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TOM NICHOLAS

William J. Abernathy Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School

Tom Nicholas is a Professor in the Entrepreneurial Management Group of Harvard Business School. He holds a doctorate in Economic History from Oxford University. Prior to joining HBS, he taught Technology Strategy at MIT's Sloan School of Management and technology and finance courses at the London School of Economics. He was also an economics consultant in San Francisco where he performed economic analysis for environmental and antitrust litigation including Sun Microsystems v. Microsoft. At HBS he has taught the first year course, The Entrepreneurial Manager, and he currently teaches in Executive Education programs on entrepreneurship and intellectual property as well as two second year elective courses: The Coming of Managerial Capitalism, which examines entrepreneurship, innovation and business development in the United States over the past 230 years; and Venture Capital in Historical Perspective (with Felda Hardymon), which focuses on the changing organizational structure of the venture capital industry and its impact on entrepreneurship and innovation over time.

He has received the Faculty Teaching Award in both the Required Curriculum and the Elective Curriculum and the Charles M. Williams Award for teaching excellence.

COSTAS ANDRIOPOULOS

Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship and Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cass Business School, City University London

Costas Andriopoulos is the Associate Dean for Entrepreneurship and Professor of Innovation and Entrepreneurship at Cass Business School, City University London.

His research focuses on innovation, entrepreneurship, and product development. He is the co-author of Managing Change, Creativity and Innovation (3rd Edition, Sage, 2017).

He is the winner of many teaching and research awards. In addition to his academic work, Professor Andriopoulos has led innovation efforts, consulted companies in private sectors (e.g. Financial Services, New Product Development and Oil) and facilitated several executive education programmes in the areas of strategy and innovation (e.g. Said Business School, University of Oxford).

Professor Andriopoulos holds masters and doctoral degrees from the University of Strathclyde.


RICARDO CERVERA

Founding Partner, Vace Partners

Ricardo Cervera is a Founding Partner at VACE Partners. Prior to founding VACE, Ricardo worked for over 9 years at Salomon Smith Barney and Citigroup.

Ricardo joined the Investment Banking Division of Salomon Smith Barney in 1999 as a summer associate and then full-time in August 2000. He spent seven years in New York in the Global Power Group, covering US, European and Latin American power companies.   Mr. Cervera moved to Citigroup’s Mexico Investment Banking Office as a Director in 2006, and became Head of Mexico Investment Banking in 2007. Ricardo had coverage responsibilities in the power, energy, infrastructure, consumer, retail, industrial and other sectors. Upon arriving to Mexico, he led the privatization of the first Toll-Roads from FARAC worth over US$4 billion; one of the largest privatizations ever in this sector worldwide and winner of Project Finance Latam Deal of the Year in 2008.  

Ricardo currently serves on the Board of Directors of Office Depot Mexico and Concentradora Hipotecaria. From 1995 to 1996, Ricardo worked in Mexico’s Ministry of Finance as an advisor to the General Director of Public Credit and in 1997 became advisor to the Deputy Minister of Finance. Ricardo graduated in the top 1% of his class with a B.A. in Economics from the Instituto Tecnológico Autónomo de México (ITAM) and received an M.B.A. from Yale University. In 1998, Ricardo received Mexico’s National Award in Economic Research.

Michael Kandarakis

Founder, Synaxia Capital

Michael Kandarakis founded Synaxia Capital in 2014. It is an investment platform pursuing opportunistic transactions in private equity real estate in Europe, typically in partnership with large private equity partners. Michael is also a member of the Management Advisory Board of Towerbrook.

Prior to that, Michael was a Founder and Senior Partner of Soros Real Estate (later renamed Grove International Partners), a global real estate private equity firm with aggregate equity commitments of over $4.5 billion. He established Grove's Asia operations, initially focusing on Japan. Grove's Asia investment platforms successfully completed more than 60 control transactions since 2001, deploying over $1.5bn in equity.  Michael sat at the boards of all these companies and oversaw their investment program. He also sat at the Investment and Operating Committees of the firm and co-Chaired the Partnership Committee.

Prior to joining Grove, Mr. Kandarakis worked at Morgan Stanley in London and New York, and was a member of the team that initiated MSREF's European investment program. In parallel he worked on numerous investment banking and securitization transactions, helping to initiate these programs in both Northern and Southern Europe.

He graduated with honours from the London School of Economics and Political Science where he received a B.S. in Management.