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 “email@example.com”.
Oliver Gajda (Executive Director)
Oliver co-initiated ECN in 2012 and went on to establish ECN as an international NGO in 2013 as 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 the SolarCoin Foundation and the 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 Master’s degrees from Solvay Business School and from the University of Hamburg and studied at SEESS (UCL) in London. Oliver is a member of the Executive Board of ECN.
Francesca Passeri (Director of Public Affairs)
Francesca has a solid background in regional development and European Affairs. She joined ECN in February 2016 and, having previously worked for the Emilia-Romagna Delegation to the EU, she has a strong interest in dissemination of knowledge about crowdfunding through regional and local authorities. She is responsible for advocacy and the roll out of the national strategic groups and technical assistance, within ECN. She is focused on exploring synergies and possibilities for the integration of crowdfnding into European Structural and Investment Funds. She holds a Master’s Degree in International Relations from the University of Bologna, where she focused on researching the potential of crowdfunding for regional development from a European perspective. Francesca is a member of the Executive Board of ECN.
Conny Weber (Head of Research & Project Management)
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 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).
Martina Panzolato (Research & Project Manager)
Martina joined ECN in November 2019 with experience in EC project management for private companies and public institutions. She focuses on creating initiatives and possibilities to help make crowdfunding a recognized and applied practice all over Europe. Martina is monitoring the implementation of on-going projects, including communication, dissemination and networking – both in Brussels and across the EU. In addition, she is supporting ECNs training and capacity-building efforts within the framework of the national strategic groups. Martina holds a Bachelor in Political Sciences and Human Rights (University of Padua) and a Masters with focus on European and International Studies (SIS – University of Trento) – with double Erasmus experience.
Mauricio O’Brien (Country Manager Spain)
Mauricio joined ECN in May 2020 as Country Manager for the Spanish Strategic Group (ECN-SSG) and training-facilitator. He acts as institutional relations advisor in European projects linked to civic crowdfunding, social innovation and rural development. Mauricio provides his expertise supporting ECN’s training and capacity building programs with regional and local entities within the framework of the ECN-SSG. He has over 15 years of experience in Design & ICT and working with academic institutions in higher education, as a coordinator and co-director of the Master Degree course “Design and Architecture” (2004- 2015) at Elisava – Design and Engineering School of Barcelona. He holds a BA in Arts and Design by the Southampton University and Postgraduate in “Social Innovation and Entrepreneurship” by UNED. His previous positions include co-directing a crowdfunding platform, trainer and public relations, and CEO-Founder at Federación de Ideas – Design & Communication Studio (2009-2017).
Cristina Moreno (Operations Manager)
Cristina joined ECN in May 2020 as Operations Manager, providing her expertise to support ECN’s financial management and planning, systems and processes as well as the development of current and new business models. She has 12 years of experience working with international organizations and non-governmental organizations -in Europe and abroad – managing projects and grants, supporting organizational development, liaising with donors and partners, and engaging with the different operative aspects of an organization. She holds a MSc in International Development Studies by the University of Amsterdam, and a BA in Political Science and Public Administration by the Universidad Complutense de Madrid.
Anne Thiebauld (Membership Coordinator)
Anne joined ECN in January 2016 as Membership Coordinator providing support to general office operations, membership management and the organization of ECN events. She has been working for more than 15 years in various private and public-sector organizations, including the European Commission. Her professional experience encompasses public and media relations, web editorial guidance, marketing as well as conference and EU training organization. Anne holds a master’s degree in Communication Sciences and European Studies at the Universities of Louvain (BE) and Barcelona (ES).
Professor Matthias Klaes (Senior Research Advisor)
Matthias Klaes leads on academic dimensions in ECN. He is Professor of Political Economy and Director of the Vinson Centre for Economics and Entrepreneurship at the University of Buckingham. 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 since 2004. He is an internationally recognized authority and consultant on questions of market governance and policy including behavioral dimensions. He is a Fellow of the Institute for Leadership and Management, author of An Introduction to Behavioral Economics (Palgrave Macmillan, 3rd ed., with N. Wilkinson), and Honorary President of the Scottish Economic Society.