Markus Lampinen


Internationally awarded digital finance entrepreneur, active in pioneering new securities models worldwide. Has worked in digital finance since 2009, recruited over 100 individuals, built up operations on six continents and been recognized as one of the top 100 thought leaders in crowdfunding. Markus has pioneered new funding models in the US and Europe, advised policy makers worldwide—including the SEC, the European Commission and Italian regulator CONSOB—for more effective markets, and worked with visionary organizations such as the World Bank and the Kauffman Foundation to improve frameworks for digital finance. Markus has studied computer science and economics (M.Sc).

Paul Higgins


Serial entrepreneur with an operational background in finance and technology companies. Paul has over a decade's experience working in various operational and product roles within technology companies, including two B2B startups that have achieved eight-figure exits following 100% year-on-year growth. He started his career in product development and testing roles in UBS Capital Markets and IBM's Hursley Research Lab in the UK before going on to eBay, UBS, and Barclays. Paul holds an M.A. (Hons) in Computer Science and Philosophy from Churchill College, Cambridge University. He speaks fluent French and Portuguese.

Alessandro Ravanetti


Co-founder of Difitek, Alessandro has worked in the fintech industry, with marketplace investing and lending, since 2011. Has built and managed digital companies with distributed teams and international partners, and gained experience with both startups and large corporations, having worked with British Telecom, Bloomberg and the Grow VC Group. Alessandro grew up in Italy, where he graduated with a B.A. in Economics at the University of Parma, before obtaining an M.S. in Finance at Regent’s University London. He studied and worked in many different cities, including Munich, Geneva, London, Valencia and Barcelona, where he currently lives.

Tero Ahola


Over thirty years of hands on programming experience, from industries ranging from data analytics, intelligence, online investing and fintech, and speciality in backend, cross platform technologies and frameworks.

Tero has been involved in cutting edge global technologies and ventures and he has lived and worked in Europe and Asia. He enjoys living on cutting edge product innovation, rapid iterations and dynamic technology frameworks in high-end requirement environments such as digital finance. Tero leads Difitek’s long term engineering efforts and global back-end infrastructure.

Jouko Ahvenainen


Jouko Ahvenainen is a serial-entrepreneur, e.g. co-founder of the Grow VC Group, a pioneer in new funding solutions, including equity p2p investments. He participated in changing US finance regulation, getting the Senate and President to allow crowdfunding and has worked with EU finance regulation. Jouko started his work with crowdfunding models in 2008. Jouko is a founder, partner and board member in several innovative digital finance companies, like Difitek, Crowdbaron, Kapipal, Grow Advisors and Commoditarian. Jouko is also a member in the Transatlantic Economic Forum SME Access to finance group, and has been an advisor for US, European and Asian finance programs.

Valto Loikkanen


Valto Loikkanen is a serial entrepreneur who has started several companies across Europe and the US in the web and mobile fields. At the age of 24, Valto started and grew his first company VTG Worldwide, selling custom mobile phone covers, from the ground up into an international business with a turnover of over 100 million FIM. Forward-thinking and always seeking the next big challenge, Valto became fed up with the lack of transparency and openness in the startup funding process. He saw that with Web 2.0 taking hold, a lack of transparency no longer works in helping the Internet’s shining stars find their grounding, which was one of the drivers behind him co-founding the Grow VC Group.

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