We are a big community of individuals with very different backgrounds. From tech-geeks, business Jedis and storytellers, we are all focused on one same goal: backing the founders who are decoding better solutions for society's most pressing problems. Our job is to create the space and collect the resources hard-working entrepreneurs need to deliver impactful outcomes.
Entrepreneurs in residence & experts
Orson backs entrepreneurs with a special focus on consumer businesses with network effects. Orson is a Senior Principal of Mustard Seed Maze impact VC Fund. Orson was one of the first joiners at Mustard Seed in London in 2015, where he led investments into businesses including Mush, HireHand, Knok and Hype Labs. The last two kickstarted Orson's love affair with Portugal. Previously, Orson was at BlackRock.Linkedin
Co-founder and CEO
Valerie Konde is the cofounder and CEO of Collectionair.com, an online destination for entry-level art collectors looking for quality art under $5000. With an entrepreneurial spirit (and an Insead MBA to support) she left her job at Google to follow a passion closer to her heart, bringing art from emerging scenes to screens near customers. Previously, Valerie worked in investment banking at Societe Generale and in venture development at Rocket Internet in Middle East and Africa.Linkedin
Co-founder and CEO
Francisco is CEO and co-founder of AnubisNetworks (acquired in 2014 by BitSight, a Boston-based CyberSecurity company) while also leading BitSight’s Brazilian and Iberia markets. Previously founded Crashless, a company specializing in complex Microsoft-based services (acquired in 2008 by Claranet). Was Vice President of the Portuguese Association of Young Entrepreneurs (ANJE) and taught at Nova University. Holds a degree in Management and Computer Science and AMP from Kellogg / Catholic University.Linkedin
Head of Acceleration
Rita has supported +50 impact startups and provided over 2,000 hours of venture support across three acceleration programmes. She grew up in a family of entrepreneurs and knows that it takes grit and execution to make a venture successful. She was an financial analyst at CrossRail in the UK. BsC in Management from Bath University and MsC in Management from NOVA SBE. Master in Finance candidate at Católica Business School.Linkedin
Luis is a management and strategy consultant turned into impact entrepreneur. He was an Associate at McKinsey & Co where he advised multinationals from various industries and a Marketing Manager at Procter & Gamble in Geneva. As an entrepreneur, his impact venture had a go at hacking the babysitting industry by providing working mums with more flexible children care services. MBA from INSEAD and MsC in Marketing from ESADE.Linkedin
Ângela is responsible for our corporate engagement and our minimalist in residence. She is passionate about designing simple solutions for complex problems. She was a consultant at KPMG and a product manager at NOS. She thrives in the flourishing territory where technology, business and empathy meet. BsC in Computer Science and Engineering and MsC in Business.Linkedin
António has been working in impact investment for +10 years in the UK, Canada and Continental Europe. He worked on deals that have mobilized over 200M€ into impact ventures. He founded MAZE and previously was an Associate at Social Finance UK. Antonio is a Global Shaper of the World Economic Forum and visiting professor of Impact Investment at NOVA SBE. Holds an MsC in Business Administration from Católica Business School.Linkedin
Head of Communications
Cristina is a management consultant turned into storyteller. She was an analyst at EY, seconded at Impact Investment Group in Australia and learned the ins and outs of startups at Mellow. Cristina has created engaging content for +50 entrepreneurs and curated dozens of unforgettable MAZE events for our partners. BsC in Economics from NOVA SBE, BsC in Political Science from ISCSP.Linkedin
Nikita is an international expert on product management. He is a product manager at uTrust, a company aiming to make cryptocurrency payments simple and safe. Previously he worked at Unbabel. His worldliness led him to grow a passion for teaching entrepreneurs about product, something he does seamlessly. Nikita has +10 years of experience working in results-driven, multicultural environments.Linkedin
John is the co-founder of SURFnCODE where he is working on sustainable foodtech projects, centered around the belief that when you make "good" things easier, more people will do them and the world will be better off.
John has nearly 20 years of experience in engineering leadership positions at Apple, Skype, Microsoft, as well as various startups. With roots in Indiana, California, Sweden, and Taiwan, John is now based in Portugal. He has held engineering leadership positions at world-class software companies in Silicon Valley and Europe.
Marta supports all efforts regarding our acceleration programmes. Previously volunteered in Mozambique and in a refugee camp in Calais, France. Her areas of interest are cooperation and development. BSc in Political Science and International Relations.Linkedin