Team

The European Crowdfunding Network is being managed by its Executive Director with the help of the ECN Secretariat team. You can reach individual members of the team via email by sending your message to the person of choice by using their email address following the structure “FirstName.LastName@eurocrowd.org”

The ECN Secretariat:

Oliver Gajda (Executive Director)
Oliver co-initiated ECN in 2012 and went on to establish ECN as an international NGO in 2013 as Founding Executive Director and Chairman.  The past decade, Oliver has worked with venture capital, microfinance, technology and social entrepreneurship in both commercial and non-profit settings in Europe and the USA. Oliver is an Advisory Board Member at Förderkreis Gründungs-Forschung e.V. (FGF). A former journalist, he started his career in the early 1990s in the publishing and business information industries. Oliver holds Masters degrees from Solvay Business School and from the University of Hamburg and studied at SEESS (UCL) in London.

Luigi Della Sala (Head of Operations)
Luigi joined ECN in December 2016 as responsible for our current and future EU-funded projects. He is a qualified consultant with six years’ experience working on EU funding and project management, obtained working for several stakeholders (industries, associations, SMEs, NGOs) on on the overall project cycle, from identifying project opportunities to developing project ideas, from preparing project proposals to implementing and managing projects. He spent last two years spent managing a very challenging LIFE project which aimed to test a circular economy model for the production of plasterboard panels. Always looking for new challenges, he joined ECF as for his personal interest in crowdfunding as a tool for economic growth. He holds a Master degree in International Relations from LUISS University in Rome (Italy).    

Francesca Passeri (Head of Advocacy)
Francesca has a background in regional development, having previously worked for the Brussel’s liaison office of the Emilia-Romagna region, she has a strong interest in dissemination of knowledge about crowdfunding through regional and local authorities. She has a Bachelors’ Degree in International relations and she is currently enrolled in a Master Degree in European studies. During her university years, she has been involved in many of the activities of the Europe Direct – Punto Europa of Forli, for which she delivered workshops and seminars on the European Union.

Conny Weber (Senior Research Analyst)
Dr. Conny Weber joined ECN in March 2016 and is responsible for our current and future European Commission projects. She has an extensive background in the field of innovation management and much experience with EC projects management, due to her activities within the isn  – innovation service network group (since 2006). Her work and research topics are mainly related to innovative business models and alternative financing instruments, enhancing access to finance for entrepreneurs and SMEs. She holds a degree in information science from Saarland University (Germany). And a PhD in business studies from Karl-Franzens University Graz (Austria).

Dr Matthias Klaes (Senior Research Advisor)
Dr. Matthias Klaes joined ECN in 2017 as research director. He is an internationally recognised academic and consultant on questions of market governance and policy including their behavioural dimensions and has held senior positions at a number of Universities. He is co-author of An Introduction to Behavioral Economics and Honorary President of the Scottish Economic Society. A communications engineer and business economist by training he has been a close observer of the rise of digital finance in the UK and elsewhere and has been involved in joint initiatives and projects with ECN since 2012.

Anne Thiebauld (Membership Coordinator)
Anne joined ECN in January 2016 as management assistant providing support both to general office operations as well as for the organisation of ECN events. Has been working for more than 15 years in various private and public sector organisations, including the European commission. Her professional experience encompasses public and media relations, web editorial guidance, marketing as well as conference and EU trainings organisation. Anne holds a Master degree in Communication sciences and European studies at the Universities of Louvain (BE) and Barcelona (ES).