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@example.org”.
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, including their training activities, within ECN. She is focused on exploring synergies and possibilities for the integration of crowdfunding 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 & Innovation)
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 & Innovation 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.
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.