Smogathon is an initiative aiming to fight the air pollution through technology. Our idea is to get start-ups from all over the world to compete for $25,000 in cash and $75,000 as a contract to implement their idea in Krakow, in order to find the best solutions to solve the problem of smog. Over 92% of the world’s population inhales unhealthy air and over seven million people worldwide die prematurely every year because of smog. This needs to stop and we’re here to help! LEARN MORE
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Apart from investing with Fifty Years, Ela is a serial tech entrepreneur and a Y Combinator alum (YC S12). She's also a founder of impact.tech -- a community of techies who want to combine purpose with profit. Also a vegan, skier, and a dancer.
Excluding a short break for contemporary dancing in NYC in the summer of 2013, Ela has been working in tech since 2006. Before starting Fifty Years, she was a partner at Eastern Europe's leading early stage venture fund Innovation Nest. Before that she co-founded Base CRM, a B2B SaaS tool. Even before that, she co-founded and was a CEO the Ruby on Rails software house Applicake (acquired in 2013) and started the European Rails Conference Railsberry. She also started the Polish startup community Hive and had been very active in the Polish & European tech scenes until moving permanently to the US in 2014.
When she's not talking to inspiring high-impact tech entrepreneurs, helping portfolio companies, or organizing impact.tech events, you will find Ela biking, dancing, slacklining, or skiing (rarely all at once).
Ela loves food tech, community tech, civic tech, and anything open source. She also loves velocity and the performing arts. She dreams big and laughs a lot.
Seth Bannon is a Founding Partner at Fifty Years, a seed fund that backs entrepreneurs solving the world's biggest problems with technology. Seth has invested in a range of startups shaping the world for the better -- from a company engineering microbes to produce industrial chemicals sustainably, to a company building small satellites to cover the earth in internet, to a company culturing meat to eat.
Seth is also the co-founder of impact.tech, a community of entrepreneurs combining purpose with profit, and the founder & CEO of Amicus, a startup that builds digital organising tools for nonprofits and political campaigns. A graduate of Y Combinator, Seth was named twice to the Forbes 30 Under 30 list for Social Entrepreneurship.
An avid chess player, Seth can occasionally be found in New York City's Union Square Park attempting to hustle the chess hustlers.
Dariusz Jemielniak is Full Professor of Management at Kozminski University (Poland) where he heads NeRDS (New Research on Digital Societies) group, and faculty associate in Berkman-Klein Center for Internet and Society at Harvard University (USA). He is an author of “Common Knowledge?” (2014, Stanford University Press, winner of Dorothy Lee Award for Outstanding Scholarship in the Ecology of Culture in 2015, and the Chair of the Polish Academy of Sciences academia award in 2016). In 2015 he joined Wikimedia Foundation Board of Trustees. He had annual appointments at Cornell University (2004-2005), Harvard University (2007, 2011-2012, 2015-2016), University of California Berkeley (2008), MIT (2015-2016). He developed and sold 3 startups, including the most popular online dictionary in Poland, ling.pl
Victoria Livschitz founded Grid Dynamics in 2006 in order to bring big, new ideas — open source, clouds, and big data — to large enterprises. Under her leadership, Grid Dynamics became a successful, fast-growing engineering IT services company known for transformative, mission-critical cloud solutions for retail, finance and technology sectors. In 2015, Victoria transitioned to the role of Chief Technology Officer. Prior to founding Grid Dynamics, Victoria spent 10 years at Sun Microsystems in a variety of technical leadership positions including Principal Architect of SunGrid, the world's first public cloud; Senior Scientist at Sun Labs; and Chief Architect of Financial and Automotive Services; and Chief Architect of General Motors. Victoria started her career as HPC engineer for Ford Motor Company. Victoria received numerous awards for engineering excellence, including Sun Systems Engineer of the Year and the Ford Chairman’s Award. Victoriagraduated with a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Case Western Reserve University and attended graduate programs at Purdue University and Stanford University.
Amrit Dhir leads operations and expansion for Google's global network of physical spaces for entrepreneurs (campus.co). He works with technology startups drawing from experience in business development for some of Alphabet's most innovative products and groundbreaking technologies: projects in Google Research (i.e. machine learning, natural language processing, etc.), the Cultural Institute (e.g. Google Art Project), Google[x] (now X), and Google Life Sciences (now Verily). He's also learned from some spectacular failures and a background in law (itself a kind of a failure). Amrit is additionally an angel investor, a regular volunteer, an aimless writer, a dabbler in languages, the Hakeem Olajuwon of Fantasy Basketball, and effectively homeless.
Dr. Wexler obtained his BS from UC Berkeley, SM from MIT and PhD from Caltech. He was a professor of Mechanical Engineering at the University of Delaware from 1990 to 2000 when he joined the University of California, Davis in the departments of Mechanical and Aerospace Engineering, Civil and Environmental Engineering, and Land, Air and Water Resources. He is director of the Air Quality Research Center at UC Davis. He has published over 200 papers that are currently cited over 400 times per year. His research focusses on atmospheric particles related to air pollution, climate change and human health.
Dr. Ben Barratt is a Senior Lecturer in Chinese Environment at King’s College London. He holds a cross-faculty position within the Lau China Institute in collaboration with the Environmental Research Group in the Faculty of Life Sciences and Medicine. Ben joined King’s College London in 1998. His early research evaluated impact of policy interventions on London’s air quality, including the London Congestion Charging Scheme and Low Emission Zone. The focus of his current work is to better characterise individual and population-level exposure to environmental stress, how this relates to the health of susceptible population subgroups and methods of public health improvement. Much of his research output is in collaboration with international multidisciplinary teams ranging from social science and policy development, through to cohort and population health studies. He recently led a three year study of vertical air pollution gradients in Hong Kong and is part of a major collaborative atmosphere and health cohort study in urban and peri-urban Beijing.
Born in 1977 in Bydgoszcz. Graduate in Journalism and Political Science at the University of Warsaw. Deputy Mayor of Warsaw since October 2011, earlier – Director of the European Funds Department. As a Deputy Mayor responsible for the development strategy of Warsaw. Supervises European funds, economic development, housing, environmental protection, waste management, and infrastructure. Started his career in the public administration in 1997 at the Office of the Committee for European Integration, being responsible for strengthening the administrative potential of local authorities for European integration and EU pre-accession and structural funds absorption. After Poland’s accession to the EU, he moved to the Ministry of Economy and Labour, and then to the Ministry of Regional Development, in charge of strengthening the absorption abilities of local authorities in the first program co-funded with structural funds and the Cohesion Fund. For his involvement with activities aimed at enabling the Polish local authorities to use the new chance for their local development, awarded in 2005 with "Local authority serving the society" prize by the main local level corporation in Poland: Association of Polish Cities, Union of Polish Metropolises, Association of Polish Poviats, Union of Polish Towns, Association of Rural Municipalities of the Republic of Poland. As a government expert, also involved with EU-financed cooperation aimed at projects strengthening the local and region al administration in Ukraine, Bulgaria, and Romania. Employed at the City of Warsaw since 2007, as Director for EU Funds Department and Director of Investment Service Department. In 2011 appointed for the post of Deputy Mayor of Warsaw. Apart from his functions in the City, has also conducted research and teaching activities at public and private universities. Chair of the Warsaw Council for Innovation Policy and member of a similar body at the region al level. Representing the EUROCITIES association, the network of the largest European cities, at the European Commission High Level Group for Smart Cities. Also involved with strengthening the cooperation between local authorities at the national level and within metropolitan functional areas. In 2007-2015 Chair of the Committee of EU Policy and International Cooperation of the Association of Polish Cities, since 2012 Co-Chair of Taskforce for Functional City and metropolitan Functional Areas of the Joint Commission of Government and Local Authorities. Actively involved with strengthening the cooperation within the Warsaw metropolitan area, author of several Projects supporting functional links between the communes of the metropolis. Since 2012 Chair of the Steering Committee of Integrated Territorial Investments of the Warsaw Metropolis. For his input in the development of the local level authorities, awarded by the President of the Republic of Poland with Gold Cross of Merit (2015) and by the Minister of Administration and Digitalization with Medal of Honour for Services for the Territorial Self-Government (2015)
Dr Hemang Shah is an innovation lead and a technologist at Qualcomm India, Bangalore. He works on strategy for multimedia, virtual reality, and internet of things products. As an Intellectual Property Evangelist he mentors startups and SMEs. One of his charters is to spread IP awareness to nurture the digital and design ecosystem in India.
His engineering background spans various roles in research and development capacities. He has worked on display systems that power many of our smartphones today. He was also a part of a team that
commercialized reflective MEMS displays, which deliver a paper-like readability to portable devices.
California Air Resources Board, Dr. Walter Ham is the manager of the Advanced Monitoring Techniques Section at the California Air Resources Board (CARB) where his research focuses on air pollution's impacts on climate change and human health. Much of his work involves developing and utilizing novel measurement tools such as mobile measurement platforms, roadside screening devices, and air quality sensors to understand source-receptor relationships in support of regulatory programs. His programs at CARB utilize non-traditional monitoring technology and methods to conduct community air monitoring around sources such as industrial facilities and traffic corridors. His work also includes updating and expanding CARB's greenhouse gas monitoring network and initiating short-lived climate pollutant monitoring. He obtained his BS from the University of Georgia and PhD from the University of California, Davis.
Devin is a multi-disciplinary designer, engineer, and educator. He has founded three ventures to date: Founder Centric, Lyst, and Fuzzwich. Founder Centric was a full service consultancy which revolutionised startup education across Europe, from grassroots workshops to VC & University programs. Devin is a co-founder of Lyst, one of the world’s top fashion startups. During his tenure as head of product he helped grow the platform to international scale. Fuzzwich was an animation and advertising startup which went through YCombinator and whose clients included Universal Pictures and Aardman Animation.
Along side his practice, he is an Expert in Residence at Seedcamp and a Venture Partner with Downing Ventures.
Yang Han received his MSc degree in Computer Science from the University of Hong Kong (HKU) in 2014. He obtained his bachelor degree from the Department of Information Systems, Beihang University, Beijing, China, in 2013. He previously worked as a big data software developer in Oracle and is now undertaking PhD in the Department of Electrical & Electronic Engineering, HKU. His recent work focuses on data analytics for air pollution and public health research.
As Adjunct Assistant Professor at HKU, Faculty of Business and Economics’ BDI Programme (Business, Design and Innovation), Joseph inspires students across different levels and disciplines to be creative. His students would use Design Thinking to solve business or social problems, and are aspired to be innovative with their own authentic style. He received the Best Design Educator Award in 2016 by Hong Kong Designers Association.
Joseph is also a professional architect from the U.K. with projects in Europe, Middle-East, India, Hong Kong and China. Joseph’s business and artistic vision conglomerates the inter-disciplinary areas of business strategy, design and education, art and culture, with one unified theme: “Accentuating the strengths of mankind thereby exploring a common path for all” via his business consultancy, Comtale. Between 2008-2010, he championed Tesco UK’s nation-wide environmental store concept development and led their external architects group on environmental stores rollout. He was also a column writer for Capital Weekly in HK between 2016-2017 on the application of Design Thinking.
G. Srinivasaraghavan earned a Masters (Mechanical Engineering) and Ph.D in Computer Science from the Indian Institute of Technology Kanpur following his B.Tech from IIT-Madras. Later he spent a couple of years at the Institute of Mathematical Sciences, Chennai (Matscience) of teaching and researching primarily on Theoretical Computer Science in particular Algorithms and Computational Geometry. Later Raghavan moved through a variety of roles in the industry across startups, large corporates and independent consulting. Dr.Raghavan has over 18 years of industry experience. At Infosys Technologies, he donned various roles including managing delivery operations for the whole of Infosys’s Australia/New Zealand business, heading Technology Consulting Services for all of Asia-Pacific, Solution Architect for Infosys’s large turnkey contracts, Principal Architect for the e-Business division at Infosys. In his previous position he was Chief Technology Officer at Aztecsoft Ltd(now a part of Mindtree Ltd), where he brought about a radical, product-quality- focussed shift in the firm’s approach to quality assessment. Dr.Raghavan was earlier part of a technology focused startup to build products for automated legacy code reengineering and automated test generation. Most recently prior to associating with IIIT-B full-time as a Professor, he was consulting extensively on Performance Engineering.
At IIIT-B Dr.Raghavan has been teaching courses on topics in Advanced Algorithms — Randomized Algorithms, Optimization, Approximation Algorithms, core Mathematics — Probability & Statistics, Discrete Mathematics and Linear Algebra besides a series of 4 courses on Machine Learning and Algorithms for Large Data. His current research interests are in Machine Learning, Learning Theory and Optimization. Dr.Raghavan has been guiding steady stream of Mas- ters students working towards a Thesis in these areas. He currently has 5 Ph.D and 3 M.S (Research) students working under his supervision. Dr.Raghavan is additionally involved in consulting and research collaborations with several organizations such as Wipro, NetApp, Indian Railways, Ramyam, Dr.Raghavan has several published papers in reputed international fora, including journal of Algorithms, International Journal on Computational Geometry and Applications and Foundations of Software Technology and Theoretical Computer Science. Recently Dr. Raghavan was named among the “10 Most Prominent Analytics Academicians in India-2017” by the Analytics India Magazine (http://analyticsindiamag.com/10-prominent-analytics-academicians-india-2017/).
Robert Harley is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering at the University of California, Berkeley, where he has been on the faculty since 1993. He holds a bachelor's degree in Engineering Science (Chemical Engineering option) from the University of Toronto, and both M.S. and Ph.D. in Environmental Engineering Science from the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). Harley's research focuses on air quality and sustainable transportation; he is an author of over 100 papers published in peer-reviewed scientific journals. He is the inaugural holder of the Carl W. Johnson Endowed Chair in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Berkeley, awarded in recognition of his record of scholarship and university and professional service. Harley has also received the National Science Foundation's young investigator (CAREER) award, and he serves as a Co-Editor of Atmospheric Chemistry and Physics. Harley has been a visiting scientist at the University of Colorado / NOAA Aeronomy Lab in Boulder (1999-2000) and at the Max Planck Institute for Chemistry in Mainz, Germany (2011). He is also a Faculty Research Scientist at Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, a U.S. Department of Energy science lab adjacent to campus.
David Wu is a Partner in Deloitte’s Consulting practice based in Hong Kong, with over 19 years of advisory and industry experience in Asia and Australia. He specialises in leading major business consulting engagements, covering operational transformation, operating model design, process reengineering, digital technology deployment and CFO advisory services across a range of industries. He is currently the Finance Transformation Leader and Insurance Sector Leader for Deloitte China.
Mirela Yordanova, Events Lead at Campus London, Google's space for startups. Mirela has been deeply invested in helping entrepreneurs connect, learn and grow and has been involved in FinTech and BigData prior joining the Campus team. She is motivated by creating spaces where knowledge and ideas intersect, and catalyzes this by producing tech-led events at Campus London.
Alexandra (Alex) Schmidt is Centre Director of HSBC Service Delivery (Polska) Sp. z o.o. in Krakow; a global service centre providing high-end services to HSBC’s entities located across the globe.
HSBC Service Delivery (Polska) Sp. z o.o. was established in January 2010 on the foundations laid by the service centre created by HSBC Bank Poland in 2007. Now it is one of the most diversified HSBC’s service centres in terms of scope of activities performed; with services provided in 11 languages to HSBC entities located in 27 countries. HSBC is one of the leading service centres with foreign capital based in Krakow and employs more than 2,500 professionals.
Alex has worked for HSBC for more than 16 years in a variety of roles, mainly within Operations, and throughout this time she was based in Germany, Luxembourg, Mexico and Poland. She joined HSBC in Krakow for her first time in 2014/15 to support the set-up of Global Banking & Markets Securities Operations and ever since she has closely cooperated with the centre contributing to its further development. In 2017 she became Centre Director and since then she has been driving the ongoing growth of HSBC business in Poland.
Sundar Natarajan, currently works as the Co-founder & Asst General Manager of the BIAL Accenture Innovation Lab - Bangalore International Airport Limited (BIAL). In this role, Sundar is responsible for bringing-in new innovations to the Airport and the eco-system.
Previously, Sundar held the position of Head of Strategy and Head of Quality for a period of about 6 years after joining BIAL in early 2008. He was part of the core team that successfully licensed and operationalized the Greenfield Airport project at Bangalore.
As part of the Airport Start-up team Sundar ensured the airport operational readiness (AREX) of all the stakeholders which would operate from the airport.
Prior to joining BIAL, Sundar spent 13 years in the software products and services industry that includes 2 startups. With a rich experience in sales, large account management and solution delivery, Sundar has handled senior roles in sales, business development, account/channel management, product development, consulting, business analysis, implementation and solution delivery.
With strong conceptual clarity and contextual familiarity in varied domains including product modeling, product marketing and implementing enterprise solutions in the area of Professional Services Automation, Sundar has worked with high-growth organizations, both as an employee and as a consultant & vendor to such companies.
Since 2002 United Nations employee in UNDP (more information about UNDP's role and activities under the UN System at www.undp.org). Since 2004, he has been developing programs and recommendations in the United Nations Global Compact as a Representative and General Director of UN Global Compact Network Poland (more about United Nations Global Compact activities and mandate at www.unglobalcompact.org and on the website dedicated to Poland www.globalcompact.org.pl ). United Nations Global Compact coordinates the UN system's cooperation with the private sector within the UN Business Action Hub and through the Global Compact programs are created involving government, local government, business and expert centers.
Between 2002 and 2009, UNDP was responsible for international and multilateral cooperation and for the development of programs in Europe and Asia. Under UNDP, he has worked in dozens of countries, including UNDP headquarters in New York, implementing development programs. From 2004 to 2008 member of UNDP Management team in Poland. From 2009 to 2014 Director of the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) Office in Poland. From 2009 to 2012 he was responsible for the transfer of knowledge in the area of free economic zones, economic law and financial supervision systems to the Middle East, focusing on cooperation between Poland and Iraq under the UNDP PSDPI Program, in cooperation with UNIDO, the ILO and the World Bank. In 2012, he and his team received the Innovation in Action Award from UNDP for the most effective offices in implementing innovative programs. Under the function of the Director of the Office, UNDP Poland was responsible for coordination meetings of the UN System in Poland. Currently he is the Representative and General Director of Global Compact in Poland (UN Global Compact Network Poland).
He was a lecturer at the Central European University in Budapest, Columbia University in New York, Lviv University, Koźminski University (Akademia Leona Koźmińskiego), Ignacy Paderewski Institute of Diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Warsaw School of Economics as well as at the University of Warsaw. UN and EU policy expert, in particular in the field of business and administration cooperation as well as mobilization of the private sector to implement the UN development goals and standards. Specialist in development, multilateral and knowledge transfer. As a United Nations employee since 2002, he has been involved in economic diplomacy, social innovation, technological innovation, social economy, and development research and measurement, in particular through the use of the Human Development Index (HDI) and UN statistics.
Lawyer specializing in international law. A graduate of the prestigious UNDP Development Academy. Together with the team that he led, honored by a prestigious medal of the Parliament of the Republic of Poland for the efforts made in favor of people with disabilities, and development of the Polish Social Economy model.
Between 2009 and 2012 a member of the Strategic Advisory Board of the Prime Minister in Poland. On behalf of the Team of Advisors to the Prime Minister, inter alia, a co-author of the Long-term National Development Strategy until 2030 and the coordinator of the Human Capital Development Strategy until 2020. Since 2014, a member of the Expert Council of the National Center for Research and Development for the Economic and Social Innovation matters. Since 2015 he has been a member of the Innovation Team with the Deputy Prime Minister and the Minister for Development.
He is a media commentator on socio-economic and international affairs.
Jacek Mirecki graduated from the University of Economics in Kraków from doctoral studies with a degree in business management. He has a Bachelor's degree in Mathematical Modeling of Phenomena in the School of Science at the Polish Academy of Sciences. He also graduated from the University of Management and Marketing in Warsaw with a degree in management. Currently is in the process of preparing a doctorate with biometric technology in Academy of Economy in Kraków.
Chairman of the Board at Voice Finder S.A. In 2000 he resigned as Deputy Director computer science in the Computer Service MATRIX SP. z o.o. and started own innovative company KSI. PL Sp. z o.o. – a recognized mobile application provider in the domestic market.
Member of the Board of Directors of Smart-Lab SP. z o.o. - Accelerator, which under the Poland Digital is working on solutions to social and economic issues, especially problems of efficient public transport and forecasting of air pollution
Axelle t’Kint de Roodenbeke is IT Chief Operating Officer for Continental Europe in HSBC. She is also Business Manager for HSBC Technology Krakow.
HSBC Technology Krakow is part of HSBC Service Delivery (Polska) Sp. z o.o. The Technology Centre in Krakow was established five years ago initially to serve as a nearshore centre for Europe. Since then it has grown to 600 people and is now one of HSBC five strategic global technology centres. Employees based in Krakow have a diverse range of experience and provide design, analysis, engineering and IT support to HSBC Group. They work across a wide range of technology platforms from mainframe to mobile technologies. They are using the latest digital tools and methodologies to make the customers’ banking experience simpler, better, faster and more secure.
Axelle was initially trained as an engineer at Ecole Centrale Paris (France) before gaining a PhD in Atmospheric Chemistry at the University of Cambridge (UK). After some experience in a software development company she joined HSBC IT in 2003. She did a number of roles for HSBC ranging from Project and Programme Management to Test Management or Production Support. She moved to Krakow in August 2014 with her family. Apart from her responsibility for IT business in Europe her main focus is to develop Krakow Technology Centre.