What we do
At SEIF, we work with impact driven founders who aim to solve our planet’s most pressing global challenges, by employing and leveraging innovative business models within the marketplace. Our aim is to support passionate entrepreneurs in establishing product-market-fit and scale ventures with positive impact integrated at the core of their business model.
SEIF is well positioned in the heart of Europe’s tech for impact ecosystem with the annual SEIF Awards, where more than 3’200 impact startups have been evaluated. Since 2015, SEIF Awards finalists have gone on to successfully raise over CHF 40 million in equity funding.
SEIF also offers acceleration and capacity building programs in close collaboration with corporate partners. To date, our programs have supported over 1’000 impact startups and granted exclusive access to an international angel investor network.
Meet the team
Prof. Mariana Christen Jakob
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 impact 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.
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
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
As Senior Project Manager, Linda is in charge of the Impact Academy, Impact Awards, and other projects. Linda graduated with her Bachelor Degree from San Francisco State University. Currently, Linda is doing her MSc in Business Administration – Major Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ZHAW. Before that, she worked for swissnex San Francisco, where she supported Swiss Startups with their Market Validation and Market Entry to the US. At SEIF, she combines her experience supporting Entrepreneurs and her passion for impact entrepreneurship. Mandates
As Senior Project Manager, Linda is in charge of the Impact Academy, Impact Awards, and other projects. Linda graduated with her Bachelor Degree from San Francisco State University. Currently, Linda is doing her MSc in Business Administration – Major Innovation and Entrepreneurship at ZHAW. Before that, she worked for swissnex San Francisco, where she supported Swiss Startups with their Market Validation and Market Entry to the US. At SEIF, she combines her experience supporting Entrepreneurs and her passion for impact entrepreneurship.
As Freelance Impact Management Consultant, Roman supports SEIF in conducting impact management projects. Moreover, he aims to strengthen synergies between startups and corporates in SEIF’s existing ecosystem. He believes that implementing sustainability taking a systemic approach is key to secure the long-term competitiveness of any organization. Besides his engagement at SEIF, he acts as the founder of a climate risk analysis startup. Previously, he worked in management consulting and impact investing, co-founded an agroforestry startup, and brings along additional experience from venture capital and technology. He holds a Master in Finance, Strategic Management, and Sustainable Business from Copenhagen Business School.
Eléonore leads different impact management projects as well as the impact assessment and due diligence of impact-driven start-ups. Additionally, she supports the development of SEIF’s impact tool kit and data analytics. She is convinced that impact should be approached in a standardized and systematic manner, and is committed to creating a sustainable future through entrepreneurship. Before joining SEIF, Eléonore gained valuable experience at a Swiss start-up measuring the impact of listed equities on the planet & society, and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of St. Gallen.
As Partner at SEIF, Eric acts as Investment Advisor in the development of the platform and the underlying portfolio companies with a Tech for Impact focus. In addition to the positive impact, he sees great commercial potential and thus attractive investment opportunities in early-stage and growth companies addressing some of our most pressing global challenges. Eric is a seasoned and entrepreneurial investment professional with more than 20 years of successful international working experience covering the areas of private equity / venture capital, M&A, corporate development, international project- and institutional relationship management.
Zoé supports the coordination of the Tech for Impact Awards, while also managing the communication channels to improve the visibility of SEIF’s programs and partners. She thrives in environments that promote innovative ways to solve contemporary challenges. She is convinced that knowledge sharing and the dissemination of both impactful and profitable business ideas are building a more sustainable business ecosystem. Passionate about languages and with a background in international relations, she was introduced to impact entrepreneurship by collaborating within an impact tech startup tackling the challenges of financial inclusion and access to energy in emerging markets.
Niccolò is engaged with the impact assessment and due diligence of start-ups, and supports investor relations at SEIF. He is convinced that emerging impact-driven companies will have a lasting positive effect and induce a transformation of society, economy, and the environment. Before joining SEIF, Niccolò has supported start-ups with their market entry at Swissnex China and collaborated on the impact investment project Susfinteq. Niccolò holds a Bachelor’s Degree in International Affairs from the University of St. Gallen, and attained a Master’s Degree in International Political Economy from King’s College London.
SEIF has a longstanding history as an impact venture accelerator with a pan-European focus. Founded in 2011 by Prof. Mariana Christen Jakob with the aim of professionalizing the social entrepreneurship sector and providing impact startups with the necessary support to grow and scale successfully.
Over the past 10 years, the SEIF team has built an extensive pipeline and database of impact driven entrepreneurs, whereby a significant gap in external capital made available for early-stage impact ventures in need of first-time financing has been observed.