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 2’200 impact startups have been assessed and 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.
SEIF invest was co-founded by Prof. Mariana Christen Jakob and Eric Gisiger, who joins the impact startup expertise with a longstanding career in private markets and early-stage venture capital investing. Complementing the SEIF innovation team, SEIF invest employs a dedicated investment team with backgrounds in banking & finance, disruptive innovation and next generation impact investing strategy.
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.
With SEIF invest, we are building on our existing legacy and accelerating impact investing in startups that plan to leverage a novel technology to achieve positive impact alongside commercial success by supporting pipeline winners financially.
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 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 SEIF Impact Academy and educational programs. 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.
Amanda manages the Impact Academy, SEIF’s unique coaching program specifically for impact entrepreneurs. Additionally, she runs the Social Impact Accelerator in collaboration with SENS and is always on the lookout for innovative startups or initiatives making a positive environmental or social impact. Amanda also supports the general communications of SEIF. She has a passion for social justice, and a love of nature and the outdoors. Before joining SEIF, Amanda was working for a sustainability consultancy in London and founded a group organising events to raise awareness around the Sustainable Development Goals. She has experience with Swiss startups and community building, and holds an MBA from St. Edward’s University.
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 manages the SEIF Awards, SEIF’s emblematic awards for impact entrepreneurs with a focus on technology. Additionally, she is involved in impact management projects and supports SEIF Invest with the impact assessment and due diligence of startups. She is fascinated by how different sectors can collaboratively tackle societal challenges 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 corporations on the planet and/or society and holds a Bachelor in Business Administration from the University of St. Gallen.
As co-founder of SEIF invest, 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.
Dr. Christian Waloszek
As Senior Impact Data Scientist, Christian is in charge of the data infrastructure and the development of the impact tool kit of SEIF. Christian holds a Ph.D. in Economics from ETH Zurich and a Master’s degree in Physics from the Free University of Berlin. In the past, he has initiated and managed a variety of public benefit projects. At SEIF, he combines his knowledge of research and data with his passion for impact entrepreneurship.
As Impact Analyst Support, Basil supports the SEIF Awards and is heavily involved in the due diligence and impact assessments of startups at SEIF Invest. Basil strongly supports the inclusion of ecological as well as social metrics into financial decision-making and is himself committed to a sustainable lifestyle. Before joining SEIF invest, Basil managed various courses and lead exercise sessions at the University of Zurich during his time as a research and teaching assistant. He holds a master’s degree in Human Geography from the University of Zurich with a minor in Agricultural Economics from ETH Zurich.
As Impact Analyst Support, Alessandra is involved in the design, development, and set-up of SEIF’s impact assessment tools and data structure for ventures. She is currently studying Economics and International Relations at the University of St. Gallen. Besides her studies, she is heavily involved in the largest student organisation for sustainability, Oikos St. Gallen, and truly believes in the need for sustainable businesses to fight the challenge of climate change posed for our generation, and those to come.
Celia works as an Impact Analyst Support at SEIF Invest and is involved with the due diligence and impact assessment of startups. She truly believes that sustainable companies will be successful in the long run and sees impact-driven enterprises as the most effective means to tackle today’s societal challenges. Celia has been working as a product manager in a financial institution before joining SEIF. She holds a bachelor’s degree in Business Administration and is completing her master’s degree in Banking and Finance from the University of St. Gallen.