Coaches, Trainers and UCreate Jury Members
The coaches bring their expertise to UCreate projects, advising them on their development and issues, and putting them in touch with their network as required.
The trainers lead the practical workshops, present the tools and help the teams to apply them to their projects.
Jury members evaluate the projects at the end of phase 1 of the programme on the basis of their pitch, to select the 8 to 10 projects that will take part in phase 2.
“Thank you all for your contribution to the UCreate programme. The insights, expertise and experience you have shared with us are fantastically valuable to the participants! We couldn’t do without you and your commitment, semester after semester, with the same passion.“
Anne Headon, Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation HUB, Chair of the Jury
Founder of W Life Sciences
Wilma Lukas worked for some of the best pharmaceutical companies in the Lake Geneva region, including GSK and Merck-Serono, before joining an EPFL start-up. After the research aspect came the business approach to pharmaceutical development when she joined Debiopharm for a few years, where her network was intensively developed.
She then embarked on the adventure of entrepreneurship by founding her own company as a consultant, W Life Sciences. For some years now, she has been sharing this role with Innosuisse, the Swiss Innovation Agency, as well as other European organisations.
She keeps a close eye on the development of Swiss biotechs and start-ups by acting as a judge for MassChallenge and Venture. Still passionate about life sciences!
Director of Aquaforum, Professor at Berne University of Applied Sciences
He obtained a bio-engineering degree in agricultural sciences from Ghent University (Belgium) in 2001 and an Executive Master in Business and Administration from HEC Lausanne (Switzerland) in 2016.Thomas has been working in the aquaculture sector for over 20 years. After working for a nutrition research centre in Italy, he managed large hatcheries and farms producing cod in Scotland and Norway, sole in Spain and perch in Switzerland. He has extensive experience of fish production and water recirculation system technology, and has designed production units.
Since 2016, as Director of the Aquaforum Competence Centre and Professor of Aquaculture at Bern University of Applied Sciences, he has developed several training courses and works on research projects with Swiss industry partners.
Thomas also carries out consultancy work, helping companies to start up and optimise their fish farming production.
Co-founder and CEO of GenKnowMe
Semira Gonseth Nusslé is a medical doctor specialised in research and preventive medicine. Her own researches in the field of epigenetic epidemiology led to the development of a start-up company - Genknowme - that develops and commercialises innovative blood tests to medical clinics and doctors in the field of longevity.
EHL lecturer and coach, consultant, entrepreneur
Patrice Dartevelle holds an MSc in Chemistry and an MBA, and began his career as a strategy and M&A consultant with one of the leading firms in London. He then held increasingly senior management positions in strategy, business development and marketing in leading packaging, flavour and tobacco companies. He has held responsibilities at local, regional (particularly Africa and the Middle East) and global level.
He currently teaches entrepreneurship, strategy and international services marketing at the Ecole Hôtelière de Lausanne. He is also active as an entrepreneur and consultant.
Commercial lawyer, co-founder of Im-vesters
A graduate of the Faculty of Law, Criminal Sciences and Public Administration, Nicolas Krauer obtained his Master's degree in 2013 and his bar exam in 2014.
Alongside his work as a lawyer, Nicolas has co-founded several start-ups in the fields of participative real estate financing, fintech and process optimisation.
Passionate about entrepreneurship, Nicolas created the We-Up platform to support start-ups in their growth and assist them in raising funds and finding investors. He is often invited to give talks in his areas of practice and runs numerous seminars and workshops.
CEO of Biopôle
Building on his dual scientific and business management backgrounds and acting as General Manager, Nasri Nahas has been leading for the last 20 years the strategic activities as well as directly overseeing the operational management of Small/Medium Enterprises. In this respect, he has a sizable experience in business development, corporate finance, sales and marketing, international business negotiation, leadership and team building as well as change management.
Social innovation consultant, co-founder of MEGA Social Innovation
After training in statistics and English literature, Morgane began her career in banking, specialising in finance. She then moved into the social economy, and is now a social entrepreneur. Together with her husband, she founded the social innovation consultancy MEGA Social Innovation Sàrl and the MEGA Social Foundation. Today, she works with companies to define and implement their social and environmental strategies, with individuals to help them make the transition from one life to another, and with social organisations to help them implement innovative or development projects.
Curious, open to others and caring, she enjoys accompanying and supporting new projects and contributing to strategic thinking.
Lecturer, SBP coach at EHL
Before starting her professional career in academia, Maya Gharbi worked for many years in the banking sector. As a portfolio manager at UBS in Geneva, she was responsible for investment decisions on the financial markets. Then, as a financial analyst in Dubai, her area of expertise included analysing the North American stock market.
Maya has a passion for the subject she teaches and for passing on her knowledge to students. Combining her past experience in the world of finance with the pedagogical training she has acquired over the years at EHL has strengthened her interactions with students.
Founder of Reversed.cc, Programme Manager Pangaea X
Maxime plays with 3 ingredients in all his activities: innovation, impact and personal development, and the focus is always on future generations.
His key activities in 2022 were managing the mind-shifters project (from the MyLearningBoutique company) - training courses combining innovation and impact (mindshifters. com), the development and facilitation of the Pangaea X programme (organised by adventurer Mike Horn) - an innovation programme aimed at turning ideas for solutions to preserve the oceans into reality, and developing participants (https://pangaeax.org), and finally Reversed Board (reversed.cc), an initiative aimed at enabling top management and students to think about the future of the company together.
Partner at Creatives, marketing and communications expert, speaker
After a Master's degree in law, an MBA and 6 years in marketing with telecoms and sports companies, Mathieu focused on communications by developing the Creatives agency.
Convinced that creativity is an advantage in a highly competitive world, he has been working for over 15 years to make Creatives a catalyst for his clients. "The war for attention is won with ideas, content and technology, all implemented in an agile way".
Now deeply involved in the world of digital and social networks, he spends most of his time advising our clients & implementing digital strategies that drive them forward.
Strategic designer and lecturer at EPFL
Marius has a background in interaction design, transforming emerging technologies into new user experiences and business opportunities. He co-created Novertur, a business intelligence platform, to help firms to make international business development. In addition, he worked as a strategic design consultant for Siemens and NAGRA. At EPFL, Marius explores new formats of design education and increases the overall design impact on the innovation processes.
Director of the Master in Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Glion, start-up mentor
Mariam brings a breadth of international business experience to our Master’s degree focused on entrepreneurship skills. She began her career as a consultant with McKinsey & Co. before entering the corporate Food & Bev sector at two household-name brands – Starbucks and Nestlé – a career path which culminated in her taking the role of Starbucks Global Strategic Innovation Director for Nestlé. Since 2012, she has served as Strategy Professor for the Executive MBA at Solvay Brussels School Vietnam. She is also a judge and mentor for the global startup accelerator MassChallenge where she provides mentoring for startups in Food and Sustainability. Finally, she volunteers her time with Ashoka, the leading global network of social entrepreneurs, where she helps identify and scale up the work of social entrepreneurs.
Actress, singer, speaker, trainer, coach
Margarita Sanchez has been immersed in the world of theatre since she was a child. She turned this artistic heritage into a profession, first as a dancer, then as an actress and singer, working in a variety of stage-related professions: improvisation, choreography, puppet manipulation, directing, dubbing, training, courses, etc.
She completed my drama training at the Serge Martin School in Geneva (graduating in 1989) after two courses with Ariane Mnouchkine and classes at the Tania Balachova School in Paris.
Since leaving the school in 1989, she has worked in dance, theatre, improvisation and singing in over 70 professional shows.
Director of the CHIC programme, EPFL
After obtaining a Bachelor's degree in management and information systems from UNIL, Marc Laperrouza went on to obtain a Master's degree in Mandarin and economics from Fudan University in Shanghai, followed by a doctorate from the London School of Economics and Political Science. After working for the Evian IMD group, he is now a lecturer at UNIL and EPFL, teaching courses such as markets in emerging countries, prototyping and design for sustainability.
International speaker and founder of Leadership Speaking School
Laura Penn transforms you and your team into communicators who can speak with impact, authenticity and human connection to any audience, any time.
Using The Leadership Speaking Toolbox, her proprietary method, you will transform into the best version of yourself as a communicator and unleash your native communication potential.
After obtaining a Master's degree in law from the University of Lausanne, Julien Guex began his career as a lawyer at the Vaud Chamber of Commerce and Industry. He became Deputy Director of the Law and Taxation Department, then took on the position of Deputy Head of the Framework Conditions Department, before moving on to become Deputy Director of Innovation.
He has also been General Secretary of the Foundation for Technological Innovation since 2008.
Marketing Manager for BCV's Corporate Division
After completing a Master's degree in management at HEC Lausanne, Jonas Ramelet did an internship with Michael Page Executive Search. He then worked as an account manager at BCV, before taking up the position of strategic assistant. He is now head of the strategy department.
Start-up coach, business and marketing strategy
Born in the US, raised in Switzerland, John is a structured extrovert and fluent in English and French. John has an MS in Computer Science, an MBA in Finance and several certifications.
He has worked in software development, digital marketing, project and change management, and has launched two startups. He has coached over a hundred startups and companies.
He has built an extensive toolkit to help prepare your company for the future, including design thinking, innovation management, business storytelling, workshop design and facilitation, and pitch coaching.
In addition to Standpoint, he coaches startups for Innosuisse, Fongit, HES-SO, UNIL, Platinn and teaches entrepreneurship, business models, social media marketing and digital transformation for Singa, the Haute Ecole de Gestion, Innosuisse, Crea and other organisations.
Project Manager at the Competence Centre in Sustainability UNIL
Project manager with 8 years of experience in the fields of strong sustainability and technological innovation. Johann Recordon holds a Master's degree in foundations and practices of sustainability from the University of Lausanne (UNIL) and a Bachelor's degree in management from École hôtelière de Lausanne (EHL).
He joined the Competence Center in Sustainability (CCD) in 2020 and am currently a project manager in the Research Department. Previously, he has worked in the organization of conferences and workshops on topics related to technological innovation, between Geneva, San Francisco, Bangalore and Shanghai.
His areas of expertise include strong sustainability, digital technologies, entrepreneurship, climate plans and relational ontologies.
Business coach, HEC lecturer
Jean de Wolff acts as turnaround manager in large out-sourcing, merging or restructuring projects. He acts as board-member for technology oriented SMEs and as angel manager for startups.
Holding a Master in Economics, Jean has spent his entire career in technology oriented companies. He experienced the various development stages of companies domestically and internationally; as a founder of new ventures that have been successfully sold, as a senior manager in large multinational companies and as a board member in small and medium enterprises.
Jean is currently a partner with several companies and startups in video on demand, mobile application development, sustainable investment consulting and anti-theft electronic tags.
Associated professor of marketing @HEC Lausanne
Prior to joining IESE in 2016 Isabelle Engeler was completing my postdoctoral research at New York University’s Stern School of Business and the University of St. Gallen.
Over the last several years, I have led many consulting projects for various consumer goods, governmental, or service industries in the US and Europe on issues including price strategy, behavioral pricing and framing, marketing strategy, positioning, or customer satisfaction measurement. Prior to joining the graduate program, I worked in the marketing department of Longines S.A., a Swiss watch company, and in the online trading industry with E-sider.com (TradeDirect).
Founder of Burrus Development, Equal Profit, Fynka, Terrakodo
Inès holds a Bachelor’s degree in Biology and two Master’s degrees, in Sustainable Resource Management and Real Estate and International Asset Engineering.
She started her career in the Sustainable Agriculture department of Nestlé. She rolled out rural development projects in coffee and cocoa origins. This was followed by an experience in Public Affairs managing global partnerships at the corporate level. Sponsored by Nestlé, Nespresso and ECOM Agroindustrial, she then pursued a PhD programme in Economics with a specialization in Management at HEC Lausanne, Switzerland. Her research focused on how to make farming an attractive occupation for rural youth.
Inès is the founder and managing director of three social enterprises: Equal Profit, a certification model ensuring transparent and equitable profit distribution among supply chain actors, Fynka, a mobile application to ensure that smallholder farmers earn a prospering income and Terrakodo, an IT company for social impact.
COO of QoQa
After completing a Bachelor's degree in Business, Management and Marketing at HEIG-VD, Fabio Monte worked as a sales controller at Orange, then as a channel operations analyst. He became Director of Operations at QoQa in 2010. He also co-founded sQale in 2019, a company that helps reduce operational costs for other businesses, as well as Grapl, which enables winegrowers to sell directly to individuals, without any technological, logistical or administrative barriers. Since 2018, he has been a committee member of the Foundation for Technological Innovation (FIT digital).
Co-founder of CHI Impact
Passionate about social & environmental impact entrepreneurship & investments, Enrique is Managing Partner at Chi Impact Capital; previously, he was at Bamboo Capital Partners as Networks Development Partner, with a primary focus on supporting the Tech4Impact fund’s long-term strategy in Emerging Markets.
Enrique also worked as Strategy and Business Development Manager at Impact Hub Geneva and Lausanne. His primary focus was the financial development of Accelerate2030 – a multi-stakeholder program co-initiated by Impact Hub Geneva and UNDP in 2016, aiming to identify ventures with tested and scale-ready solutions in line with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Today, Accelerate2030 is implemented in 20+ developing and emerging economies, including Africa, Asia, Latin America, and Eastern Europe. It involves over 1 million people and more than 500 entrepreneurs worldwide.
His strong interest in entrepreneurship also led him to work at SeedStars – a Swiss-based group with the mission to impact people’s lives in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship.
Before that, he was part of Virgin Group’s strategic management and corporate development team, working on business analysis, M&A, and financial modeling in different industries across the Americas, Europe, and Asia.
Enrique holds a Master’s Degree in Management and Corporate Strategy (HEC Lausanne, University of Lausanne) with a specialization in Innovation and Technology (EPFL, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne). He also holds a Bachelor’s degree in International Business, Trade, and Commerce (Tecnologico de Monterrey, Mexico).
Head of the Social Innovation Unit at the UNIL Entrepreneurship and Innovation HUB
After obtaining a Bachelor's degree in political science from UNIL, Emilie Romon went on to obtain a Master's degree in public administration from the University of Berne. She then worked for 5 years at the OECD as a policy analyst, before co-founding the Centre for Philanthropy. She influenced the mindset of governments on how they view foundations and helped foundations work better together.
In 2018, she joined Ashoka as manager of partnerships, before becoming its head in 2020. She has also been a board member of foraus.
Strategy and finance coach
Denis Schraner has been advising entrepreneurs for a number of years on strategic decisions, financial planning, business model definition, value proposition, pricing strategy and corporate governance.
Having been a founder himself, Denis is well acquainted with the difficulties encountered in setting up a business, financing (raising funds from investors), marketing strategy and business development. He is passionate about sharing his experience to help entrepreneurs make the most important decisions.
Denis has fifteen years' experience in consulting, corporate strategy and finance. He studied at HEC Lausanne (Bachelor's degree in management), followed by an international Master's degree at King's College London.
Start-up coach at Genilem
While studying sociology at the University of Geneva, Cyril joined a childhood friend who had started an e-commerce website. The start-up grew rapidly and was sold in 2010 with 25 employees. He then co-founded several highly verticalised marketplaces in French-speaking Switzerland before launching a generalist platform www.devis.ch in 2014. During this period, Cyril saw the need to help small businesses go digital and set up a web agency offering SaaS websites with a business approach.
After selling and setting up more than 650 websites in the cantons of Geneva and Vaud, Cyril decided to change his life and put his experience at the service of others. He joined GENILEM in 2017 and supports a number of start-ups in 3 areas: structuring their business to enable them to scale up, accelerating sales and monitoring indicators (including cashflow).
Business coach: business, marketing and go-to-market strategies
Corinne Lebourgeois has worked in the life sciences sector for 25 years, in industry (J&J), consulting (MedC Partners) and academia (EPFL, HEIG-VD).
She has solid expertise in developing business, marketing and go-to-market strategies for innovative products for companies, healthcare and digital health organisations.
She is passionate about coaching entrepreneurs to help them turn an innovation into a business and about promoting the entrepreneurial spirit. In recent years, she has coached and mentored young entrepreneurs in start-ups and incubators. She is an accredited business coach for the European Innovation Council and the Executive Agency for SMEs (EISMEA). She also teaches in CAS/MAS programmes at UNIGE, HEIG-VD, HE-ARC and other programmes at EPFL.
Sustainability guide for SMEs, lecturer at HEC Strategic sustainability projects
Since 2008, PME-Durable has been part of a global economic philosophy in which companies measure their performance by integrating social and environmental aspects with purely financial ones.
These are the three pillars of a more balanced development that should make success more sustainable and responsible.
PME durable is a key player in the field of Sustainable Development for SMEs in the French-speaking part of Switzerland and a leader in Corporate Social Responsibility.
Our main mission is to support organisations in integrating the notion of social responsibility into the heart of their strategy and operations. We offer advice, training and expertise.
Co-founder of I.D Swiss Botanicals
Prior to Babylon Sciences and alongside various entrepreneurial ventures, in 2014 he co-founded and led On My Way (an innovative digital dry cleaning company - multiple award winner - 3rd best start up in Switzerland) through solid 3-digit growth until its exit in 2016 to a large French public company (€3 billion annual sales). This acquisition led him to develop the On My Way business model internationally until the end of my term of office.
Prior to this, he held positions as in-house counsel and general counsel in various international companies based in Switzerland and the United States, while developing skills in global project management and sales operations management activities within the same companies.
Caroline Coquerel Kokocinski holds a Master's degree in General Agronomy and a Master's degree specialising in spatial information processing. She has worked in business development and consulting for international organisations. She was the Swiss and European Managing Director of Quantis. She has sought to promote scientific methodologies combining sustainable development and economics. Since 2014, she has been coaching start-ups and entrepreneurs in a number of organisations, including Genilem, Tech4Eva, Star'Terre, VentureLab, Fongit, the UNIL HUB and Innosuisse.
Marketing, communications and business development specialist
Benjamin is a marketing, communications and business development specialist with over 15 years' experience in SMEs, particularly in digital television, telecoms and digital. A business economist, he holds a DAS in marketing from UNIL, an EDP from the Wharton School and a Digital Strategist diploma from CREA.
Formerly head of the UCreate.ch programmes and the accelerator at the HUB, Benjamin has coached more than 150 entrepreneurs and projects since 2018, focusing on an effective, simple and team-oriented approach.
As a business coach and communications trainer, he runs SIMPLIFY and supports intra/entrepreneurs, SMEs, job seekers and sports federations such as FIFA. At the same time, he is developing his start-up, expertiZ.ch - BSM United Experts Sàrl. As a member of the jury for competitions such as START and onecreations.org, Benjamin plays an active part in the positive impact of the regional ecosystem of change agents.
Co-founder of La Médicale Romande, HEC lecturer
Advising executives, athletes, medical professionals and individuals on various aspects of their financial needs, including investment strategy, wealth planning, financing and risk management.
Benjamin is a founding member of La Médicale Romande, a network of experts dedicated to training and advising medical professionals in Switzerland on financial issues.
In addition to his work in finance, he teaches leadership to professionals and give trainings and conferences on topics such as leadership performance, generational differences, charisma or implicit biases. He also co-authored a book which can be found in most major retailers (Leaderspritz) and was shortlisted by the Financial Times for the Bracken Bower Prize for his book proposal on data literacy.
Director of the Entrepreneurship and Innovation HUB at the University of Lausanne and Chair of the UCreate jury
After training at HEC Lausanne and INSEAD, Anne Headon worked as a marketing and management consultant for a number of multinationals. She co-founded Crescendo Marketing in 2004, eventually becoming a tutor for entrepreneurial projects on the MBA programme at Oxford's Saïd Business School. Back in Switzerland, she sits on several boards of directors and teaches social innovation at HEC Lausanne. She has founded and directed the Entrepreneurship and Innovation HUB at UNIL since 2019.
Strategy, innovation and design thinking consultant
Alexandra Karacsonyi has a Master's degree in Management Sciences from ESSEC in France and an MBA from Stanford University in the USA. She is also Prosci certified in change management.
She has over 20 years' experience in Strategy and Marketing, acquired with leading companies such as BNP Paribas, Bain & Company, PepsiCo, L'Oréal, PayPal and Migros, and in various countries (Germany, USA, France, Switzerland).
Since 2015, Alexandra has been running Elixir Consulting, a people-focused training and consultancy company. Alexandra has also been part of the distance teaching team for the LEAD Executive Certificate (focused on intrapreneurship) at Stanford University since 2015, and has been teaching Design Thinking at the Haute Ecole de Gestion de Genève since 2017. She is also an accredited design thinking trainer for the d.thinking academy, and authorised to award its certificate.
Director of PACCT
An experienced and motivated entrepreneur with proven experience in the medical device industry. He is skilled in leading interdisciplinary project operations, including product development, research and development, intellectual property, regulatory and quality management, as well as the commercialisation of innovative diagnostic devices for personalised medicine.