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Cambridge Institute for Sustainability Leadership (CISL)

Sam started with Accenture as a management consultant before being headhunted to his first startup, FirstMark Communications Europe, which raised the largest telecommunications Series A round in European history ($1.5 billion). Since then, he has been an early employee at Spotify, privately invested in 25+ startups, had 3 further exits from his own companies, helped 250+ startups accelerate growth, and works as an expert for the European Commission to distribute EIC equity and grant funding. Sam has been active in the Techstars ecosystem for many years, having been an Entrepreneur-In-Residence for Techstars Amsterdam, and a Lead Mentor on several programmes including Techstars Lisbon, Techstars Korea, Techstars Boulder and Techstars Energy in Oslo, amongst others. Sam’s focus has always been disruptive innovation and how to leverage technology for sustainability and impact.

Sam Laakkonen
Portfolio Director – Canopy and Accelerator, Sustainable Innovation and Entrepreneurship