The aim of the Mentorship Program is to support the participating Ventures through guidance, strategic perspectives and sector specific know-how. By doing so, the CLIMBIZ Challengers get the advice, skills and networks necessary to advance their mission and scale up. But most importantly, CLIMBIZ Challengers are part of a growing network of supporters and peers.

The Mentors Pool

The Mentors-Pool of the CLIMBIZ Acceleration Program is comprised of distinguished individuals from expert organizations, companies and academia across Central and Eastern Europe. With this unique group of professionals, their wealth of experience, contacts and know-how, the CLIMBIZ Challengers will be best guided through the Acceleration Program.


Anthony Nicolopoulos

Anthony Nicolopoulos holds a Masters degree in Civil Engineering from the National Technical University of Athens, Greece, & a Masters in Management & Implementation of Development Projects from UMIST in the UK. He has worked in England for British Gas and in Greece, in Eastern Europe and in the NIS for KANTOR Management Consultants, acquiring a broad experience in the energy sector, including project management, energy planning and feasibility studies, master plans, privatization, as well as strategic & business planning.

Since joining Titan Cement in 2004, he led many commercial, energy, restructuring, business development, institutional building and training assignments and projects for the 7 BU’s of Southeastern Europe & Eastern Mediterranean (SEE & EM), including leading the initial development of the Greenfield Cement Plant in Albania for Titan. From 2008 to 2010 he was General Manager of the Usje Cement Plant in Macedonia. Today, he is Titan’s SEE & EM Director responsible for Alternative Fuels Development in the region, having significant experience of the demanding project management, communications, monitoring and administration procedures of this green and sustainable technology.

Anna-Marie Harling

Anna-Marie Harling is a specialist in impact investing and social entrepreneurship. Her work focuses on knowledge and thought leadership at the European Venture Philanthropy Association, for example she has spent the past 1.5 years working on best practice in impact measurement. Her passion for using her business and finance skills for social good has led her to be a due diligence committee member of Beyond Capital Fund, an impact investing fund focused on early stage for-profit social businesses in the clean energy, health, sanitation and water sectors in India and East Africa and a volunteer with Ashoka in Czech Republic, where she is based.

Anna-Marie began her career at Credit Suisse in London and Zurich where she was ultimately responsible for building the structured lending business to fund of hedge funds in Switzerland. She holds an MBA from IESE Business School in Spain, a Certificate in Political Studies from Sciences Po in Grenoble, France, and an MA (Hons) in Philosophy, Politics and Economics from Oxford University. She is a British national and speaks English, Spanish and French.

Christian Oberleitner

Christian Oberleitner, born in 1971, graduated in energy- and environmental management and in sustainable energy systems, University of Applied Sciences, Pinkafeld, Austria. Christian is employed with Kommunalkredit Public Consulting (KPC) since 2010 as a senior consultant for energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. KPC focus is on the implementation of technical assistance assignments and the provision of advisory and management services for projects and programmes in the environmental and energy sector, including finance and carbon markets. Christian has 7 years of professional work experiences in technical and conceptual consulting on the national and international level with focus on Southeastern Europe, including the Austrian Energy Agency. In addition he has expertise in energy-, environmental-, and quality management systems. Languages: German and English.

Johann Heep

Johann Heep drew his first breath in Canterbury (Great Britain). After some years moved to Delhi (India) and eventually landed in Vienna (Austria). He holds a Master degree in Information and Knowledge Management at the University of Eisenstadt (Austria) in 2004. In addition to formal education, gathered priceless impressions and memories travelling extensively to India and South-East Asia. Completed a sales trainee program at Erste Bank Austria in 2005/06 and afterwards worked as a product manager for loans from 2006 to 2008. In 2008 started with good.bee working on the topics of social entrepreneurship, social sector financing and micro-loans across Central Europe. good.bee was launched in 2008 by ERSTE Foundation and Erste Group Bank, with the Foundation holding a 40% stake. Its main areas of business are Micro-Banking and Social Enterprise Finance, with a geographical focus on Central Europe.

Anja Koenig

Anja Koenig is a business economist with 15 years of international advisory, research and management experience on market led solutions for development and social change. She currently leads a major project on social and green entrepreneurship, social investment and the role of government hosted at IPC/Sabanci University in Turkey and supported by the Impact Investing Policy Collaborative funded by Rockefeller Foundation ( Prior to relocating to Turkey in 2010, Anja set up reformconsult, a social investment research and advisory company in Kenya. She also worked with Corporate Finance/Transactions of PricewaterhouseCoopers PwC in Germany and Kenya as well as with the German Technical Cooperation Agency GIZ in Kenya and with Stone & Webster Consultants, an energy and infrastructure advisory firm in London/UK. She has worked on innovative financing mechanism for social impact, social impact strategies and assessment, investment research, small scale business development, market building, public-private partnerships, and government policies with a focus on water, energy, environment and housing.

She holds an MBA from Mannheim University/Germany, a degree in Political Science and Economics from IEP in Paris/France and a degree in Development Studies from the German Development Institute in Berlin/Germany.

Boyan Rashev

Boyan Rashev is Managing Partner of denkstatt Bulgaria Ltd. Mr. Rashev holds an M. Sc. in Environmental and Resource Management from Brandenburg University of Technology, Germany. In the period 2003 - 2007, he worked for environmental NGOs, consultancies and international projects in the fields of climate change, protected area management, valuation of ecosystem services, water management and conservation financing in Bulgaria. In 2007, he founded denkstatt Bulgaria Ltd. - a subsidiary of denkstatt GmbH, headquartered in Vienna.

Since then, he has been managing the company assuring the quality of projects and relations with strategic clients. Within 5 years the company developed as the leading provider of sustainability and environmental consultancy services in the country.

Bala Mulloth

Bala Mulloth is Assistant Professor of Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management at Central European University (CEU) Business School. He is also the Faculty Director of CEU InnovationsLab, an incubator focused on providing learning opportunities for students, such as testing ideas for new ventures, research opportunities for faculty, and curriculum development. Prior to moving to Hungary and joining CEU Business School, he was the Senior Manager of Polytechnic Institute of New York University's Office of Innovation Development, Technology Transfer and Entrepreneurship. His main research focus is in entrepreneurship and innovation, particularly in the areas of clean technology innovation. He holds a PhD in Technology Management from Polytechnic Institute of New York University.

Lale Capalov

Lale Capalov is Managing Partner of Mavi Consultants. Mavi Consultants is based in Istanbul and provides services for private companies, development agencies and financial institutions to adopt sustainable development strategies and facilitate responsible business practices in Turkey, South East Europe and Africa with a network of local and international partners. Previously she was Turkey Director at IGIP Development Consultants, and worked for PT Finance & Technology as well as Roedl & Partners on developing wind energy and biogas projects.

Lale Capalov holds an MSc in Environmental Engineering and Technology of the Istanbul Technical University. She is expert on renewable energy development and finance, carbon markets and environmental management systems.

Lorenz Artaker

Lorenz Artaker is an Associate Investment Officer in the Opportunities for the Majority Initiative at the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB). The Opportunities for the Majority promotes and finances market-based, sustainable business models that engage private sector companies, local governments and communities in the development and delivery of quality products and services for the Base of the Pyramid in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Before joining the IDB he worked a number of years in the Transaction Services Group of KPMG in London, where he focused primarily on financial modelling and financial analysis. His prior professional experience also includes working as a teacher in development projects focusing on education in Guatemala and Ecuador, as well as for an Austrian consulting company on international development projects. Lorenz has an MSc in Computer Science, and a BSc in Economics, both from University College London, United Kingdom.

Filip Stojanovic

Mr. Stoyanovich has been involved in economic development in Europe and Eurasia for 18 years. He specializes in enhancing competitiveness and clusters, National Policy development, IT, agribusiness and tourism sector development and promotion, investment promotion, Government relations, management and administration of international development programs, regional trade cooperation, business associations, public – private sector cooperation and SME development.

Since 2007, Mr. Stoyanovich has been Director (Chief of Party) of the Regional Competitiveness Initiative (RCI), implemented by SEGURA Partners LLC. In this role, he has developed continuous professional relationships with stakeholders throughout the region, including donors, private sector, think tanks, and business associations. He has collaborated with international donors such as the European Union, EBRD BAS Programme, IFC, UNDP, World Bank or GTZ.

Andreja Rosandić

Andreja Rosandić is responsible for overseeing and managing planning, implementation, and evaluation of NESsT’s Portfolio in Croatia. Prior to joining NESsT, Andreja worked for five years at the Academy for Educational Development (AED) where she was responsible for managing a variety of small grants for various NGOs. She also worked on several EU projects, as an Evaluator for PHARE 2005 and 2006, as well as a Consultant in the field of Vocational Education. In addition, she worked for a year as an advocate of Children’s Rights. Andreja holds a Master of Science degree in Multidisciplinary Studies from State University of New York (SUNY) at Buffalo and a Bachelor’s degree in Social Pedagogy from the University of Zagreb, Croatia.