as the synthesis of novel materials designed to tackle some of the current challenges in the energy industry. With his background and vision, he has the skills to detain the potential of technology in order to contribute to the achievement of the SDGs.

Karen Rauschenbach

Growing a winning team EmailLinkedIn

Before moving into social entrepreneurship and starting an ethical fashion label Karen held senior management roles in programme and operations at AIRBUS. She did a social entrepreneurship course at Oxford University and Executive Leadership programme at THNK school of creative leadership in Amsterdam. Her aspiration is to use her business experience to support and grow social entrepreneurs. At SEIF she acts as a free trainer/coach on `Growing your team. `

Emily Elsner (Adams)

Impact Measurement & Management EmailLinkedIn

Emily is a consultant specialising in impact measurement and NGO management (www.elsnerrc.com).  She has a background in social-ecological relationships, and a PhD in Human Geography.  She is co-founder of Capacity, a non-profit entrepreneurship incubator in Zurich for people with refugee and migrant backgrounds.

Advisory Board

Hansjörg Utz

Hansjörg Utz has studied law in Zurich and finished his studies with a doctorate in Basel. After several years as a lawyer in 1983 he moved into journalism where he started as a freelance to become chief reporter at the “Tages-Anzeiger”. In 1989 he moved to the Swiss television where during eight years he moderated the „Kassensturz” show and was later in charge of the news magazine “10vor10”. In 2013 he founded Media Check GmbH. Hansjörg Utz currently works as a media coach, consultant and journalist.

Holger Schmid

Holger is director for the sustainable economy programme at the MAVA Foundation. He leads MAVA’s strategy development and portfolio management on natural capital, green finance and circular economy. He facilitates and advices on collaborative civil society initiatives with diversity of partners in various European countries. He serves as a board member for the Plastic Solutions Funds, the Foundation for Sustainable Agriculture and a private mountain transport company. He joined MAVA in 2005 having previously worked for WWF in the Mediterranean and in Mongolia.

Jürg Kronenberg

Jürg Kronenberg lives and works in Zurich. He has worked for almost 40 years at UBS in various management positions, most recently as Head of Corporate Clients, Zurich region as Relationship Manager for Large Corporates in the Zurich region. He also acts as Chief Executive of the Commercial Association of Zurich and Switzerland, Society for Business Cycle Research at ETH Zurich and is a member of the Association Bahnhofstrasse Zurich.

Otto Bitterli

Otto Bitterli holds a Masters in Political Science and has worked for more than 25 years in the Swiss insurance industry in various executive positions. As former CEO of Sanitas health insurance, he took on various responsibilities at the Swiss Insurance Association (umbrella organisation representing the private insurance industry in Switzerland) and curafutura, the association of innovative health insurers. He is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Sanitas Group.