Our Team

We are enterprise champions and community builders who lead and support some of the most high-impact enterprise initiatives and ventures in the world. It works with other local to national enterprise champions who support the work we do as advisors by bringing their experience and network to the table.

Kosta Mavroulakis, Founder & CEO


Kosta Mavroulakis is an award-winning and global super-connector for startups, SMEs and corporates who has designed and/or delivered some of the leading startup, tech, investment and/or non-profit initiatives in Europe. Over the years he has acted as an advisor and super-connector to many early stage emerging and funded tech startups like Buffer and Accredible. In 2008, he became one of the founding members and the Digital Development Director of the National Association of College and University Entrepreneurs (NACUE), a non-profit orgisation support the development of student-led enterprise societies in 100 UK universities and 200 further education colleges which went on to secure £3.5m from the UK Government’s Department of Business, Innovation and Skills. Since 2015, Kosta has been the Campaign Manager of StartUp Britain, the UK’s leading campaign for small business. This has seen him co-design the StartUp Britain Bus Tour with Centre for Entrepreneurs and NatWestaround 90 UK cities and towns providing 15,000 people with free business mentoring. This was launched at Downing Street with the then Prime Minister in 2015 and at Buckingham Palace with HRH Duke of York in 2016.

He now leads Empact Ventures, the Startup Super Connectors for startups, SMEs, corporates and investors where he leads a team in designing and/ delivering tech startup initiatives for many clients (e.g. I-COM Global Data Startup Challenge in partnership with Unilever) and/or led by themselves (e.g. Corporate Pitch Days in partnership with Hays). He also leads the Empact Growth Studio, a team startup agents that support a portfolio of early stage like Hollabox.com (backed by Just Eat Ventures) or funded ones like StageDoor, ClickMechanic or SeeFashion. Kosta completed a BSc (Hons) in Computer and Business Studies, and later an MSc in Information Systems and Management at the prestigious Warwick Business School, where he also led its student enterprise activity.

Raphael Weninger, Head of Ventures

_MG_3692-1Raphael is an enabler of young entrepreneurs and has worked with over 80 startups in the past few years leading Warwick Incubator which he co-founded at the University of Warwick. He has also run initiatives to equip hundreds of students with technical skills and worked for startups in the Education and MedTech space. He is now working as Head of Ventures with Empact Ventures where he designs and delivers startup initiatives such as Venture Labs, Corporate and Investor Pitch Days for tech startups and acts as a global startup scout. Raphael holds an undergraduate degree in Management and masters degree in Drama and Theatre Education from the University of Warwick, where his research focused on fear of failure in relation to startup founders.

Roland Mortimer, Ventures Executive

11753653_1040626745961104_2024901859489820614_nRoland is an enthusiastic, passionate and supportive member of the Empact Ventures team where he supports our clients, partners, ventures and causes in his role as our Ventures Executive.

He has spent the past few years leading operations at StartUp Britain including spending the past two summers working on every single one of the 30 cities visited during the summer bus tours to support the team, its partners, sponsors and volunteers.

He has also spent time promoting various brands like Mozilla and TransferWise to student audiences in London, while also supportive of various research projects at the Centre for Entrepreneurs based in Mayfair London.

Advisory board

Manoj Agarwal, Director of Digital Services at Hays plc (London)

With over 30 years in IT Industry and last 12 years in senior leadership positions as IT Director, Programme Director, Transformation Director and currently as Director of Digital Services at Hays Plc, Manoj is a strategic, transformative and disciplined leader with a strong execution focus. At Hays in the last 9 years he has delivered technology (Front office, digital and RPO) change programmes, is responsible for all the global systems across all 32 countries and has created a Digital and Innovation capability. The transformation over the years included rolling out Agile and Devops culture and practices and use of Open Technologies for innovative business solutions with multi location based team. Manoj is also the author of “Ordinary Champions: How to Achieve Your Full Potential and Outperform Yourself” and an Advocate for Tech London Advocates. Prior to his work with Hays, Manoj has also worked for several large corporations like Fujitsu, Tata Consultancy Services and Sopra Steria

Martin Smale, IT Director at Selwood, former Director of IT at Cisco Systems & former Director of Technology at News Corp (Bournemouth)

Martin has worked in IT for the last 30 years across retail, media, manufacturing and hi-tech for companies like NDS (Global CTO and Deputy CIO), News Corporation (Director of Technology) and Cisco Systems (Director of IT). He is currently Business Technology Director at Selwood, and advises a number of companies including Empact Ventures, Qapitol and Hollabox. His background covers all aspects of IT from Design through Development to Support and Infrastructure specialising in collaboration, communications and digital transformations. Martin has an innovative mind putting the user experience and simplicity at the core while driving significant cost savings.

Ajay Hari, Head of IT (Customer Services & After Sales) at Jaguar Landrover & Director of LogicShore (Milton Keynes)

Ajay is an experienced transformation executive with a demonstrated history of successfully delivering large scale business, digital and IT transformation programs in companies of various sizes across various industries. Strong program and project management professional skilled in Business Process, Business Process Design, IT Service Management, IT Strategy, and Data Warehousing. He is one of the founding directors of LogicShore which provides support for digital transformation projects for large brands and Indian Law Enforcement Agencies and provides on-demand CTO services for startups. He is currently the Head of IT for Customer Services and After Sales at Jaguar Landrover and volunteers as a mentor at Virgin Startup

Robert Pocknell, former IP Counsel of TomTom (London)


Robert is CEO of Dryden Aston www.drydentaston.com. He has over 25 years’ experience is advising clients on intellectual property matters. He was in private practice for 12 years before joining Sendo, the UK’s first mobile phone manufacturer and developer of the world’s first Microsoft smartphone. Robert spent 2 years as IP Counsel at TomTom, the leading satellite navigation company. He has advised small and large companies on patent licensing in the wireless industry and his clients range in size from start-up entrepreneurs to multinational companies. Robert is a consultant at Keystone Law www.keystonelaw.co.uk ; he is also Chairman of the Fair Standards Alliance www.fair-standards.org, an organization advocating that companies comply with their obligations to license standards essential patents on a fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory (FRAND) basis, especially in the IoT industry.

Colin Tan, Founder & CEO of RentLord.com / Investor at FORGE Scale-up Accelerator (Manchester – UK & China)

Founder of Rentlord (#500Startups, #Seedcamp, #TechCrunchDisrupt), a disruptive online property portal for P2P tenants and landlords to rent and manage tenancies. Entrepreneur-in-Residence and investor at Dotforge Impact, a Cabinet Office accelerator for tech entrepreneurs that want to create a social impact with their product, either as its main focus or a positive effect.


Kalyan Chandrapu, Co-Founder & UK Managing Director, Qapitol QA (Milton Keynes)

Kalyan was born and brought up in the beautiful coastal town of Visakhapatnam in India. He studied to be an Engineer. Since graduating, he has been a trainee, a tester, an analyst, a lead, a manager, a CEO, an Investor and more recently co-founded Qapitol QA.  At work, he likes to reinvent himself and test his limits which he does so by constantly pushing myself to take on bigger challenges. Thankfully, no role so far has pushed him to the break-point. His work experience ranges from building websites during the www boom to delivering complex projects in Banking and Financial domains. He has worked for and / or delivered to organizations like Zee, PSI Data Systems, SQS, HSBC, Lloyds TSB, First Data and Santander, to name a few. To pursue his passion for software testing and quality assurance and to be able to give back to the industry, he recently co-founded Qapitol QA, an organisation which primarily engages with tech startups to help them build better applications, faster. The company is based in India primarily with a team of 40 and Kalyan leads its UK office in Milton Keynes which also has team members in Bournemouth too.

Matt Smith, Director of Centre for Entrepreneurs (London)

Matt is the director of the Centre for Entrepreneurs think tank and former Director of the national enterprise campaign StartUp Britain. The Centre is a non-profit organisation founded and chaired by serial entrepreneur Luke Johnson and is housed in the Legatum Institute’. It publishes research to communicate the economic and social value of entrepreneurs. In 2014, it took ownership of StartUp Britain, which now operates as the think tank’s campaign wing. Previously, Matt co-founded the student enterprise charity NACUE and consultancy firm Entelligence, and worked at Enterprise UK. He is an advisor to the Enterprise Research Centre and is a member of the Social Angels Movement.

Waqas Baggia, Partner at BSP Capital (Birmingham)

baggiaWaqas has over 13 years of sales and business development experience in a diverse range of industries including energy, creative, technology, and manufacturing sectors. His key areas of expertise are business development, strategy, branding/UX and account management. Waqas is currently a Partner at BSP Capital and is responsible for identifying acquisitions, market trends, developing sales and marketing strategy, and key account management. Waqas holds an MBA with a specialisation in strategy, represented the UK at the G20, is a Fellow of the prestigious Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce, was a Kairos Fellow, was on the Board of Directors of the American Chamber of Commerce Canada and a founding Ambassador for One Young World.

Michael Boham, Financial Services Consultant at Catalyst (London)

Michael Boham PhotoMichael is an experienced Management Consultant, supporting clients to deliver their business transformation programmes in the Capital Markets space. His past experience includes data analytics and business intelligence, outsourcing and vendor strategy, business process re-engineering, risk management, technology integration and testing. In addition, Michael has amassed several years leading software development and design, product management and B2B business development for a number of startups and small businesses.

Dr David Bozward, Serial Tech Entrepreneur & Principle Lecturer in Entrepreneurship at Royal Agricultural College (West Midlands)

dr-david-bozward-webDavid Bozward is a serial technology entrepreneur, educator, mentor and adviser on international youth entrepreneurship. With a background in 3G technology, David is now founder and chair of games company Dojit and then became senior lecturer at the University of Worcester. David has delivered several national campaigns to nurture youth entrepreneurship, helping scale student enterprise charity NACUE and investment group Find Invest Grow. He has delivered entrepreneurship bootcamps and guest lectures at over 20 universities; advises the European Commission and other public bodies; and is the author of several books and guides for entrepreneurs.

If you are interested in working with Empact Ventures, please get in touch here