Women Startup Challenge Europe Advisory Committee


 Europe 2018 | Finalists | Judges | Advisors | Mentors | Sponsors

Allyson Kapin, Founder of Women Who Tech and Rad Campaign

Allyson has been named one of the Most Influential Women in Tech by Fast Company, one of the top Tech Titans by the Washingtonian, and one of the Top 30 Women Entrepreneurs to Follow on Twitter by Forbes for her leadership role in technology and social media. She is also the Co-Founder of Rad Campaign, a web agency that works with nonprofits to fight the world’s toughest problems, ranging from climate change to health care reform. She also served as a philanthropic adviser to Craig Newmark, the Founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies. In 2012, Allyson wrote the nonprofit best-selling book, Social Change Anytime Everywhere, with Amy Sample Ward. In 2007, Allyson founded Women Who Tech: A Telesummit for Women in Technology featuring Arianna Huffington of HuffingtonPost.com and Joan Blades of Moveon.org. She was on the Advisory Board of the Anita Borg Institute and the Planning Committee for NTEN’s Nonprofit Technology Conference. Allyson blogged for Fast Company, focusing on trends in technology and Web 2.0, and served as the Blogger-in-Chief for Care2’s nonprofit communications blog, Frogloop.

Craig Newmark, Founder of craigslist and Craig Newmark Philanthropies

Craig Newmark is a Web pioneer, philanthropist, and a leading advocate on behalf of trustworthy journalism, veterans and military families, women in tech, and other civic and social justice causes. In 2017, he became a founding funder and executive committee member of the News Integrity Initiative, administered by the CUNY Graduate School of Journalism, which seeks to advance news literacy and increase trust in journalism.

In 2016, he created Craig Newmark Philanthropies to promote investment in organizations that effectively serve their communities and drive broad civic engagement at the grassroots level. Amid growing concerns about the proliferation of “fake news” in the context of the presidential campaign, one of the foundation’s first donations went to the Poynter Institute to create the Craig Newmark Chair in Journalism Ethics. Newmark is widely credited for his leadership in promoting “news we can trust.”

Craig serves on the board of directors of a range of nonprofits including Blue Star Families, Center for Public Integrity, Girls Who Code, Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America, Poynter Foundation, Sunlight Foundation, VetsInTech, and Women in Public Service Project. He also serves on the Board of Overseers of the Columbia Journalism Review. He serves on the advisory board of nearly twenty other nonprofit organizations including Donors Choose, EFF, New America Foundation, Voto Latino, Wikimedia Foundation, Women Who Tech, Consumer Reports, and many others.

In 1995, Craig started curating list of San Francisco arts and technology events he personally emailed to friends and colleagues. People were soon calling it “Craig’s List” and when Craig turned it into a company he monetized minimally, opting for a business model that prioritized “doing well by doing good.” Today more than 5 billion ads have been posted on the site, the vast majority for free. Craig has not been involved in management since 2000.

In 2015, craigslist received an award from the FBI in recognition of its undisclosed cooperation with the bureau in combatting human trafficking. Craig was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame in 2012. In 2013 he was named “Nerd-in-Residence” by the Department of Veterans Affairs Center for Innovation.

Craig communicates regularly through his own blog at craignewmarkphilanthropies.org and through FacebookTwitterLinkedIn, and Medium. He also travels the country speaking about issues and appearing on behalf of organizations he supports.

Stéphanie Hospital, Founder of OneRagtime

Stéphanie Hospital is the Co-Founder and CEO of OneRagtime, a new generation venture platform, advisory and studio focused on investing in and scaling early stage European startups in both Europe and the United States and working closely with Corporates.

Prior to this, Stéphanie was the Executive Vice President of Orange Digital, the Digital & New Growth Business Unit. She has an extensive international and management background in the digital, telecommunication and advertising sectors with a proven track record in setting up and growing new ventures, investing, building best-in-class teams and forming international partnerships.

Stéphanie is founding member of Level 39, the leading tech accelerator in London. She has been an Executive Director at Dailymotion till June 2015 as well as Vice Chairman for IAB Europe.

Stéphanie was selected as part of the 50 most inspiring women in tech in Europe.


Jimmy Wales, Founder of Wikimedia Foundation

Jimmy Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur living in the UK and best known as the Founder of Wikimedia Foundation – the charity which operates Wikipedia.org – and the Co-Founder of Wikia.com.

Wales received his Bachelor’s degree in Finance from Auburn University and his Master’s in Finance from University of Alabama. During his academic career, he published an academic paper called “On the pricing of Index Options when all the underlying assets follow a lognormal diffusion”. Before he started his career as Internet entrepreneur, Wales worked as a futures and options trader in Chicago, trading mostly short-term interest rate derivatives and currency futures.

In 2007, The World Economic Forum recognized Wales as one of its Young Global Leaders. This prestigious award acknowledges the top 250 young leaders for their professional accomplishments, commitment to society, and potential to shape the world’s future. Wales also received the Time 100 Award in 2006 when he was named one of the world’s most influential people in the “Scientists & Thinkers” category. He was appointed a fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School in 2005, and he joined the Board of Directors of the nonprofit organization Creative Commons in 2006.

In January 2001, Wales started Wikipedia.org, the online encyclopedia that anyone can edit. Today, Wikipedia and its sister projects are among the top five most visited websites. In mid-2003, Wales set up the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, CA, to support Wikipedia.org. The Foundation is now based in downtown San Francisco. It boasts a staff of close to 150 that focuses on fundraising, technology, and programming to expand Wikipedia. Wales now sits on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation and continues to act as a key spokesperson.

In 2004, Wales co-founded Wikia.com, a separate company that enables groups of people to share information and opinions that fall outside the scope of an encyclopedia. Wikia’s community-created wikis range from video games and movies to finance and environmental issues. Wikia’s network is now ranked as the 16th most popular website according to Quantcast.com.

In 2014, Wales was appointed Co-Chairman of The People’s Operator, a UK-based mobile operator that enables users to donate 10 percent of their phone bills to causes of their choice at no extra cost to them. In January 2016, Wales became a non-executive director of the Guardian Media Group. He currently lives in London, where he intends to make his permanent home.

Adizah Tejani, Director of Marketing (EMEA) at Token

Adizah is a product-focused technology executive who has worked within the digital tech space since 2009. She is currently the Director of Marketing (EMEA) at Token, a San Francisco-based open banking fintech company. She was also part of the founding team at Level39, a London-based technology accelerator focused on fintech and cybersecurity products. Under her leadership, the Level39 technology ecosystem grew to over 200+ member companies, delivered over 7 hours of weekly educational programming, and established tech partnerships.

Adizah has worked in the technology and startup ecosystems for the last 7 years and understands how to build relationships and strategies that add value to all partners. Adizah has worked on the rollout of digital products such as websites, billing systems, and mentor matching platforms. This work has led her to collaborate with industry leaders such as Facebook, Google, Microsoft, IBM, JP Morgan, UBS, Thomson Reuters, and Accenture.

Adizah has also spoken about the impact of technology, business, and finance at global industry events and conferences. In 2016, she was named one of the top 100 women in London by City A.M.

Mary McKenna, MBE, Director at Elemental Software and Co-Founder of Learning Pool

Mary McKenna is a well-known Irish technology entrepreneur and angel investor. She co-founded the successful Northern Irish e-learning company Learning Pool following a long public sector career and a spell as a Silicon Valley dotcommer. She exited from Learning Pool in 2014 so that she could return to working with earlier-stage startups.

Mary is interested in helping to start and grow indigenous Irish and UK tech companies. She is also keen to work with female and young entrepreneurs. She is a resident expert at the University of Oxford’s Said Business School; one of the Entrepreneurs in Residence at the Northern Ireland Science Park in Belfast; a trustee of the Centre for Acceleration of Social Technology; and an active member of Tech London Advocates.

She has invested in six early-stage tech startups to date, three of which have female founding teams. Mary was awarded the MBE by Her Majesty the Queen in the 2014 New Year’s Honours for services to digital technology, innovation, and learning.

Martin Bryant, Community Editor of Tech North

Martin Bryant is Community Editor at Tech North, where he tells the story of technology in the North of England. He uncovers world-class companies, people, and initiatives that often fly under the radar of major tech publications.

Martin was previously Editor-at-Large at The Next Web and is a regular fixture on technology conference stages in Europe and the USA. He often appears on national and international TV and radio programmes to talk about technology.

Lisa Stone, Entrepreneur and Co-Founder of BlogHer and Chief Strategy Officer of Ellevest

Lisa Stone is an entrepreneur and digital media strategist with 18 years of experience developing scale consumer communities via storytelling, quality conversation, and analytics. She’s the Chief Strategy Office for Ellevest. Prior, Lisa was CEO and Co-Founder of BlogHer Inc., which she grew from an idea for a grassroots conference into a startup that reached 100+ million women each month, earned $30 million in annual revenue, and became a proprietary tech platform to engage social influencers. Lisa also executive produced BlogHer’s conferences, the world’s largest for women in social media. Her past interviews include President Barack Obama, Sheryl Sandberg, Soledad O’Brien, and Melinda Gates. In 2014, Lisa led the sale of BlogHer to SheKnows Media, creating the #1 women’s lifestyle digital media company. Previously, Lisa pioneered the first blog publishing network at Law.com. She was also Vice President of Programming and Editor-in-Chief at Women.com Networks. In this role, she led original programming and partnerships with Bloomberg, Gallup, E! Online, and HBO’s Sex and the City. She also helped launch 11 Hearst and two Rodale magazine sites.

Although Lisa left CNN for WebTV in 1997, she has continued to write for The New York Times, LATimes.com, LinkedIn, Medium, HuffPost BlogHer.com. Her honors include a Fortune Most Powerful Women Entrepreneur Award, being named one of Fast Company’s 100 Most Creative People in Business, and receiving an Ernst & Young Winning Women award. She was also the first Internet journalist awarded a Nieman Fellowship by Harvard University. A Montanan who goes home to ski as often as possible, Lisa lives in Silicon Valley with Christopher Carfi and their children.

Rajeeb Dey MBE, Founder of Enternships.com & CEO of Learnerbly

Rajeeb Dey is the Founder and CEO of Enternships, a portal which has connected students and graduates to internships and graduate jobs in over 7,000 startups and fast-growing businesses for which he was named the “02 X Young Entrepreneur of the Year” and the youngest recipient of the Queen’s Award for Enterprise Promotion in 2013.

He is passionate about helping people to connect to opportunities and flourish in their careers. Most recently, Rajeeb launched Learnerbly, a platform to manage employees’ professional development and help people be their best selves at work.

Rajeeb is also the Co-Founder of StartUp Britain, a national entrepreneurship campaign launched by Prime Minister David Cameron in 2011. He is a vocal supporter of social enterprise who has served as a Trustee of UnLtd, the Foundation for Social Entrepreneurs, for over 8 years.

Rajeeb graduated with 1st Class Honours in Economics and Management from the University of Oxford and was appointed the world’s youngest Young Global Leader by the World Economic Forum in 2012 aged just 26. He was named as one of the 1,000 Most Influential People in London by The Evening Standard as well as being recognised in prestigious publications “Who’s Who” and “Debrett’s People of Today”. He was appointed Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the Queen’s 90th Birthday Honours List in June 2016 for services to entrepreneurship. You can follow him on Twitter @rajdey.

Robin Wauters, Founding Editor of Tech.eu

Robin is a seasoned European technology journalist and the Founding Editor of Tech.eu, the premier source of European technology news, data analysis, and market intelligence. He was formerly the European Editor of The Next Web, and before that a senior editor at TechCrunch.