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 “”

The ECN Secretariat:

Oliver Gajda (Executive Director)

Oliver-GajdaOliver 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) and a member of the Future Media Minds at the FutureMediaLab. 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.

Irene Tordera (Marketing Manager)
irene-torderaIrene joined ECN at the beginning of 2014 after a short internship. She is a consultant to the crowdfunding sector, helping projects to get crowdfunded and collaborating with some key players in the market. In the past, she co-founded an online community for sportspeople and worked in marketing positions at Ogilvy & Mather Advertising and at the European Business Angel Network, in Brussels. She was born and raised in Milan, Italy, and is an International Business graduate, with a strong interest for innovative ideas that can simplify our lives.

Kathrin Kohl (Project Manager)
Kathrin Kohl joined the team in September 2015 after working as a consultant and researcher for the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH and for Prospex bvba, a SME specialized in stakeholder engagement. She has prior project planning experience in a range of EU FP7 projects and has worked in a variety of multi-cultural settings in Europe, Africa and South-Asia. Previously, she was responsible for the analysis and evaluation of a field survey on a microfinance-related topic that has been conducted under her participation in Ghana. At ECN, Kathrin manages EU project activities to support the development and enhance the knowledge and awareness of crowdfunding in Europe. She was a scholarship student and tennis player at the University of Memphis and graduated from the Berlin School of Economics and Law in Germany.

Conny Weber (Project Manager)
conny-weberDr. 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).

Luigi Della Sala (Project Manager)
luigi-della-salaLuigi 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 (Project Manager)
francesca-passeriFrancesca first joined ECN in February 2016 for a three-months internship and she is currently focusing on project management. 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.

Dr Matthias Klaes (Research Director)
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)
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAAnne 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).