Meet our trainers

Green tech entrepreneurship ninjas, that’s what we like to call them. Each thoroughly vetted and seasoned by their own ventures and work in the field. You can find them all over the globe, leading our infamous Boot Camps. They shape the backbone of our success - and that of our participants and alumni.

All of our ninjas:

Elena Messiou

"Follow the path through highs and lows. Success is navigating life’s journey"

Bio
Elena is lecturer of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management Skills at Hospitality Business School The Hague. She also works as consultant for Customer Experience design & optimisation and as CLP trainer. She started two businesses and has worked and lived in Europe, Asia and the US. She currently calls Amsterdam home and that is a long term plan. She loves to experience different cultures through their culinary traditions and her real passion is in training people pursue their ideas and dreams.

Frans Nauta

"Winning our competition is overrated. Learning how to find a paying customer, that’s the real prize"

Bio
Hm… what can we say about Frans? Accurately he describes himself as ‘a European working in Silicon Valley and a Valleyean working in Europe on innovation & entrepreneurship, with a focus on climate change’. He founded ClimateLaunchpad in 2014, teaches at UC Berkeley, is passionate about yoga and chocolate, writes books and loves to rock the boat. The list goes on, but luckily space here is limited. Frans holds an MA in Political Sciences.

Mike Goodfellow-Smith

"I love contributing to a massive positive difference in this world"

Bio
As Director of QUEST for Future Solutions Mike has internationally recognized experience in regional energy, construction, environmental assets and infrastructure, transport, housing, planning, waste, resource efficiency and environmental business support. QUEST provides strategic direction for sustainable development; sustainable innovation; sustainable procurement; management, reporting and training programmes. Mike holds a BA in Geography. An Msc. In Land Resource Management and is a PHD researcher on Sustainable Cities Value Capture modelling.

Chretien Herben

Bio
Chretien has 10 years of experience as a business coach in the Life Sciences & Medtech and has mentored over a 100 companies through his LifeSciences@Work program. Next to that he is an experienced as business coach/trainer/mentor in the Climate-KIC Accelerator and ClimateLaunchpad. Chretien has a background in Physics and Optoelectronics and started ThreeFive Photonics, a company designing and manufacturing complex optoelectronic chips for telecom applications, in 2001 from his PhD research at the TUDelft. He has experience in translating complex technologies into business, building high potential business based on breaktrough science, typically requiring venture capital.

Shiva Susarla

Bio
Shiva Susarla runs a Singapore-based venture studio and innovation firm. After over a decade spent with other startups and young companies in cleantech, Shiva now builds his own circular economy startups in Asia, unsuccessfully trying not to make the same mistakes he has seen other businesses make.

Lawrence Thiga

"Entrepreneurship changes lives."

Bio
Lawrence’s main goal is to empower people within start-ups and small & growing enterprises. He helps business grow and expand their impact. For the past 8 years he pursued various entrepreneurship training certifications and he is a certified business mentor in Kenya. Since 2017 he has been involved with Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) at Strathmore Business School and a Germany based organization (SEED) for Africa. Lawrence holds a B.A in Psychology and he is the founder of Novell Arch Enterprise, a training and consultancy firm for micro, small and medium sized enterprises. He joined ClimateLaunchpad in 2019. His approach to training does not only guarantee a steep learning curve, you should also brace yourself for a lot of fun during his Boot Camps.

Pratap Raju

"Building a successful business and making a meaningful impact. Could it get any better?"

Bio
Pratap has been an entrepreneur in India for nearly 20 years, from IT to Bollywood to Solar. Since 2015, he has been helping building up the climate and cleantech startup ecosystem in India and South Asia and aims to help support the entrepreneurs in the SubContinent who are looking to solve our many environmental problems with innovative ideas, hard work, and risk-taking. Pratap has an AB in Math from Harvard University and an MSc in Economics for Development from Oxford University.

Ron Bloemers

"Helping cleantech start-ups accelerate to global success, that’s what I love to do"

Bio
For over 20 years, Ron more than earned his tracks in the global cleantech industry. He trains other coaches, early stage start-ups & scale-ups, and works with large international corporations and government. He founded and manages Start-U-up, a boutique cleantech accelerator. Ron holds a Msc. in Business Economics and a Bsc. in Physical Education. For Ron, it’s now time to transfer his extensive, global, and hands-on cleantech experience to the younger generation. Ron loves to actively take part in the startup problem solving process and, like Mike, to contribute to initiatives that have big positive impact. He sees the ClimateLaunchpad as the ideal platform to do just that. Look for his more in-depth profile on LinkedIn.

Hans Westerhof

"ClimateLaunchpad helps you understand your business in a very fast and a very precise way"

Bio
Hans joined ClimateLaunchpad in 2014 as Project Lead and Trainer. He's a start-up trainer, general manager, consultant and entrepreneur with a background in a broad range of industries and environments. His current focus is clean-tech start-up acceleration through entrepreneurship education, coaching and financing. Experienced in directing large projects and programs (US 100 million +). He’s the kind of guy that simply gets things done.

Israel Griol Barres

"Life is a rollercoaster. Fight for your dreams when you are in a valley."

Bio
Israel is the start-up ecosystem manager of the Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain and an experienced lecturer, trainer and mentor. His specialities are innovation, business models, business strategy and entrepreneurship. Israel is a Telecommunication and Electronics Engineer. He joined ClimateLaunchpad as a trainer in 2015.

Paris Thomas

"I always strive to identify and tackle the elephant in the room"

Bio
Paris Thomas is a business model architect, strategy designer and communication specialist conducting training and consulting interventions that improve communication and entre- and intrapreneurial skills. Paris is also co-founder and CEO at Chrysalis Leap, Cyprus’ first accelerator programme specialising in cleantech. It is a private initiative aimed at helping entrepreneurs tweak, pivot, pitch and grow their ideas into investment-ready business opportunities. As a lead trainer and member on the Board of Directors, some of his responsibilities include the delivery of training modules on the “Business Model Generation”, “Pitching to Investors”, and coaching the teams through their start-up journey to success. Together with his sunny character it makes him the perfect ClimateLaunchpad trainer.

Elena Messiou

"Follow the path through highs and lows. Success is navigating life’s journey"..

Bio
Elena is lecturer of Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Management Skills at Hospitality Business School The Hague. She also works as consultant for Customer Experience design & optimisation and as CLP trainer. She started two businesses and has worked and lived in Europe, Asia and the US. She currently calls Amsterdam home and that is a long term plan. She loves to experience different cultures through their culinary traditions and her real passion is in training people pursue their ideas and dreams.

Frans Nauta

"Winning our competition is overrated. Learning how to find a paying customer, that’s the real prize"..

Bio
Hm… what can we say about Frans? Accurately he describes himself as ‘a European working in Silicon Valley and a Valleyean working in Europe on innovation & entrepreneurship, with a focus on climate change’. He founded ClimateLaunchpad in 2014, teaches at UC Berkeley, is passionate about yoga and chocolate, writes books and loves to rock the boat. The list goes on, but luckily space here is limited. Frans holds an MA in Political Sciences.

Mike Goodfellow-Smith

"I love contributing to a massive positive difference in this world"..

Bio
As Director of QUEST for Future Solutions Mike has internationally recognized experience in regional energy, construction, environmental assets and infrastructure, transport, housing, planning, waste, resource efficiency and environmental business support. QUEST provides strategic direction for sustainable development; sustainable innovation; sustainable procurement; management, reporting and training programmes. Mike holds a BA in Geography. An Msc. In Land Resource Management and is a PHD researcher on Sustainable Cities Value Capture modelling.

Chretien Herben

Bio
Chretien has 10 years of experience as a business coach in the Life Sciences & Medtech and has mentored over a 100 companies through his LifeSciences@Work program. Next to that he is an experienced as business coach/trainer/mentor in the Climate-KIC Accelerator and ClimateLaunchpad. Chretien has a background in Physics and Optoelectronics and started ThreeFive Photonics, a company designing and manufacturing complex optoelectronic chips for telecom applications, in 2001 from his PhD research at the TUDelft. He has experience in translating complex technologies into business, building high potential business based on breaktrough science, typically requiring venture capital.

Shiva Susarla

Bio
Shiva Susarla runs a Singapore-based venture studio and innovation firm. After over a decade spent with other startups and young companies in cleantech, Shiva now builds his own circular economy startups in Asia, unsuccessfully trying not to make the same mistakes he has seen other businesses make.

Lawrence Thiga

"Entrepreneurship changes lives."..

Bio
Lawrence’s main goal is to empower people within start-ups and small & growing enterprises. He helps business grow and expand their impact. For the past 8 years he pursued various entrepreneurship training certifications and he is a certified business mentor in Kenya. Since 2017 he has been involved with Climate Innovation Center (KCIC) at Strathmore Business School and a Germany based organization (SEED) for Africa. Lawrence holds a B.A in Psychology and he is the founder of Novell Arch Enterprise, a training and consultancy firm for micro, small and medium sized enterprises. He joined ClimateLaunchpad in 2019. His approach to training does not only guarantee a steep learning curve, you should also brace yourself for a lot of fun during his Boot Camps.

Pratap Raju

"Building a successful business and making a meaningful impact. Could it get any better?"..

Bio
Pratap has been an entrepreneur in India for nearly 20 years, from IT to Bollywood to Solar. Since 2015, he has been helping building up the climate and cleantech startup ecosystem in India and South Asia and aims to help support the entrepreneurs in the SubContinent who are looking to solve our many environmental problems with innovative ideas, hard work, and risk-taking. Pratap has an AB in Math from Harvard University and an MSc in Economics for Development from Oxford University.

Ron Bloemers

"Helping cleantech start-ups accelerate to global success, that’s what I love to do"..

Bio
For over 20 years, Ron more than earned his tracks in the global cleantech industry. He trains other coaches, early stage start-ups & scale-ups, and works with large international corporations and government. He founded and manages Start-U-up, a boutique cleantech accelerator. Ron holds a Msc. in Business Economics and a Bsc. in Physical Education. For Ron, it’s now time to transfer his extensive, global, and hands-on cleantech experience to the younger generation. Ron loves to actively take part in the startup problem solving process and, like Mike, to contribute to initiatives that have big positive impact. He sees the ClimateLaunchpad as the ideal platform to do just that. Look for his more in-depth profile on LinkedIn.

Hans Westerhof

"ClimateLaunchpad helps you understand your business in a very fast and a very precise way"..

Bio
Hans joined ClimateLaunchpad in 2014 as Project Lead and Trainer. He's a start-up trainer, general manager, consultant and entrepreneur with a background in a broad range of industries and environments. His current focus is clean-tech start-up acceleration through entrepreneurship education, coaching and financing. Experienced in directing large projects and programs (US 100 million +). He’s the kind of guy that simply gets things done.

Israel Griol Barres

"Life is a rollercoaster. Fight for your dreams when you are in a valley."..

Bio
Israel is the start-up ecosystem manager of the Universitat Politècnica de València in Spain and an experienced lecturer, trainer and mentor. His specialities are innovation, business models, business strategy and entrepreneurship. Israel is a Telecommunication and Electronics Engineer. He joined ClimateLaunchpad as a trainer in 2015.

Paris Thomas

"I always strive to identify and tackle the elephant in the room"..

Bio
Paris Thomas is a business model architect, strategy designer and communication specialist conducting training and consulting interventions that improve communication and entre- and intrapreneurial skills. Paris is also co-founder and CEO at Chrysalis Leap, Cyprus’ first accelerator programme specialising in cleantech. It is a private initiative aimed at helping entrepreneurs tweak, pivot, pitch and grow their ideas into investment-ready business opportunities. As a lead trainer and member on the Board of Directors, some of his responsibilities include the delivery of training modules on the “Business Model Generation”, “Pitching to Investors”, and coaching the teams through their start-up journey to success. Together with his sunny character it makes him the perfect ClimateLaunchpad trainer.

Watch them in action

Connect

Get in touch with our trainers, they love to connect and are happy to share and discuss any and all cleantech and start-up stuff. You can also benefit from their expertise and book one or more of our trainers for your own event.

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