10 years of Investment – Speakers’ Biographies

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Speakers’ Biographies

Xavier Arquerons 

Xavier Arquerons Castellví is Founder and President of family business Gruparpa S.L. Between 1965 and 1983 he hold executive positions in different companies within the food and beverage industry, being is latest corporate position as CEO of Trinaranjus and Zumos Vida. Xavier was Vicepresident of the Spanish Association of Producers of Beverages, ANFABRA. Xavier is an engineer and IESE PADE. 

In 1984 Xavier launched his own entrepreneurial activities within the Vending industry together with other associates; his ventures included coffee roasting, elaboration of sandwiches for vending machines, or instant / soluble drinks among others. Ten years later he owned 100% of his business buying out his partners and leading large scale-growth in the country. Currently, his business, Alliance Vending is the second vending group is Spain. 

After leaving the day to day business to the second generation he leads a diversification plan focused on new technologies and innovative start-ups, being an active investor within IESE angel network and building a significant portfolio, which includes companies such as masmovil.com, Printcolor, workmeter.com, or Benditas Marcas.


Sergio Arzeni

Sergio is the Director of the OECD Centre for Entrepreneurship, Small and Medium-sized Enterprises (SMEs) and Local Development.

The Centre oversees the work of the Local Economic and Employment Development programme (LEED), the Working Party on SMEs and Entrepreneurship, the Tourism Committee, and the OECD LEED Trento Centre for Local Development (Italy).

Mr. Arzeni has worked at the OECD for over 20 years. Prior to joining the OECD, Mr. Arzeni served as an economist for the Italian Parliament, the Italian Trade Unions and the European Commission. As an economic journalist he has contributed to several Italian and international newspapers.

He holds a First Class Honours Degree in Political Science from the University of Rome and specialised in Industrial Economics at the International University Institute of Luxembourg and in International Economic Relations at the Brookings Institution in Washington D.C., USA. He speaks French, Spanish, English, German and Italian.  


Luis Martín Cabiedes 

Luis is currently a Lecturer of Entrepreneurship at IESE. Luis Martín Cabiedes has a degree in Philosophy from the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, an MBA from IESE, and is a financial analyst with a charter from CFA Institute. In 1989, he joined the Europa Press Group, where he was co-president for 12 years.

In 1998, he started investing in early-stage tech startups. He first operated as a business angel in this investment activity and then set up his own venture capital fund (Cabiedes and Partners), which now constitutes his main occupation. He has invested in more than forty Internet and tech startups, including Ole, Myalert, Acceso, and, more recently, Privalia, Trovit and Offerum. A pioneer of angel investment in Spain some of his successful exists are a reference in the angel market.

Luis Martín Cabiedes has been a part-time lecturer at IESE since 2008 and teaches the classes "Entrepreneurship" and "Entrepreneurial Finance."


Lucas Carné

Lucas co-founded Privalia in 2006 and is currently its CEO. Privalia has since dominated the private-sale market for retail goods in Spain. The company now has more than 900 employees with a turnover of  422 million euros in revenue for 2012, up from 60 million in 2009. The company has expanded into Italy, Brazil, and Mexico. Since 2007 it has raised 198 million euro from General Atlantic LLC, Index Ventures, Highland Capital, Insight Venture Partners, Nauta Capital, Sofina and La Caixa Capital Risc. It has been recognized since as one of the most successful exits for investors in the Spanish angel landscape. Lucas is also Co-founder & non-Executive Director of Groupalia, and Seed Investor & non-Executive Director of Smithfield Case and Wineissocial.

One of the highlights of his professional career stands is his tenure between 1999 and 2005 at Bain & Co as a strategy business consultant developing projects in Spain, United States, Brazil and Mexico. Lucas has a Degree in Mechanical Engineering from the Escola Tècnica Superior d'Enginyeria Industrial de Barcelona (UPC) and completed his education with an MBA from the Northwestern University-Kellogg School of Management and from IESE Business School.


Pep Casas

Pep Casas is currently active as a Private Investor, after being an entrepreneur and executive in the retail/e-commerce and technology industries. Pep acts as Board member of several early stage and technology companies and founder and partner of NEOKO CAPITAL (his investment vehicle). Since 2008, he has invested in 14 early stage companies and search funds in the US and Europe (such as Olapic, Careesma, Bluefin, Finco among others).

Pep has a degree is Business Administration from the Central University of Barcelona and an Executive MBA from IESE. He has an strong commercial background as executive in several multinational companies, such as GE and Leroy Merlin,responsible for an account of more than 300 million euros and more than 1200 employees, where he was a key contributor to the explosive growth of Leroy Merlin along with a great team.

He has a global experience as an executive and investor in Europe, as well as in the US and Asia.


Javier Cebrián

Javier Cebrián is President and Founder of Bonsai Enterprises Business Group which is a diversified investment group with interests in Venture Capital, Real Estate and Finance. Within that group he is also President and Founder of the venture capital company Venture Capital Bonsai SCR.


Javier is an engineer, has an MBA from IESE and has over 30 years of successful experience as an entrepreneur and businessman in national and international joint ventures. He has participated as an investor in numerous acquisitions and sales of companies. For more than 10 years he has been developing a new Venture Capital model specializing in the areas of Internet and New Technologies. Venture Capital Bonsai SCR is currently involved in 13 e-business companies in start-up, development and consolidated stages and is proud of its successful track record. Through Bonsai Enterprises, Javier promotes enthusiastically and practices a new culture and business model that fits the needs of our times.


Jesus de Benito

Jesus created his own company, S&P Consulting in 1993, after spending five years as a Logistics and Account Manager at SAP IBERIA. His company achieved a leading position in the industry and operations field and later, in 2000, merged with GEDAS, an IT brach of Wolkswagen Group. Jesús left the company in February 2006. Ever since, he dedicates more time to his family, friends and the IESE business angel network. Jesús is an active investor and generous mentor for spin-offs from the University.

Prior to his period in SAP he worked for IBERIA and STAFF Iberica. Jesús is an engineer, IESE’s EMBA and also a postgraduate in software at Universidad Pontificia de Salamanca.


Paco de Gimena

An active investor in internet based companies, Paco is co-founder of the internet incubator and investment group Mola.com. He trained as a physician and earned his MBA from IESE. Before founding Mola.com Paco was the Managing Director of several hotel chains. He defines himself as internet-crazy ("internetero") and it is from this that he derives his personal and professional drive. Through Mola.com Paco is currently involved in supporting, financing and accelerating start-ups. Among the companies Mola.com has been involved in are: Alquiler.com - Calzadoo.com - Bankimia.com - Destinity.com - Grupea.com - Salud.es - JobLinker.com - Zoco.com - WorkMeter.com and others, up to 40 companies in total.

Prior to his current position in Mola.com, Paco was Managing Director at Oasis Hotels and Resorts Globalia, Hotetur Club S.L. and Chief Operations Officer at Eurest.


François Derbaix

François is a web entrepreneur and angel investor. As an entrepreneur, he has been the founder and CEO of Toprural.com (sold to HomeAway in 2012,  Nasdaq:AWAY), the co-founder of Rentalia.com (sold to idealista.com in 2012), and is currently co-founder of Soysuper.com (a supermarket agregator in Spain). As a business angel, he is active as an early stage investor and advisor in 19 startups, among which 11870.com, Kantox, Deporvillage, Comunitae, Ducksboard, etece.es, Tiendeo, … He is also participating as a mentor in the business accelerator Seedrocket.

Previously to founding Toprural in 2000, François was a consultant at The Boston Consulting Group in Brussels, and he owns a Business Engineering degree from the Louvain School of Management (1997, graduated suma cum laude). For more information you may visit francoisderbaix.com or follow him on Twitter: @fderbaix.


Jaime García Murillo 

Jaime is an angel investor with fifteen years of experience in the Banking sector, working at Banesto, Chase Manhattan Bank and Credit Suisse and more than 10 years of experience as a business strategy, IT consultant and as an adviser on merger and acquisitions transactions. Jaime leads an angel fund, PADEINVEST, formed by 35 members from several industries that have the aim of adding value to start-up projects with knowledge, experience, networking and financing. PADEINVEST members share in common their experience as alumni of the IESE executive program PADE, which they completed in 2010. The group invests mostly in internet companies such as Bankimia, Habitissimo or Compring, but also on off-line start-ups such as Aparca&Go. 

Jaime has a degree in Law and an Executive Management Program (PADE) at IESE Business School. 


Susana García Robles

Principal Investment Officer in charge of MIF Early Stage Equity Group at MIF/FOMIN (Multilateral Investment Fund). Since 1999, Ms. Garcia-Robles has created and guided the seed/venture capital investments of MIF/FOMIN in Latin America and the Caribbean as well as its entrepreneurship strategy. She serves on over 20 boards of directors and investment committees of seed and venture capital funds, and is frequently invited to speak at industry events on seed, venture capital, impact investment, entrepreneurship and women’s issues. Memberships include: US-Brazil VC Task Force hosted by the Commerce Department and the Kauffman Foundation since 2006, co-founder of the Argentinean VC Association/ARCAP and the Colombian VC/PE Association ColCapital, Latin American VC association/LAVCA’s Board of Directors member, and Advisory Board member of the Brazilian VC Association, ABVCAP, the Colombian VC/PE Association ColCapital, and of the Global Impact Investors Network Council (GIIN).

Before 1999, she focused on youth and women leadership issues.

Ms. Garcia-Robles has a Master’s Degree in International Economic Policy from Columbia University and a Master’s in Philosophy and Education from the Catholic University of Argentina.


Maurice Gopikian

President of the French Harvard Business School Alumni Angels Association. Maurice holds an MBA from Harvard Business School, and studied at the Ecole Centrale de Lyon and EMLyon Business School. Maurice started his career in strategy consulting and M&A in Accenture, where he was part of the Technology Media Telecommunications practice with a strong focus on Internet and e-commerce. Following this he was VP of Trader Media where he led Internet & e-commerce activities worldwide and managed the company’s IPO.
He then became a serial entrepreneur and founded, raised funds for, managed and sold several companies, mostly in the technology and services sectors. In parallel, he started to invest as a Business Angel from 1999 on. His most successful investment was in Fi System, an Internet Service company where he achieved an 80 times ROI after its IPO.

In 2008, he founded the French Harvard Business School Alumni Angels Association over which he still presides and then co-founded the HBS Angels Global and its 15 chapters worldwide. The investment strategy has a voluntary wide cross industry focus, with funding needs ranging from € 100K to € 5 million. The recent investments of the French chapter of Harvard Angels included companies such as: www.instantluxe.com, www.corso-magenta.com, www.payplug.fr, www.pret-dunion.fr, www.gemmyo.com, www.lucibel.com, www.prestodiag.com, www.seawaxmarinecoatings.com.


Claude Rameau 

Former President of France Angels, Vice Chairman of the INSEAD Board since 1995. Claude is Emeritus Professor of Decision Science at INSEAD. Having started his career in Europe as a consultant in the field of the Management of Innovation, Claude Rameau joined the INSEAD Faculty as a professor of Managerial Economics, Decision Making, Quantitative Analysis (1967-1975); he became Associate Dean for Executive Education (1973-1982) and Dean of INSEAD (1982-1993), creating the Executive Education Department at INSEAD. 

Since 1995, he has been actively involved in venture capital and particularly in the development of Business Angels in France and Europe, creating a network of private equity investors - more than 80 networks in France alone, representing some 4,000 investors. 

He was appointed Vice President of EFMD (Brussels, 1994-1998) and is currently a member of the Executive Committee. He is the Deputy Mayor of Melun (South of Paris) and has been awarded with the Légion d'Honneur.


Roy Sardiña

Roy Thiele-Sardiña is a successful venture capitalist and entrepreneur with over 25 years of investment and operating experience in the technology industry. Mr. Thiele-Sardiña most recently was Managing Director at Steelpoint Capital (a spin-out of the private equity group of Moore Capital Management). Before becoming an angel investor and venture capitalist, Mr. Thiele-Sardiña was a highly regarded operating executive. He was co-founder & CEO of Ingrian Networks, a leading data privacy provider, and co-founder and CEO of Tasmania Networks, a cache proxy company (acquired by Cisco). He was also a member of the founding management team for Brocade Communications Systems. As Brocade's Vice President of Sales and Business Development, he signed the company's original OEM agreements.

Mr. Thiele-Sardiña holds a BS degree in Electrical Engineering and Computer Science from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an MBA from New York University, Stern School of Business.


Jeffrey Sohl 

Jeffrey E. Sohl is Director of the Center for Venture Research at the Whittemore School of Business and Economics at the University of New Hampshire. He received his MBA and Ph.D. in Management Science from the University of Maryland. He currently serves on the Advisory Board of the New Hampshire Community Loan Fund, the eCoast Technology Roundtable and MerchantBanc, and the Editorial Board for Venture Capital, Entrepreneurship Theory and Practice and Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research. 

He has presented his angel research in academic and practitioner forums in the United States, Europe and Asia, and in briefings for several government agencies and scholars from all over the world. He has written many articles which have been published in academic and business journals, including Venture Capital: An International Journal of Entrepreneurial Finance, the Social Science Journal, Frontiers of Entrepreneurship Research, Entrepreneurship and Regional Development, Entrepreneurship: Theory and Practice, Entrepreneurship 2000 and the Journal of Business Venturing. 


Joan R. Tarradellas 

CEO of ACC1Ó, the Catalan agency for business innovation and internationalization, Joan Tarradellas has a Masters in Industrial Engineering from the Technical University of Catalonia (UPC) an MBA from IESE Business School and the Wharton School (University of Pennsylvania) as well as a Phd in Business Administration from UPC.

Since he began his professional career in 1994, he has led teams involved in the acquisition and privatisation of medium-sized and large industrial enterprises in the technology, chemical and airline industries. He served as the Director of Mergers and Acquisitions of Amadeus GTD (in Europe and the United States) and of FMC Corporation (in Europe, Asia and the Middle East), and as a member of the Board of Directors of several companies.

To date he has been Professor and Head of the Department of Finance at EADA Business School and has given doctorate courses in the UPC Department of Management. He has also been Director-Partner of Astra Corporate Finance Advisors, a business consultancy that specialises in investment banking services for small and medium-sized companies.
He is also the author of books and research papers on business valuation, banking and airport management.


Manuel Valle Muñoz

Agricultural Engineer from the Polytechnic University of Madrid and Master in Public Administration from Harvard, Manuel belongs to the State Economists and Trade Body of the Spanish Government.

He was chief and technical adviser at the General Department of Traffic Improvement, deputy director general of the Directorate General for Relations with the EEC and GATT, and head of the Cabinet of the Secretary General of Commerce and the Undersecretary of Commerce and Tourism. He was director of the Division of Consumer Goods at the Spanish Institute for Foreign Trade (ICEX), economic and commercial counselor of the Embassy of Spain in New York and adviser to Vice President and Minister of Economy. In 2004 he was appointed director general of Employment at the Community of Madrid and subsequently economic and commercial counselor in UAE, Qatar, Pakistan and Afghanistan. Currently he was director of the Division of Industrial Products and Technology of ICEX.


Marco Villa 

Marco Villa is a Business Angel and Vice President & Managing Director of Italian Angels for Growth - IAG, that he co-founded in 2007. Italian Angels for Growth is the largest angel group in Italy. It has 100+ members that have, so far, committed in excess of € 18M in deals in Italy and Europe. Marco is also owner and Managing Director of Mirade Ventures Srl, a boutique venture firm specializing in equity investments in high-potential start-up businesses. Marco has invested in more than 15 companies in Italy and abroad. Among his investments Faction – Switzerland, Lemoptix – Switzerland, Movolo – Latvia, Keyasia – Hong Kong or Sweetriot – USA.

Previously Marco has been Director and Head of Business Development at Villa & Bonaldi, Manager in the global office of PricewaterhouseCoopers based in London, New York and Amsterdam. Before joining the private sector and has held various positions in two global nongovernmental organizations: the Society for International Development and AIESEC.

Marco holds a Master degree in Economics and Business Administration and has received executive education in Private Equity and Venture Capital.


Keith Willey 

Keith is Adjunct Associate Professor of Strategy and Entrepreneurship at LBS and formerly Executive Director of the School's Foundation for Entrepreneurial Management. He leads the Managing the Growing Business and New Technology Ventures courses. His work focuses on entrepreneurship, venture capital, managing growth, technology ventures and organization development. As an active and enthusiastic supporter of entrepreneurship in industry, his activity outside LBS is helping entrepreneurs to build, buy and sell ventures. 

Keith advises Deloitte on their annual Entrepreneurship UK Survey, served as judge on Ernst & Young’s international program “Entrepreneur of the Year”, and delivers the annual Masterclass to UK finalists. He teaches Executive Development work at a number of companies including Ernst & Young, Bertelsmann, EDS, Ericsson and the Young President's Organization. During the 90s Keith was closely associated with the major corporate restructuring initiatives of the time.