Our Team

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CHRISTOPHER POMMERENING

Founding Partner

"Christopher is a natural born entrepreneur that has a great passion for entrepreneurship and high growth startups within the technology space."

Christopher is one of the founding partners of Active Venture Partners since its inception in 2002. He has played a crucial role in finding good people for the portfolio companies as well as advisors through his well-established international network. He is currently member of the board of ReviewPro and Traity. Prior board seats include BuyVIP, Polymita Technologies and Vinus Brindis. He also is the co-founder and chairman of the Venturepreneurs Organisation. He is the initiator of Barcelona Entrepreneurship City 2020, founding board member of eCommerce & Tech Barcelona and founding member of Barcelona Global.

Prior to Active Venture Partners, in 1998 he co-founded AutoScout24 Spain S.A. as CEO and member of the Board of Directors. In 2001 Christopher was appointed Managing Director of Scout24 Spain. While preparing the internationalisation of the Scout24 Group, he also set up B24 Networks, a Europe wide market place on the internet for the yachting sector.

Since 2002, Christopher has been devote to venture capital and entrepreneurship through his already established venture catalyst company VCMORE GmbH by offering consulting services and investment to start-ups through a network of business angels. Alongside the latter, in 2002, he founded the Spanish chapter of the Entrepreneurs’ Organisation (EO), one of the largest entrepreneur organizations in the world.

Christopher was born in Germany and has lived and worked in Germany, United States, Switzerland, England and Spain. He is fluent in German, English and Spanish. Christopher graduated from the European Business School London in 1999 and is currently enrolled with the EO Entrepreneurial Master Program at the MIT in Boston.

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PHILIPP SCHROEDER

Founding Partner

"Philipp started his first venture capital company right after graduation in 1999 and since then has supported dozens of technology companies from seed until exit."

Philipp is one of the founding partners of Active Venture Partners since its inception in 2002. He discovered his passion for technology companies when working for a software company specialised in the technology transfer industry. Prior to Active Venture Partners, Philipp ran his own venture capital service company – VCMORE – in Germany since 1999.

There he gathered extensive experience in the venture capital industry through carrying out several larger investments in early stage companies on behalf of a private investor network and as an official advisor of one of Germany's biggest public subsidies initiatives for technology companies (Kfw-Mittelstandbank). Before his venture capital endeavours, Philipp worked in investment banking, software and logistics sector in New York, London and Hamburg.

Philipp currently serves on the boards of Userzoom, Oferton, Yieldr and adjust, prior boards seats and observer roles include BuyVIP, Telemedicine Clinic, Smartimpression and Storevision. Philipp was born in Germany and has lived and worked in Germany, England, United States and Spain. He is fluent in German, English and Spanish. Philipp graduated from the City University Business School London in 1999.

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RICARD SÖDERBERG

Founding Partner

"Ricard has brought many years of experience from the leading investment banks including the financial diligence and the corporate structure that is today an integral part of ACTIVE."

Ricard is one of the founding partners of ACTIVE Venture Partners since its inception in 2002. He is elemental in solving structural challenges, ensuring solid organisational stantards and assisting in the financial planning for our portfolio companies. He is currently on the board of Barnebys, PackLink, Percentil, Fishbrain and Odilo. Prior board seats include European Telemedicine Clinic, Golden Gekko and Zyncro

Prior to ACTIVE Venture Partners, in 1996, Ricard started his career within the fixed income markets for Credit Suisse in London and New York. He was covering all the main Central Banks globally as clients and later focused on the Scandinavian markets. In 1998, he was part of setting up the Merrill Lynch office in Barcelona heading the portfolio management department and also involved in the fundraising of private equity funds from Spain and the US. In 2001 he joined the UBS Barcelona office as an Associate Director until he left to set up ACTIVE Venture Partners in 2002.

Ricard was born in Sweden and has lived and worked in Sweden, England, United States, France, Gibraltar and Spain. He is fluent in Swedish, English, Spanish and French.
Ricard graduated from the European Business School London in 1995.

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BLAIR MACLAREN

Partner

"Blair combines solid knowledge and understanding of M&A deals and IPOs from the legal perspective, with his hands-on experience of venture capital."

Blair is a partner at Active Venture Partners, having joined the company in 2007. Since joining ACTIVE he has played instrumental roles in the negotiations of many of the firm’s investments and exits. He currently sits on the boards of Restalo and Whisbi.
He also collaborates with ESADE Business School on venture capital and start-up business plans and is a mentor at Telefónica’s accelerator, Wayra.

Prior to joining ACTIVE Blair worked as a UK qualified corporate lawyer for 7 years with the Scottish commercial law firm Burness LLP. As an associate partner in the corporate finance team he advised start-ups, SMEs and large multinationals on all aspects of UK corporate law. He specialized in mergers, acquisitions, sales of companies and, with particular focus on the AIM market in London, IPOs, and completed transactions valued in excess of £180m in aggregate. In addition, he completed more than 20 corporate restructurings and joint ventures, and acted on behalf of management and investors in venture capital investments worth in excess of £20m. He also developed a niche expertise of share option plans.

Blair is from the UK, has lived and worked in the UK and Spain, and speaks fluent English and Spanish.

Blair studied for his honours degree in law at the University of Glasgow and Copenhagen Business School, and has an MBA from ESADE Business School, Barcelona.

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ANNA NOWAK

Community & Operations Manager

"Anna makes sure that the office works like clockwork and manages the relationships with our stakeholders"

Anna joined ACTIVE Venture Partners in September 2011 supporting the whole team on an operational level. She is also responsible for the management of the Venturepreneurs’ Organisation, a non-profit structured ecosystem for seed investments in Europe that combines venture capital and entrepreneurship.

Prior to joining ACTIVE Venture Partners, Anna worked in the marketing department for the Lancôme brand at L’Oréal Poland before continuing her professional career in Spain as account manager for Telemarketing. Anna was born in Poland and has lived and worked in Poland, France and Spain. She is fluent in Polish, English, French and Spanish.

She graduated in 2007 from the Poznan University of Economics and holds a Master’s of Science and Engineer degree in Product Management.

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CARMEN DE ARRIBA

CFO

"Carmen is remarkably diligent in keeping with the compliance and finances of our company, making sure they measure up to the highest standards."

Carmen joined the ACTIVE team as controller at the beginning of 2011 and she is an expert in accounting standards for venture capital firms and regulatory compliance.

Her professional career began at PROASA, an important Spanish consultancy firm. For more than 11 years she worked in its branch in Asturias as a tax and accountancy adviser, specializing in the implementation of internal procedures in the administration departments.

In 2000, she moved to Barcelona where she continued her career as the director of administration at Anatolian Glass, an important Catalan import-export company. In 2007, she decided to focus on the financial sector and joined Gesiuris and later Green Alliance as administration director.

Carmen was born in Spain and graduated from Escuela Universitaria Jovellanos in Gijón as well as having taken specialized courses in IFRS (International Financial Reporting Standard), tax and regulatory compliance courses for Venture Capital.

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CHRISTIAN SIEGELE

Advisor

"Christian has 15 years of business angel, venture capital and private equity experience."

In 1997 he joined 3i, a leading international private equity and venture capital group, and subsequently ran the regional office in Stuttgart, managing a large portfolio of companies and heading 3i’s German venture capital group. As a senior partner, Christian was a member of the global venture investment committee and led numerous investments, IPO’s and trade exits. These included Interhyp AG (online mortgage broker – IPO Frankfurt), BuyVIP (online private sales – sold to Amazon), Element5 (e-commerce solution – sold to Digital River), Firstgate (online payment – sold to Deutsche Telekom), Demand Media (online social media – IPO NYSE), Nanogate AG (nanotechnology – IPO Frankfurt) and Arpida AG (pharma / anti-infectives – IPO Zurich). In 2010 Christian sold his family’s gas sensor business, and since 2008 he has been an ACTIVE business angel investor focussing on digital media.

Prior to joining 3i, Christian spent several years as a consultant with Andersen and Zenit, working in the R&D and marketing departments of industrial companies, as well as for the European Commission. He started his career at the German Cancer Centre in Heidelberg.

Christian was born in Germany and has lived and worked in Germany, the UK, Italy and Belgium.
Christian holds a Masters degree in Physics from the Fridericiana University, Karlsruhe, Germany as well as a Diploma in International Affairs from The Johns Hopkins University, Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS), Bologna, Italy.

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DAVID DARSCH

Advisor

"David is a Strategic Business Advisor, with more than 30 years of experience as an entrepreneur and managing executive of technology companies."

With a strong trans-Atlantic and pan-European focus, Dave has ACTIVE clients in both the US and Europe. He mentors entrepreneurs and helps them develop business plans that accelerate revenue growth and/or external infusion of capital. Dave has been involved in more than 10 transactions involving the purchase, sale, merger, or infusion of capital into companies. He has assisted in trans-Atlantic expansion initiatives, including legal and accounting logistics, sales and marketing plans, as well as funding for two of these companies.

Dave is the founder of the pan-European CEO Collaborative Forum (CEO-CF), an exclusive consortium of high-performing CEO peer groups from high growth companies across the European Union.

In 1979, Dave founded and served as CEO of a privately held software development company in Washington, DC, USA, area until the company was acquired by a systems integrator in 1996. During his tenure, the company was recognised as one of the Inc. 500 fastest growing US companies.

As a guest lecturer at the MBA level, Dave has provided instruction at many European universities, including INSEAD University in Fontainebleau, France, London Business School, England, IESE Business School in Barcelona, Spain, University of Chicago, USA, and ESADE University in Barcelona, Spain. He has also presented at the Europe’s 500 Conference and taught courses on entrepreneurship for the European Commission, BBVA, and Terra Lycos in Spain.

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