meet the team
Sofie Blakstad, CEO
Prior to founding hiveonline, Sofie has held senior roles in technology development, system architecture, infrastructure delivery and business transformation , having built technology and businesses for eight major international banks in more than 60 countries, with projects worth over USD 1bn. Sofie has written two books including Fintech Revolution (with Rob Allen) and multiple research papers, delivered 5 core banking systems, multiple payment systems and led transformation of Citigroup’s technology and retail operations.
Sofie advises international organisations on sustainable applications of blockchain. She is Chair of the Edinburgh Futures Institute FI and Fintech advisory board and holds an MSc in Informatics. Sofie has twice been included in the Innovate Finance’s Women in Fintech Powerlist.
Matt Mims, COO
Matthew has worked in several globally significant banks in a number of roles, across both strategy and execution. Spanning investment, retail and wealth banking, his achievements have included designing and deploying bank-wide business critical applications, managing multimillion pound strategic partnership negotiations and leading the integration of a core banking platform with downstream regulatory and financial systems.
Having worked on several startups and social enterprises alongside his financial services career, Matthew has been advising Fintech startups since 2013.
Latif Amars, Product Owner
Latif has published research articles on sustainability transitions and worked to connect pioneers to bring about systemic change in the energy sector. Before joining hiveonline, Latif worked with the World Bank analysing client country environmental and natural resources challenges.
Latif worked with Oxfam to bolster climate resilience in the Horn, East and Central Africa region; operationalised what became a leading organisation on climate change in Tanzania, and engaged in the UN climate negotiations.
Jean Pierre Habinshuti, Lead Developer
Jean Pierre holds a Master’s Degree in IT from Carnegie Mellon University (CMU) and a Bachelor’s of Science Degree in Computer Engineering From National University of Rwanda.
Prior to joining hiveonline, Jean Pierre worked as head of research and development for a mobile money aggregating company where he designed and implemented distributed and reusable micro-services based software systems to extend services to last mile users.
Qusai Alfaki, Full Stack Developer
Having graduated with a Diploma in Mechanical Engineering from Tel Aviv, Israel, he had a stint in the automotive industry before deciding to pursue his passion for software development. Qusai is passionate about building software that impacts people’s lives positively.
Qusai is a software engineer with extensive experience in building high quality software solutions. He has worked on multiple customer-facing projects with great UI and straightforward user experience.
Simone Pereira, Project Manager
Simone’s leads hiveonline’s customer projects and coordinates the delivery of products, collaborating closely with customers and partners. She also has experience in project management within joint industry and academic collaborations.
Simone holds a Bachelor degree in Mechanical Engineering from Queen Mary, University of London and a Master’s Degree in Entrepreneurship and Innovation Management from the Royal Institute of Technology, KTH.
Henintsoa Rakotoarisaona, Assistant Project Manager and Researcher
Henintsoa is passionate about sustainable sourcing and believes in empowering communities through entrepreneurial opportunities. She has a multidisciplinary background with experience in project management, scientific research, and in consulting with NGOs and tech companies. Henintsoa assists with managing projects related to hiveonline’s products as well as research and sales.
Henintsoa holds a Bachelors degree in Environmental Sciences and Management from Utah Valley University, a Master’s in Environmental Management and a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of San Francisco.
Echesirim Izuchukwu, Sales and Marketing Intern
Eche is a final year student studying International Business and Trade at the African Leadership University. He is passionate about building communities and communicating the impacts and value of projects and products to its users. Prior to joining hiveonline, Eche worked with start-ups and business development organizations that are focused on creating impact by leveraging technology such as Agripredict, an Agrotech start-up in Zambia, and Exuus, a software development organization in Rwanda.
Johanna Campion, Board Member
After graduating from Cass Business School in London with a BSc in Banking and International Finance, Johanna spent 25 years in investment banking providing strategic advice on mergers and acquisitions, IPOs and other capital raising with a particular focus on media and telecom.
She started her career with Merrill Lynch, and then worked for Credit Suisse and Lehman Brothers. More recently she spent six years as Global Head of Telecom, Media and Technology for Societe Generale.
She now has a portfolio of activities including NED at Web Financial Group SA in Madrid and NED at The Conduit Club in London as well as Venture Partner at Aerospace Xelerated (formerly the ATI Boeing Accelerator) in London. She also mentors at various programs including Metro Xcel Hospitality Digital, Techstars, Ignite and Collider and is an active early stage investor.
Carl Fredrik Wettermark, Board Member
Carl Fredrik Wettermark is a Swedish diplomat, entrepreneur and advisor. He was Senior Advisor to Norrsken Foundation, and recently moved back to Sweden after having worked on regional conflict issues in East Africa .
Before that, he managed global internet policy issues and overall strategy for human rights and democracy policy in Swedish foreign policy at the Ministry, and worked on ICT and cybersecurity policy at the Ministry of Enterprise.
He has a dual career in diplomacy and tech, having started his career in the Swedish tech sector in the late 90s (at Framtidsfabriken) and founded a tech startup in the mid 00s.
Johan Grundström Eriksson, Board Member
Johan Grundström Eriksson has 25 years transforming and digitalising corporate governance and pioneering innovation capacity, incubators, startup-accelerators and new businesses in global roles in telecom & food tech corporate multinationals.
Today he is an Independent Advisor to Boards and Management Teams of organisations pursuing sustainable innovation and supports public/private innovation infrastructures, such as European Institute of Innovation & Technology Manufacturing.
Johan is also an international ISO-expert and co-writer of the ISO56000 Innovation Management standard and has a mixed academic background within Informatics/Software Systems & Political Science. He is the founder of AI Sweden’s child-rights initiative 3 Cities, selected by UNICEF as one of 15 global AI for Children pilots. Johan is also on the Advisory Board of UNOPS S3I Global Innovation Center in Sweden, which he contributed to establishing as responsible for Innovation Partnerships for Sony Mobile in Europe.
Rob Allen, IT / Blockchain Advisor
Following experience building Payments and Transactional Ledger Systems in some of Europe’s largest banks, Rob has built the Fintech practice and the innovative Vulcan Digital Asset Services business for PwC Australia. As well as leadership of large, complex programs and portfolios, Rob has extensive experience building engineering solutions in challenging environments and has a passion for promoting inclusion in developing economies. Rob, a Chartered Engineer, is also a committed conservationist with a focus on marine and shark conservation.
Rob is a board member of the Australian Payments Council and is industry advisor to the Australian Digital Commerce Association (ADCA). He is co-author of Fintech Revolution with Sofie Blakstad.
Pierre Courtemanche, Board Advisor
Pierre Courtemanche is a Forest Engineer, graduated in Canada at Laval University in 1983. He’s a cross-function professional with strong international exposure. Pierre has 37 years of work experience in forestry, international development programs, business management and supply chain management. His expertise covers natural resources management, environmental impact assessment and mitigation strategy, international development, project management, ICT, logistic and wood processing.
Considered the “father” of geo traceability technology, Pierre is committed to using innovation
to support sustainable development and responsible sourcing of raw materials, and to improve the livelihood of smallholders around the globe
Torbjörn Nilsson, Sebbot Invest
Torbjörn Nilsson developed the family company Bandstål into a profitable steel service center with clients all over Scandinavia. Today he is the majority holder in a group of Swedish engineering companies with impressive track records.
Sebbot Invest is a holding company that acquires and develops companies.
Håkan Birging, Cryptowell
Cryptowell invests in companies, startups and projects related to fintech and blockchain technology. We believe in the arising blockchain revolution and its true disruptive powers. The distrubuted ledger aka blockchain has the capacity to support quantum leaps in areas like traditional financial markets, sustainability, green finance and socioeconomics.
Cryptowell is an atypical venture capital firm that emerged from the craft of mining Litecoin.
Knud Lundgaard-Karlshøj, Kigkurren 2
Kigkurren 2 invests in companies, digital startups and projects that strives to make a
positive difference in the world. This could be energy savings, improving health for elderly or services to create better access to finance for the unbanked population.
Knud, has an academic background within finance and IT and working experience from, consultancy, development finance and as an entrepreneur.
Techstars is a US based accelerator programme that consistently ranks #1 or #2 globally, to which less than 1% of applicants typically are accepted. hiveonline was honoured to be invited to apply for the Berlin cohort of 2019, helping to shape business and marketing strategy and introducing us to an enormous mentor and alumni network.
As well as Techstars’ investment in hiveonline, Techstars continues to support us through their network and as advisers.